Why Going to the Beach is Good for the Mind, Body, and Soul
Author: Greg Popham
I don’t know about your situation but for me going to the beach rejuvenates me completely.
It’s not all about fruity drinks and beach bodies, there are legitimate reasons why going to the beach is good for our minds, our bodies, and our souls.
The Ocean is Good for Your Mind
We are connected to water from the onset of life. Until we take our first breath of air we are immersed in placenta fluid. New-born babies are 75 percent water and as we age we become drier to the tune of only 60 percent. Our brains, however, are still 75% water and our bones are at 31%. Our brains react to water in a positive manner because our ancient ancestors came out of the water and evolved from swimming to crawling to walking.
Fetuses still have ‘gill-slit’ structures in their early stages of development and the water in our cells is comparable to that found in the sea, according to Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist and conservationist who lives near the central coast of California.
We’re connected to water from the onset of life. Babies’ bodies are 75 percent water. As we age, we become drier (only 60 percent) but our brains are still three-fourths water and even our bones are 31 percent water.
The brain, which rests in a kind of clear, colorless cerebrospinal fluid in our heads, reacts to water very fondly because, as Nichols writes, “our ancient ancestors came out of the water and evolved from swimming to crawling to walking. Human fetuses still have ‘gill-slit’ structures in their early stages of development,” and the water in our cells “is comparable to that found in the sea.”
This biological connection to water, Nichols told CBS News, triggers an immediate response in our brains. When you see or hear the ocean, he says, you know “you’re in the right place.”
The Ocean is Good for your Body
Saltwater is actually great for your hair and skin. Whenever I come back from the beach, my hair seems to have more volume, and it’s because of the salty water/air. I don’t wash my hair for about a week afterwards because it just looks great from the trip to the ocean. According to Wellness Mama sea salt spray is the second most used hair product used in her business, second only to ‘Dry Shampoo’. You can make your own for almost nothing, buy a product for about $25 or just go to the beach. It adds great texture and volume to hair without the chemicals. It works well for hair that is difficult to tame or to get to hold a curl. I would prefer to visit the beach personally because of the many other benefits.
Soaking in salt water also heals joints and muscles. The ocean heals small nicks, cuts and scrapes. The sand will exfoliate your skin and has a lasting effect for days.
The Ocean is Good for the Soul
Most of us know that feeling of calm we get when we are on, in or just near the water.
“This is what you want if you’re in the midst of a stressful week,” said Nichols, “You just want to hit that big blue reset button and get out here.”
Brain imagining indicates that proximity to water floods the brain with feel-good hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol actually drop. Scientists have also discovered that the brain prefers the color blue above all others and water increases our ability to focus.
“Our response to water is deep,” Nichols said. “It’s human, it’s about life and it’s about survival.”
In fact, our bodies consist of about 60 percent water and our brains, a whopping 75 percent.
“So when you see water, when you hear water, it triggers a response in your brain that you’re in the right place,” Nichols said.
From rafting to kayaking to surfing, water therapy is increasingly being used to treat a variety of ailments, including wounded veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and depression.