Photo |  CHELSEA FUSS | ♡ Frolic

I like long walks on the beach.  That sounds like a line taken straight from a personals ad, but seriously— I like long walks on the beach.

Here in Clearwater, Florida the beach is easily accessible to everyone, yet as with most readily available things, it’s taken for granted.  Most locals don’t take advantage of the health benefits scattered, like seashells, along our white shores because it takes time to step out of the daily routine— but come on guys the beach is here for you!

I use the beach like a health tune up.  For years, I jogged or walked along the beach because the shoreline is the closest thing to nature.  We don’t have mountains, waterfalls or forests and our parks are too infested with mosquitoes to be useful for anything more than feeding those wretched blood-suckers.  This leaves the beach as the only place for fresh air and serenity.

The health benefits of my late night, beach excursions went unnoticed until I moved away and perceived that walking on the beach had a very different effect on my body than walking the same distance elsewhere.  This is not limited to my personal experience; numerous medical studies confirm the health benefits of the ocean.  The best thing is that everything is so passive, you enjoy a walk and your health improves in passing.  Five health benefits, I like best are:

  1. IT’S GREAT FOR YOUR LUNGS. Breathing the dewy, salt air clears the lungs.  For hundreds of years people suffering from respiratory problems retreated to the seaside and for good reason.  Current studies continue to support the notion that salt air provides many health benefits for lung disease patients helping to thin mucus, improve lung function, reduce coughing and decrease sinus pressure.
  2. IT’S GREAT FOR YOUR NERVES. The equilibrium of the ocean, murmuring of waves, dewy salt air and the far stretches of pale colors have a strong lulling effect on the mind and body.  The beach is powerfully relaxing.  I like it best during or after sunset, I avoid during the day because the scorching sun is brutal, if you prefer daytime— sunblock is vital.
  3. IT’S PASSIVE FOOT REFLEXOLOGY. Walking bare footed on the sand provides a natural foot massage.  Reflexology is a technique which divides the foot into zones.  Each zone is linked through our nerves to various organs in our body and pressure on the various zones influences the internal organs through the nervous system.  Sand has a way of wrapping around every part of the foot and naturally massages each zone as we walk.
  4. IT’S GREAT FOR EYES. Our eyes are constricted to nearsightedness as we stare into our smart phones, tablets, laptop screens and other flickering techno gadgets.  Our eye muscles don’t experience their full range of motion and the beach helps to take your gaze and stretch it to the end of the horizon.  Looking as far as we can helps to keep our eye muscles healthy.
  5. IT’S GREAT FOR THINKING. My mind really comes alive during my beach walks.  Anytime I get stuck on something, can’t find the necessary inspiration, or feel dullness in my mind I opt for a late night walk on the beach.  Something about the sound of water crashing on the shore, the vastness of the ocean and the endless stretch of sand makes my little troubles disappear while opening my mind to bigger things.  The things I need in order to get out of whatever mental rut I find myself in.

For those of you who live near the coast, these are just a several things to be thankful for and I really encourage you to take advantage of the beach just outside of your air-conditioned house.  Those of you who live inland, perhaps scheduling some beach therapy instead of another doctor visit would be something to consider?

Beach walk essentials:

backpack   sunblock   blanket