Not only does the sea promote good physical health, it can drastically improve your mental well being too. Certainly, the waves and smell of the salt air are great for relaxation. But the beach itself provides some subtle health benefits. So, what are they?
Soaking in Sea Minerals
Swimming in the sea gives you a full body workout, improves circulation, and increases your immune system function. Studies have shown that the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in seawater are detoxifying and help to pull impurities from the body and skin. Salt water can also inhibit bacterial growth and skin infections.
Did you know Magnesium is the eighth most abundant mineral on earth, and the third most abundant in sea water? More importantly, it is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and it is necessary in over 300 reactions within the body.
Every single cell in the human body demands adequate magnesium to function, or it will perish. Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system, well functioning detoxification pathways and much more depend upon cellular magnesium sufficiency. Soft tissue containing the highest concentrations of magnesium in the body include the brain and the heart—two organs that produce a large amount of electrical activity, and which can be especially vulnerable to magnesium insufficiency.”
Filling our lungs with Sea Air
Ocean air has health benefits too. The negative ions in sea air accelerate your ability to absorb oxygen, and balance your seratonin levels, a body chemical linked with mood and stress. Which is why you feel more alert, relaxed and energised after a beach holiday.
Other studies have shown that inhaling salty air improved lung function in people with a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. Hay fever sufferers may benefit from a few hearty gusts of sea air, too. Onshore breezes can blow away pollen-laden air.
Vitamin D Vitality
That warm feeling of sun soaked skin is akin to holidays spent in exotic places. Many people might believe it’s bad but let’s look at some alternative thinking.
There are many health benefits of vitamin D including maintaining healthy bones and teeth and the immune system. It can also greatly improve your mental well being as a lack of it can increase chances of depression. To produce enough vitamin D for the day, your skin would need to be exposed, without sunscreen for around 20 minutes.
In many cases we (sometimes literally) cut off our noses to spite our face when it comes to the sun. One study at the Oslo University Hospital in Norway found that the benefits of sun exposure far surpassed any risk:
“It can be estimated that increased sun exposure to the Norwegian population might at worst result in 200-300 more CMM deaths per year. But it would elevate the vitamin D status by about 25 nmol/l (nanomoles per liter). This might result in 4,000 fewer internal cancers and about 3,000 fewer cancer deaths overall.” This alone, weighs out the pros vs cons quite considerably don’t you think?
Other studies have found links between low-vitamin D levels and Parkinson’s Disease, bone disease, blood clots, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. A recent study even found that regular sun exposure helped women to live longer. Yet another study found that regular sun exposure could cut breast cancer risk in half!
Have you heard of Earthing?
The sand between your toes can be a great feeling. Not only this but there’s a theory that our bodies are meant to come into contact with the Earth regularly. Direct contact with the earth can even out this positive charge and return the body to a neutral state.
Our bodies and cells have electrical energy. With the high prevalence of Electromagnetic waves, Wi-Fi and mobile phones, many of us have high amounts of positive electrons built up in our bodies.
Throughout history, humans have spent time outdoors much more than we do in modern times. From walking on the ground barefoot, to gardening or tilling the soil, humans have always touched the earth… until recently.
You may find you sleep better on a beach vacation after walking in the sand or being in the ocean. The sand and salt water are both naturally conductive materials and help ground the body and remove excess positive electrons. For the same basic reason that we ground electrical outlets to avoid the build up of excess positive charge, our bodies need the same ground effect.”
Here’s a report that goes into more scientific detail about grounding/earthing.
We may not all be able to spend all year round at the beach but day trips and holidays can be just enough to revitalise and rejuvenate. So, when are you next going to the beach?