The sun is shining, and the temperature is rising. With the impending heatwave and long weekends just around the corner, here are five reasons to fill up your social calendar with trips to the beach.
It brings a smile to your face and warms your heart.
The soothing rush of the waves, the tickling feel of the sand, and the bright kiss of the sun are instant mood-boosters guaranteed to cheer up even the most stressed, sleep-deprived, and distressed of us. Certain studies show that exposure to bright light is an effective treatment for non-seasonal depression and reduces the depressed mood of women during her time of month and her pregnancy. The World Health Organization also reports that sunshine fosters a general feeling of well-being and stimulates blood circulation. Short exposure to sunlight (about five to 15 minutes) two to three times a week during the summer is enough to keep vitamin D levels high—and vitamin D promotes calcium and phosphorous absorption from food and encourages skeletal development, immune function, and blood cell formation. So not only will the beach instantly give you a happy glow, but it will also make you a picture of good health! Just don't forget your SPF!
It encourages you to be active.
While it is an attractive option to lounge around the beach for some rest and relaxation, it is hard to imagine resisting the chance to swim, run, and surf when the sun is shining and the waves are calling. With these activities in your agenda, not only will you get a beautiful tan, but a tight bod as well—swimming burns close to 500 calories per hour, while surfing burns about 200 calories per hour. Beach volleyball burns about 500 calories per hour, while jogging burns close to 500 calories per hour at a 8-kph pace. Imagine, torching all those calories without even trying!
The sea air makes you breathe better.
Walks along the beach have long been known to relieve symptoms associated with asthma, and have been a typical recommendation by doctors to complement medication. While the psychological freedom of escaping from city smog to the relatively clear skies of the seas significantly helps one breathe better, it seems that the quality of sea air itself plays a big role in respiratory health. Reader’s Digest reports that sea air contains tiny droplets of sea water enriched with salt, iodine, magnesium and other trace elements, which stimulate immune reactions by the skin and respiratory organs and effectively clears up the airways. More reason to take long strolls along the beach and get lost in one’s thoughts!
It is equivalent to a spa day.
Minerals in salt water have been shown to soothe aching joints, as well as promote hydration of the skin. On the other hand, sand helps exfoliate your feet and extremities while keeping your skin glowing as you bask in the sun. With the hum of nature in the background, it is no wonder that a trip to the beach rejuvenates and refreshes you—much like a visit to your favorite spa!
It convinces you to unplug.
While taking a couple of selfies is tempting, the best beaches often come with intermittent internet connection and telecommunication signals—a chance for you to enjoy a bit of solitude and to tune out to the demands of the “right now” culture fostered by dependence on mobile phones and emails. Now this is an advantage that a city staycation cannot give!