Health Benefits of the Beach

A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology by author J. Aaron Hipp, Ph.D., an environmental health expert and assistant professor at Brown School, said about the restorative environment of the beach.

“Studies have shown that natural environments like beaches and waterfront parks offer more restorative benefits to people than gyms, entertainment venues and the built urban environment,” said Hipp.

His study goes on to suggest that we as humans require specific conditions in a beachside environment to obtain a fully-desired restorative effect. “Mild temperature days and low tides offer the most restorative environments when visiting the beach,” he said.

“Beachgoers visiting on a day nearly 3 degrees (F) warmer than average were 30 percent less likely to perceive the beach or coastal park as restorative, compared with those visiting on average or cooler than average days.”

The Sun

We all know the risk of too much sun exposure or exposure at high UV rays. But there are benefits of getting some rays, too.

When our skin is exposed directly to the sun, our body starts to make vitamin D, a necessary vitamin that helps with the absorption of calcium and building strong bones. Some of it comes from our diet, but the majority of it comes from the sun.

According to the Mayo Clinic, as little as 10 minutes per day of exposure to the sun is enough for a daily dose. According to the vitamin D council, “your body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin D in just a little under the time it takes for your skin to turn pink.”

In a study, it is shown that sun exposure can add other benefits in addition to the production of vitamin D, including an increase of endorphins and possible prevention of some autoimmune diseases.

Despite all of these benefits, you should still limit your exposure to excessive sunlight in order to avoid skin cancer cells. When you do in fact go out under the sun for more than a few minutes, always wear protective clothing or apply a sunscreen lotion with at least SPF 15.

The Sand

Did you know that the soles of your feet actually have more sweat glands and nerve endings per square centimeter than any other part in your body? And also, walking barefoot stimulates them so much more than walking in shoes?

Not only while walking on the sand are you stimulating the nerve endings, but also it strengthens the muscles in your feet, which don’t get used nearly as much as when you are wearing shoes. According to Mark Zucker, author of “Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?”, said that you may better connect to the Earth when you lose your shoes, reaping essential mood-boosting benefits.

He says the “Earthing” reconnects our bodies to the ever-present energy of the Earth, which modern lifestyles are increasingly diminishing it or have completely forgotten about it.In a study done about running and walking on sand, the researchers found that walking on sand requires about 1.6 to 2.5 times the energy than it takes to walk or run on a hard surface.

“Our muscles perform more mechanical work when running or walking on sand than on a hard surface,” said study co-author Dr. Thierry M. Lejeune, M.D.

If walking on sand for too long sounds tiring, try alternating your walking or running on the more compact sand closer to the water, where the surface will be less challenging.


Sea water contains a high amount of various minerals, such as potassium, magnesium and iodine, all of which can help in fighting off infections, detoxifying and healing the body and they offer therapeutic effects.Swimming is linked to a decrease in stress and an increase in the sense of well-being; there have been studies that have shown that swimming and water-based exercise and activity help to reduce anxiety and depression.

Aside from the therapeutic effects it has, swimming provides excellent physical exercise, using almost all of the major muscle groups in our body, especially since the water itself provides subtle and gentle resistance.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), swimming is ranked as the fourth most popular sport activity in the United States.

Among other aerobic activities, such as running and bicycling, swimming for as little as two and a half hours per week can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and boosts the health of the heart.

Since swimming is a non-impact sport, it offers a great way for people with injuries to get some needed exercise. For those suffering from arthritis, water-based exercise can help to improve the joint pain symptoms.