“The sea washes away the ills of all mankind.”
When people are asked to relax and visualize a peaceful setting, many often imagine themselves seaside, waves lapping hypnotically in the background, sun warming the body to a state of toasty bliss.
And while we innately understand the healing power of the ocean, most are unaware of its scientifically proven effects on both our physical and mental health.
Let’s take a walk on the beach, shall we? Walking barefoot on sand is a powerful yet gentle form of exercise on several levels. First, we tend to walk further on the beach than we would say, on a treadmill or a city street. And since sand is a natural cushion, we forgo the pounding our joints experience on pavement.
Second, walking in sand requires 2.1 – 2.7 times more energy than walking on hard surfaces so we’re naturally getting more exercise without even realizing it!
Some health advocates also believe that the act of walking on the sand without shoes naturally “grounds” us and provides almost instantaneous stress release simply by being in nature and breathing fresh air.
Then of course, there’s glorious sunlight. Studies reveal that many of us are Vitamin D deficient which can cause a host of physical issues. Simply being on the beach and exposing our skin to sun (not too much, of course) replenishes much needed reservoirs of Vitamin D in our bodies.
And who doesn’t remember the amazing night’s sleep we experience after a sun-drenched day at the beach? Salt air is charged with healthy negative ions that build our capacity to absorb more oxygen. This induces positive physiological changes and means a naturally alert yet relaxed state, as well as a heavy slumber later on.
Maybe you don’t live near a beach like ours on Long Beach Island. That’s okay: try visualizing. It’s the next best thing to being there. Imagine yourself seaside (and looking amazing in that new bathing suit by the way). Allow yourself to feel the calming effects on your body and mind. Just this simple act can aid in pain management, relaxation and anxiety relief.
The ocean holds more miraculous wonders and healing properties than we could ever imagine. We’ve just touched on a few of the many powers of the sea. Let’s do our best to keep her as healthy as possible too.