There is probably no other place more closely associated with the idea of relaxation, stress and carefree moments than the beach. Indeed, most tour firms have utilized images of happy families and couples lounging on the beach to attract potential clients done with the drudgery of the day-to-day office work. This paper aims at taking a closer and more specific look at the benefits that the beach offers to visitors.
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The sunshine is a common feature of the beach, but there are some negative health impacts of long exposure to the sun such as sunburn or even increasing the risk of skin cancer. Thus, appropriate steps should be taken to protect people from long exposures to sunlight when at the beach (Awondo, Egan and Dwyer 4; Nevers and Whitman 10316). When the skin is exposed to direct sunrays, the body can produce vitamin D that is crucial for the absorption of calcium that supports the formation of strong and healthy bones.
It is estimated that the human body can produce as much as 15000 IUs of vitamin D for a period of time it takes for one’s skin to turn pink in the sun. In addition, sun exposure also provides other covert health benefits such as the increase of endorphins as well as the possibility of increased immunity against autoimmune diseases (Nevers and Whitman 10317).
The most visible and immediate element of the beach is the sand. In fact, walking on it with bare feet has been shown to have immense health benefits because the soles of the feet have more nerve endings per square centimeter than any other body part. Thus, there is stimulation of the nerves in addition to the added advantage of exercising the foot muscles when walking on the beach.
A study on the effects of walking and running on sand found that the process required around 1.6 to 2.5 times more energy than they do on a hard surface (Daniel 90). This could be explained through an understanding that the muscles of the feet tend to perform more mechanical work on the sand that is soft and does not support one’s weight, unlike the standard solid ground. This forces a person to exert a marginally higher amount of effort to walk on sand.
The seawater, which is an integral part of the beach experience, also provides a range of health and therapeutic benefits to beach goers (Daniel 90). The water contains minerals such as magnesium and potassium in high quantities that are helps the body to heal and detoxify (Daniel 94). Furthermore, swimming reduces stress. In addition, it has been shown that swimming is a wholesome source of exercise since it allows people to exercise more muscle in the body.
The water provides gentle resistance, allowing a range of body movements that would otherwise be difficult on dry land. It is estimated that as little as two and a half hours of swimming in a week can significantly reduce the risk of chronic heart diseases. In addition, since it a non-impact sport, it is an ideal for people with disabilities or suffering from arthritis to exercise which can help improve their health.
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In conclusion, it is evident from the factors discussed herein that the beach is a very beneficial place with regard to both mental and physical health. Thus, many people should be encouraged to visit the beach so that they could obtain the positive impacts that are associated with it.