You know it, and science has now backed it up… the beach has a multitude of benefits to your overall health and general well-being. Couple that with the relaxation and solitude that only the Outer Banks can offer, and you’re in store for one of the most relaxing vacations ever where you can truly center yourself and start again!
According to a study published by Michigan State University, ocean views have been definitively linked to better mental health. The findings are the first to find a link between health and the visibility of water… which researches refer to as “blue space.” “Increased views of blue space is significantly associated with lower levels of psychological distress,” said Amber Pearson, assistant professor of health geography and a member of MSU’s Water Science Network.
“However, we did not find that with green space.” Did you read that? Those rolling hills of green don’t come anywhere close to the link that the ocean has with your soul! Even after taking into account the participants’ age, gender, wealth, etc., all those studied showed improved mental health. Sounds to me like it’s time to book an oceanfront rental home!
So if looking at the ocean is good for you, what about swimming in it? Yes. Yes indeed! Salt water has been revered for thousands of years for having healing powers… and for good reason. Salt is an excellent curing, cleaning, and healing agent. You may not realize it, but salt (in one form or another) can most likely be found in your first aid kits, hand soaps, skin ointments, mouthwash, shampoo, and eye solutions.
Its chemical properties make salt an excellent multi-use agent, so when you swim in the ocean you are simultaneously healing your wounds, cleaning your skin, scalp, and hair, plus clearing your sinus system. Woo, what a list! There’s also a good chance you’re getting some exercise and a mean suntan to boot, so consider that a bonus!
For most of us, the salt air has a desirable soothing effect with its fresh yet pungent aroma. But did you know there are associated health benefits included with that memorable smell? Although not conclusively proven or clinically tested, salt air has been recommended by doctors for patients with an assortment of respiratory ailments for hundreds of years. The ocean air is infused with salt, iodine, magnesium and other trace elements when they are scattered into the air by wind and waves. According to a Wall Street Journal article, Australian doctors performed a 48 week study and concluded there was sufficient evidence to correlate salt air with health benefits to patients with cystic fibrosis. Thanks to the findings, it is now routine for them to prescribe sodium chloride inhalation solution to CF patients. Other studies have shown significant benefits by the particles in salt air to improve lung function, and reducing coughing and mucus.
I don’t think a walk on the beach has ever done anyone harm. No, in fact there are billions of sand particles waiting to do your body good by walking on the beach! When you trek out onto the sun-kissed sandy stretches of beach on the Outer Banks, you are giving your feet a very beneficial and completely natural exfoliation. Beach sand is comprised of hundreds of varieties of minerals (namely quartz, feldspar, and mica) plus pulverized shells and any bits of organic materials from the ocean. On the Outer Banks, the shell content can be higher in particular patches of the beach during low tide, making for a coarser exfoliating experience for those seeking it. Besides the benefit to your feet, walking or running on sand can be a much more rewarding exercise than on paved or stable ground. It’s estimated you’ll burn around 30% more calories when exercising on the beach… all the more room for your frozen drink concoctions and seafood dinners!
Besides the aforementioned benefits of the actual beach itself, the Outer Banks offers many activities and attractions that can also help you relax, center yourself, and renew your energy. You can complete your “mental health vacation” with the aid of our Village VIP program, as it includes many local activities for keeping your calm on… such as relaxing spa treatments, tranquil outdoor tours, and calming sunset cruises. Thanks for stopping by today. Hopefully you feel a bit rested and renewed just by reading over this blog!