Have you ever noticed how good you feel after spending a day at the beach? Skin slightly pink, hair a little salty, sand still in your toes, and a general sense of calm and well being.
For thousands of years, the ocean was thought to have restorative properties. In some traditions, water itself was revered as a god. Today, we spend our vacations at the lake and go to seaside destinations to relax. Even just seeing the colour blue makes people feel more open, calm, and relaxed. In a study of more than 10 countries across 4 continents, blue was overwhelmingly chosen as the favourite colour.
New research has shown scientific evidence to back this up. Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, has written a book called Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do explaining why we all have a "Blue Mind", which he describes as “a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment” that gets triggered when we’re in or near water.
"It's about reconnecting our sense of self with our waterways and oceans. It's about finding creativity, clarity, and confidence in our deep Blue Minds" says Nichols.
Additionally, being near the ocean has restorative physical properties. Here are four ways spending time at the beach is good for your health:
1. Swimming in salt water
A swim in the sea has the ability to improve your health and well being. Swimming is one of the greatest forms of exercise, and if given the opportunity, choose the ocean over a pool. Swimming in the ocean has been shown to enhance the immune system, hydrate skin, and boosts circulation. Seawater is also rich in magnesium, which has also been shown to relax muscles and helps induce sleep.
2. Listening to the sound of the sea waves
Have you ever wondered why the most common soundtrack to help people sleep is the sound of waves on a beach? According to research, the sound of the sea waves actually alters the wave pattern in your brain, soothing you into a relaxed state.
3. Breathing in the salt air
Sea air is full of negative hydrogen ions, charged particles also found abundantly in fresh air, which improve our ability to absorb oxygen. They also help balance serotonin levels, a body chemical associated with mood and stress.
4. A healthy dose of Vitamin D
As long as you're slathered in some SPF, the reflection of the sun off the sand and water is a great way to get some vitamin D. Vitamin D improves autoimmune protection, increases endorphins, and enhances bone health. According to a study done by the King's College London's Institute of Dermatology Vitamin D from solar UVB rays plays an important role in health and can still be absorbed even with sunscreen applied.
Comment below and let us know your favourite ways to get your Vitamin Sea!