9 Reasons Why the Beach is Healthy



I know I’m not alone in my mad love and passion for the beach. A lake is fine. A river is nice too. But, c’mon, there is nothing like the ocean to completely reinvigorate a bod and a soul.

Why? Because it’s not all about the food (although watermelon and chips and guac are quite delicious at the beach). Taking care of your body has to do with more than what’s on the end of your fork, and there’s nothing like a day at the beach to zero in on keeping your Nutritious Life alive.

Whether you’re struggling with weight loss, emotional eating, ditching sugar, or any other food issue, give yourself a break today and get your toes in the sand. You just might find it affects your waistline better than you could have imagined.

1. Swim and skin. There’s nothing more therapeutic for your joints and muscles than a soak in salt water. The ocean heals little nicks, cuts and scrapes and if you take a minute to exfoliate with a little sand, you’re skin will be grateful for days. (Just remember to reapply sunscreen after time in the salt water and sand.)

2. Take a walk. A walk can be even better than a run when it comes to clearing the mind. I find there’s nothing more cathartic than a long walk on the beach (versus walking in the city which can trigger emotions worse than road rage.) It doesn’t have to be fast and it definitely doesn’t require a watch, a fitbit or any kind of app. Unplug. Walks on the beach are kind of perfect any way you do them – with your kids, your partner, or alone. There’s no goal, no rush, no race, no place to be. Relax and find some seashells along the way.

3. Do a body check. We know we should all be doing body checks but many of us pass over our bods when our minds are overcome with the thought of only having 5 minutes to hop in the shower, shave, and blow dry your hair,  all before getting the kids to school. As you put on your sun block, start with your face and work your way down your body – taking time to pay attention to your skin and looking for anything you might not otherwise notice. It’s a good practice to get in the habit of.

4. Tech detox. Honestly my colleagues in my office would never believe me, but I really do love it that the beach is entirely destructive to technology. It feels good to relax without a computer, phone and tablet for a few hours. Some of my most creative moments have come when I’m undistracted and left alone with uninterrupted thoughts. I’m able to focus entirely in the moment without worrying that a ding, blip or ring will pull me from my escape. Save your money, don’t go buying protective cases.

5. Sleep deep. Ever notice dozers everywhere at the beach? You won’t need your synthetic sound machine to catch that much needed shut eye. Sleeping at the beach to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore is like music to your ears, as long as you’re far enough away from the kids playing playing on the next blanket over. Sleep deprivation messes up the hormones that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite and specific cravings for calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods. Beach zzz’s are a therapeutic way to log some hours.

6. Turn on. There are few things sexier than a day at the beach. Once your ‘senses’ are stimulated, you’ve relaxed, and you’ve unplugged from your daily routine, you don’t have to leave the good vibes in the sand. Just remember to get all the sand off before jumping between the sheets.

7. Soak up the vitamin D. This vitamin is crucial for our health and wellness, yet an estimated 1 billion people worldwide are deficient. A day in the sun is the perfect way to meet your daily intake goals. The sun can give you even more than a good mood and a summer glow. Because vitamin D is synthesized in the skin, healthy exposure to sun in doses has been proven to support bone growth and also prevents calcium loss in mature bones.

8. Mix up your workout. Does your daily workout routine feel mundane? A day in the sand is a perfect way to mix up your fitness routine because the possibilities are endless. Make an effort to join in on the game of beach volleyball, frisbee, or soccer with the kids, try paddle boarding or hop in the water for an aerobic exercise that can relieve your joint pain and burn those extra cals. And the best part? Beach workouts are like boutique workouts without the high price tag, so your wallet will stay heavier.

9. Enjoy your company. There’s something to be said about leaving everything behind and truly being present to enjoy your surroundings, including the people in it! It’s easy to get caught up in your normal daily routine. An NYC street bustling with people can actually be lonely when everyone is walking with headphones and a one track mind about getting somewhere on time. At the beach I find people pull out more civility. Families connect. Friends play. Lovers relate and there’s a different community for the day – one made up of people who are all out for a nice time. It is noticeable to me when I am on vacation or at a local beach for the day.