Apr 30 2014

Beach Health Benefits

Fitness & Wellness for the Common Folk” can be found anywhere… even at the beach! We decided to spend a week at the beach to spend D’s last week of paternity leave here in Port Aransas, TX at Port Royal (tip: they had a steal of deal for April and our 2 bedroom room was just a little over 100 bucks with a great view of the ocean) . We knew if we stayed around the house we would find 100 projects to do… 

There is certainly an attraction to the beach, the waves and smell of the salt air are great for relaxation as well as the beach itself provides some subtle health benefits. Unfortunately, we can’t all live at the beach year-round so here are some simple ways for you to also find these benefits at home!

Benefit # 1: Vitamin D

It’s pretty common knowledge that we can get Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. “In humans, Vitamin D is much more than just a simple vitamin that we need to hit a target RDA of. Vitamin D is a hormonal precursor and science is constantly linking deficiency of Vitamin D to increased incidence of many diseases. Ironically, while Vitamin D is readily available (at least part of the year in most parts of the world) for free if produced from sun exposure, people are surprisingly deficient in it these days.” Studies have found links between low-vitamin D levels and Parkinson’s Disease, bone disease,  blood clots, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.  A recent study even found that regular sun exposure helped women to live longer. Yet another study found that regular sun exposure could cut breast cancer risk in half!” Unfortunately, you won’t get the benefits if you’re covered up or slathered in sunscreen! Try to optimize your sun tolerance and cover up when you get enough sun/Vitamin D for the day.  Try eating an anti-inflammatory, high antioxidant and beneficial fat diet to increase your sun tolerance and help your body benefit from sun exposure such as a grain free, sugar free, high vegetable and healthy fat diet and:

  • Vitamin C  & OPC 3 – Both are potent anti-inflammatories (but work in different ways), and it is good for the immune system too.
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted in a cup of herbal tea or coffee per day- the Medium Chain Fatty Acids and saturated fat are easily utilized by the body for new skin formation and are protective against burning
  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil/High Vitamin Butter Oil Blend  (also great for remineralizing teeth)-Probably the most important supplement for sun protection. Kids take it too. It’s also great for digestive and oral health. (Amazon finally has the capsules back in stock)
  • Astaxanthin– A highly potent antioxidant which research shows acts as an internal sunscreen. It’s also supposedly an anti-aging supplement. 

Get It At Home:

Since we can’t all live at the beach year-round, it is possible to get Vitamin D at home. Obviously, sun exposure can accomplish this at home or at the beach. For times of year when sun exposure isn’t possible, try a Vitamin D3 supplement at home.

Benefit #2: Magnesium

Magnesium is the eighth most abundant mineral on earth, and the third most abundant in sea water. More importantly, it is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and it is necessary in over 300 reactions within the body. Magnesium isn’t just abundant in the body, but vitally important too. As this article explains: Every single cell in the human body demands adequate magnesium to function, or it will perish. Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system, well functioning detoxification pathways and much more depend upon cellular magnesium sufficiency. Soft tissue containing the highest concentrations of magnesium in the body include the brain and the heart—two organs that produce a large amount of electrical activity, and which can be especially vulnerable to magnesium insufficiency.” Sea water and sand are a great source of magnesium and it is often better to get magnesium transdermally (through the skin). Unfortunately, magnesium is often not well absorbed by the digestive track, and is even more difficult to absorb in this way for those who are low in vitamin D, have poor gut bacteria or suffer from a number of other health conditions.” The salt water itself is also detoxifying and helps pull impurities from the body and skin. Salt water inhibits bacterial growth and skin infections.

Get It At Home:

For those of us not able to get a daily soak in the ocean for our magnesium, there are some easy ways to supplement at home. Try a magnesium oil (here is the recipe) and apply to the skin for best absorption. Leafy green vegetables, sea vegetables, kelp and especially nettle (in herb form available here) are good dietary sources of magnesium, though if you have a deficiency, it will be difficult to raise your levels enough through diet alone. Some ways to supplement with magnesium are:

Here are some other magnesium-rich recipes (For the kids,rub magnesium oil on their feet/legs before bed.):

Benefit #3: Great Hair and Skin

So this one is purely vain, but how great does your skin and hair feel after time at the beach! It is probably the only time you can roll out of bed and have your hair actually look good! To attempt the great skin and hair that the beach provides, try:

Benefit #5: Relaxation

Stress is bad for health and the beach is wonderful for relaxation with the the soothing sound of waves and the massage of sand on the feet. Since you can’t bring the beach home, try these relaxation tips by following these steps and using a sound machine for relaxing sleep (also helpful for kids).

Source: Wellness Mama