I know I’m not alone in my mad love and passion for the beach. A lake is fine. A river is nice too. But, c’mon, there is nothing like the ocean to completely reinvigorate a body and soul.
When it comes to living a Nutritious Life, I speak to my clients about stressing less, living consciously, sleeping deep, nurturing themselves and so on. Why? Because it’s not all about the food (although watermelon and chips and guac are quite delicious at the beach). Taking care of your body has to do with more than what’s on the end of your fork, and there’s nothing like a day at the beach to zero in on keeping your Nutritious Life alive. Whether you’re struggling with weight loss, emotional eating, ditching sugar, or any other food issue, give yourself a break today and get your toes in the sand. You just might find it affects your waistline better than you could have imagined.
9 Reasons Why the Beach is Healthy for You
1. It’s good for your joints and skin
There’s nothing more therapeutic for your joints and muscles than a soak in salt water. The ocean heals little nicks, cuts, and scrapes, and if you take a minute to exfoliate with a little sand, your skin will be grateful for days. (Just remember to reapply sunscreen after time in the salt water and sand.)
2. You can take a walk
A walk can be even better than a run when it comes to clearing the mind. I find there’s nothing more cathartic than a long walk on the beach (versus walking in the city, which can trigger emotions worse than road rage). It doesn’t have to be fast, and it definitely doesn’t require a watch, a Fitbit, or any kind of app. Unplug. Walks on the beach are kind of perfect any way you do them—with your kids, your partner, or alone. There’s no goal, no rush, no race, no place to be. Relax and find some seashells along the way.
3. It’s easy to do a body check
We know we should all be doing body checks, but many of us pass over our bods when our minds are overcome with the thought of only having five minutes to hop in the shower, shave, and blow dry our hair, all before getting the kids to school. As you put on your sunblock, start with your face and work your way down your body, taking time to pay attention to your skin and looking for anything you might not otherwise notice. It’s a good practice to get in the habit of doing more regularly.
4. It can be a natural tech detox
Honestly, my colleagues would never believe me, but I really do love that the beach is entirely destructive to technology. It feels good to relax without a computer, phone, and tablet for a few hours. Some of my most creative moments have come when I’m undistracted and left alone with uninterrupted thoughts. I’m able to focus entirely in the moment without worrying that a ding, blip, or ring will pull me away from my escape. Save your money; don’t go buying protective cases.
5. It’s a great place for a nap
Ever notice dozers everywhere at the beach? You won’t need your synthetic sound machine to catch that much-needed shut-eye. Sleeping at the beach to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore is like music to your ears, as long as you’re far enough away from the kids playing playing on the next blanket over. Sleep deprivation messes up the hormones that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite and specific cravings for calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods. A beach nap (in the shade!) is a therapeutic way to log some hours.
6. It’s a turn-on
There are few things sexier than a day at the beach. Once your senses are stimulated, you’ve relaxed, and you’ve unplugged from your daily routine, you don’t have to leave the good vibes in the sand. Just remember to get all the sand off before jumping between the sheets.
7. You can soak up the vitamin D
This vitamin is crucial for our health and wellness, yet an estimated one billion people worldwide are deficient. A day in the sun is the perfect way to meet your daily intake goals. The sun can give you even more than a good mood and a summer glow. Because vitamin D is synthesized in the skin, healthy exposure to sunlight in small doses has been proven to support bone growth and also prevents calcium loss in mature bones.
8. You can mix up your workout
Does your daily workout routine feel mundane? A day in the sand is a perfect way to mix up your fitness routine because the possibilities are endless. Make an effort to join in on the game of beach volleyball, frisbee, or soccer with the kids. Try paddleboarding, or hop in the water for an aerobic exercise that can relieve your joint pain and burn those extra cals. And the best part? Beach workouts are like boutique workouts without the high price tag, so your wallet will stay heavier.
9. It’s social
There’s something to be said about leaving everything behind and truly being present to enjoy your surroundings, including the people in them! It’s easy to get caught up in your normal daily routine. A New York City street bustling with people can actually be lonely when everyone is walking with headphones and a one-track mind about getting somewhere on time. At the beach, I find people pull out more civility. Families connect. Friends play. Lovers relate. There’s a different community for the day—one made up of people who are all out for a nice time. It is noticeable to me when I am on vacation or at a local beach for the day.
Reconstruct your pillars. Dig out your umbrella. Add to my list. See you on the sand, friends!