Whether you prefer sand or surf, chances are you’re drawn to the beach in some way. It’s relaxing, for one, and serves as a great escape from life’s daily stressors.
Did you know that our affinity for beachgoing is backed by research? Six consecutive Gallup studies claimed Hawaiians are leaders in happiness and wellbeing, while research from Japan’s Kobe University found that people who have a view of the ocean enjoy a greater sense of calm than those who don’t.
So, the next time you’re contemplating a seaside excursion, consider all the benefits going to the beach will bring.
What Are the Physical Benefits of Going to the Beach?
First of all, our time spent by the water usually involves some form of physical activity, from swimming to jogging to playing beach volleyball. Even walking on the beach is a better workout than walking on pavement—specifically, it requires about 1.6 to 2.5 times more mechanical work.
Hitting the beach also:
- Promotes more elastic skin.
Saltwater contains anti-aging minerals with rejuvenating properties. By spending time in the ocean, beachgoers can enjoy a natural way to soothe the skin, making it more elastic and supple.
- Features exfoliating properties.
Just like seawater works wonders for the skin, so does sand. People have thousands of nerve endings in each foot, and walking barefoot in the sand can help stimulate them. Wet sand in particular serves as a natural exfoliant.
- Reduces the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Research shows vitamin D can improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. One study claimed saltwater boasts similar effects: Just 20 minutes’ exposure alleviated participants’ symptoms, from morning stiffness to difficulty gripping with the hands.
Of course, the benefits of going to the beach don’t end there. Spending time by the ocean can also enhance beachgoers’ mental health.
What Are the Mental Benefits of Going to the Beach?
Beachgoing can improve our mental health in a number of ways. From sun exposure to gazing at the water, research indicates the beach:
- Decreases stress.
A short walk along the water can help beachgoers reset, unplug, and manage stress more effectively. By focusing on the scenery in front of us, we can enjoy a well-deserved, oceanfront pick-me-up.
- Improves mood.
While it’s important to wear sunscreen and keep hydrated, research confirms that spending time in direct sunlight increases our serotonin levels. Similarly, a study carried out by the Baker Heart Institute in Australia found that exposure to sunlight—including vitamin D—can reduce depression and make us feel happier.
- Exudes a sense of calm.
According to clinical psychologist Richard Shuster, PsyD, simply looking at the ocean causes a neurological shift that can lead to a meditative state. Not only do people associate the color blue with feelings of peace and calm, but research conducted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science indicated it may also cause a spark in creativity.
Are these health benefits enough to convince you it’s time to head back to the beach? We certainly hope so here at Vulpen Limited.