Bare feet on the beach

For those of you who love the surf and sand, we have good news. Recent studies have shown that the beach can have a profound impact on our mental health. That’s right — the sound of the ocean waves, the sand between your toes and saltwater life in general have been proven to recharge our minds and provide mental and physical balance.

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Benefits Of Going To The Beach

Are you planning a vacation to the beach this summer? Enjoy your time even more by learning about these five health benefits of the sunshine, ocean air, and saltwater found at the beach.

Excellent Source of Vitamin D

The best way to absorb and get enough Vitamin D is from the sun in UVB form. Vitamin D is important for a variety of bodily functions, including the absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphate. Sun exposure also increases endorphins and prevents some autoimmune diseases. A deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to the following health problems:

  • Heart disease,
  • Osteoporosis,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Cancer,
  • Insomnia,
  • Asthma,
  • Depression

It is important to remember that exposure to sun should be done responsibly. Use adequate sunblock between the hours of 11 am and 5 pm and limit long periods of exposure if possible.

Mood Booster

The color blue has a calming effect on people and can put our minds in a meditative state. The ocean and its surroundings can change our brain waves to a more calm, relaxed mindset. The health benefits of sea water and ocean air also calm our brains by providing negative ions — oxygen ions with extra attached electrons. The sound of the waves crashing on the beach also contributes to the strengthening and healing of the brain.

Natural Anti-Depressant

The combination of sunshine and the relaxing environment of the beach can directly affect our moods. Sunshine itself has been shown to make us happier, while the connection with nature also has a positive effect on those suffering from depression and anxiety.

Body and Mind Detoxification

High levels of minerals such as magnesium, iodine and potassium are found in sea water, all of which help fight off infection, assist the body in healing and detoxifying and provide therapeutic effects. The health benefits of ocean air also detoxify the body by filling your lungs with negatively charged ions that boost your immune system. Swimming in sea water also unclogs pores in the skin and allows for the expulsion of toxins from the body. Another benefit of sea water includes enhanced circulation. Sea water restores essential minerals that have been depleted by poor diet, stress and environmental toxins.

Grounded Environment

Sand can have a variety of effects on our bodies. The soles of our feet have more nerve-endings and sweat glands than any other body part — therefore, walking barefoot on the sand stimulates these nerves. Walking barefoot on the sand also enables us to connect with the earth. This connection, sometimes called “earthing,” reunites our bodies with the energy of our planet.

About UPMC

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations in central and western Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals.