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How Going to the Beach Benefits Your Body and Mind

If you're looking for one more reason to hit the beach, now you have five.

Going to the beach isn’t just something worth doing on vacation, as it provides you with numerous health and wellness (physical and mental) benefits. Not getting to the beach as often as you’d like? Here are a few reasons to make beach outings priority.

1. Improved Mood/Happiness

Being on a beach tends to have a calming effect and appears to promote happiness, according to a 2014 review published in Frontiers in Psychology. Authors of the review suggest that having contact with nature helps improve mood, health, cognition, and happiness! So next time you’re feeling down in the dumps, make your way to water.

2. Reduced Stress

One reason being on a beach can promote happiness is because it’s a stress reliever, according to a 2014 review in Behavioral Sciences. The review shows found that exposure to nature helps diminish negative physical and mental effects of stress, and improves mood and emotions. Nature appears to eliminate lower cognitive functions associated with stress (ability to pay attention, etc.). So kick back and head to the beach for some much-needed stress relief during your busy day-to-day routine.

3. A Vitamin D Source

Getting vitamin D from sunshine helps boost vitamin D levels within your body. And about 1 billion people worldwide aren’t getting enough vitamin D (are deficient in this essential nutrient), says Harvard School of Public Health. Vitamin D helps fight depression by reducing symptoms, according to Reid Hospital. Mayo Clinic says getting just 10 minutes of sunlight daily may help prevent vitamin D deficiency.

4. Healthy Skin, Hair, and Nails

Ever notice that your skin and other parts of your body (like hair and nails) feel softer and healthier after a taking a dip in salt water? It’s true — sea salt provides numerous cosmetic benefits that help you look and feel your best. Just one more reason to make regular trips to the beach, or get there as often as you can.

5. Increased Physical Activity

Unless you’re sitting down on the beach for hours on end, you’re likely being physically active while you’re there. Swimming, treading water, jogging in the sand, playing beach volleyball or catch with the football, and playing with your kids are all excellent ways to burn some extra calories, stay in shape, and maintain a healthy weight. What better atmosphere to be physically active in than the beauty of sand and waves.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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