How to Get Healthy at South Florida Beaches
South Florida is known for its beaches. This area, the Palm Beaches, has spectacular spots for sun and surf. If you’ve lived here for a while, though, you might be taking the ocean for granted. Yet, summer is a great time to fall in love with the beach again. It’s too hot to do much else and there are so many health benefits to walking on sand, soaking up a few rays, and swimming in salt water.
The air at the beach often travels across miles and miles of ocean and contains minute amounts of salt which can reduce respiratory symptoms. The ocean water contains several minerals beneficial to health. Plus, negative ions surround you at the beach, just as they do in other natural environments like in the mountains and near waterfalls. These negative ions are associated with lifting our mood and reducing stress.
You’ll also benefit from walking barefoot in the sand, not only for the tactile experience but for the unique muscle movements required to move your feet through gently shifting material.
If your joints are achy, get in the water and move. Swimming is one of the best exercises for painful joints. The buoyancy of the water reduces the load that joints must support, and the water provides resistance as well. This is true of swimming or moving in a pool, but the added benefits of salt water in the ocean can help clear inflammation. Just as you might soak in Epsom salts to reduce achiness, the ocean will act in a similar manner.
If you live in South Florida, you probably think you’re not likely to be deficient in vitamin D. But researchers are finding many people, even in sunny climates, aren’t getting enough vitamin D.
This is a tricky situation as we know that too much sun exposure is linked to skin cancer. Yet, 10-15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure per day will allow your body to produce the required amount of vitamin D necessary for healthy bones and skin. And it might possibly improve your mood.
Also, scientific studies show a strong link between sunshine and positive health. One study, by the University of Exeter using data from the UK’s census found that living close to the sea was linked to better health.
If you’ve been going to the beach regularly, good for you. You’re taking advantage of one of the best free, fun, and effective boosts for your health, and we congratulate you.
But if you’re not, plan a visit to the beach today. Your mood will improve, your stress levels will drop, and your joints will get a nice workout. Just be sure to keep your unprotected sun exposure to only 10-15 minutes.
Doctor Cure Thyself
I see my dermatologist every six months to monitor my skin for changes from years of sun exposure. A doctor I saw in Miami said I was going to be a “dermatology frequent flier” because of pre-cancerous lesions, basal cell, and squamous cell carcinoma.
I spent many years boating, fishing, and hanging at the beach without paying much attention to my skin. Not only was I young and unconcerned, but I didn’t like the feel of sunblock. We were also unaware of how closely sun exposure, particularly sunburns, and skin cancer would be linked.
I now wear a hat and a UV protection long sleeve shirt for fishing trips. I bought an umbrella for our beach trips. And I wear what we used to call a rash guard for swimming. These new fibers keep the body cool while protecting you from the sun.
I recently learned that the chemicals in sunblock are damaging coral reefs. Even small amounts of common chemicals used in sunblock can kill juvenile reefs. A Hawaiian state senator has proposed a bill to ban these chemicals.
If they harm the reefs, what are they doing to us? Well, it doesn’t look good. Researchers have found that some of the chemicals are absorbed by the skin. Many are known endocrine disruptors. More than a few medical professionals are concerned about long-term exposures.
The mineral type that uses zinc oxide or titanium dioxide is the safest. But there are concerns about these ingredients too. Look for the non-nano particle type.
You can still enjoy the beach. Just use caution when choosing sunblock, utilize shade like umbrellas, and wear protective clothing.
Summer Stock-up Sale!
20% off all supplements – Valid until September 15, 2017