Sun Sand Ocean: The Health Benefits of a Beach Vacation

By Melanie Kiss

beach - health benefits of a beach vacation

Do ever wonder about why you feel so wonderful and rejuvenated after a beach vacation? Well let’s take a look at the health benefits of getting some sun, sand and ocean.

We know that frying our skin in the sun without protection is a big no no. But denying our bodies from the sun is also a big no. Getting vitamin D from the sun is super important and has more value than just swallowing a vitamin D tablet. In Dr. Wurtman’s Classic Article he explains that the role of sunlight is important for synchronizing the hormonal rhythms of the body. The benefits of sun exposure also help with many illnesses. While many people are afraid of being out in the sun due to the risk of skin cancer, UVB is actually protective against Melanoma. In The Lancet, February 2004 edition, it states that outdoor workers have a decreased risk of melanoma compared with indoor workers. 

The importance of sun exposure cannot be stressed enough, but one must be cautious as well. Getting your dose of vitamin sunshine in the mornings and late afternoons are a great way to enjoy its benefits during a beach vacation. Also remembering to wear ‘healthy’ sunscreens. What I mean by that is avoiding chemicals such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene and looking for paraben free, organic and non-nano. These will not only benefit your health, as our skin is permeable, but are safe for the ocean and will not contribute to destroying our wildlife.

Next is sand. Most of us kick off our shoes and enjoy the sand between our toes as we walk around bare feet on the beach. This is called earthing.  Why is this such a huge benefit for our health? Well, in nature negative ions are abundant on the beach, ocean, forests, waterfalls and after thunderstorms. While the earth is negatively charged, the atmosphere is positively charged. People living in big cities, tend to have a hard time connecting with the earth and synchronizing with the earth’s negative electrical charge. This is important to neutralize.  By walking, playing, laying in the sand you are naturally increasing your energy, reducing stress and inflammation, improving your sleep and circulatory system. You are also strengthening the muscles in your feet and triggering some reflexology points as an added bonus!

The ocean. Sea water has more minerals and a higher concentration of salt which is wonderful for the skin. But swimming in the sea can also improve your mood and your overall health. Hippocrates first used the word “thalassotherapy” to describe the healing effects of sea water according to Pacific Naturopathic. Soaking or swimming in sea water helps increase your immune system function, improve circulation, promote overall well being, hydrate your skin, ease joint pain and help elevate your mood. 

While thinking of your next beach vacation spot, be sure to think of your health as well. The fun town of Cabarete in the Dominican Republic offers a wide range of activities as well as sunshine everyday, long sandy beaches and ocean front properties. Mother Nature has this all figured out to keep us happy and healthy!