And that’s been my weekend mantra as I discovered spending time by the sea is a sure-fire way to reinvigorate mind, body and soul…
Few destinations can match the raw, natural beauty of the humble seaside: the fresh sea air, the sand between your toes and the sound of the waves lapping against the shore. There’s something quite magical about being by the sea, particularly after spending months cooped up at home.
Whether you enjoy majestic walks along the sand or diving into the waves, there’s no doubt time at the beach can change the way you feel. So, after a busy week in the office, my other half and I decided to go for a drive to our local coastline and take in some of its goodness.
I realize here in Blighty we’re probably a little nearer the coast than some of you folks in the US, but if you are able to, there are so many reasons to take a trip this summer… and “staycations” are set to be all the rage!
It probably comes as no surprise to hear that sea air is much cleaner than city air, but did you know it also contains higher levels of negatively charged ions? These are atoms that have an extra electron, giving them a negative charge, I know, it sounds like something from The Big Bang theory, but hear me out. They not only help to clear the air of allergens, spores and bacteria, but they also increase oxygen absorption into your lungs, leaving you feeling recharged and refreshed. Pretty neat, huh?
De-stress and reconnect
Listening to the waves lapping against the shore is incredibly relaxing, as I discovered when I dozed off on our picnic blanket as I lay by the sea. This is partly due to the connection between the rhythm of the waves and the rhythm of your breath and the fact they mirror each other. As you inhale, think of a wave forming, full of power and energy, steadily building and growing until that moment where it breaks… just like when you exhale. This rhythmic motion helps to calm your brainwaves, switching them from faster beta waves to slower, more relaxing, alpha waves, putting you into a slight meditative state and helping you to connect on a deeper, more spiritual level.
Simply strolling along the sand or taking a dip might not seem like much in the way of exercise, but these activities certainly contribute to your daily quota of movement. Time at the beach can be an easy way to fit in your workout without even breaking a sweat (now that’s my kind of workout!). Plus, with its uneven terrain beneath your feet, you may not realize it, but simply walking on the sand can take more effort and burn more calories than walking on solid ground.
There’s also an abundance of fun activities and water sports to take advantage of at the seaside if you really want to ramp up the calorie burn, including stand up paddle boarding, beach yoga, surfing and wild swimming.
There’s also good news for anyone searching for clearer skin. Thanks to its high sodium chloride levels, seawater has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which soothe all manner of skin conditions, from acne and athlete’s foot to cuts and grazes. This, coupled with a lovely dose on vitamin D from the sunshine (which is often found at the seaside), means you’ll be going home sporting a beautifully healthy glow!
Finally, another wonderful benefit of the beach is its ability to keep you grounded. Grounding, or earthing, as it’s also known, is when you make contact with the earth’s surface by walking barefoot outdoors. It’s said to help reconnect you to the earth’s natural electrons and rid you of any negative energy you’ve collected from everyday life, such as through use of electronic devices and general stress. Grounding isn’t just confined to the beach, it can be achieved in any outside space, but it’s believed to be most effective on sand or soil. All you have to do is kick off your shoes and start walking… beautifully simple.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your swimsuit, dig out your bucket and spade and I’ll see you down the beach for a healthy day out!