Every summer, millions of people around the globe migrate to the seaside for an annual dose of fun, relaxation, and refreshment. But as flocks of tourists continue to conquer exotic beaches in search of sunned-up rest and recreation, this summer I caught myself evolving into the Grinch version of a holiday maker, ready to turn away from the coastline and settle for a vacation deal in the lap of peace and quiet elsewhere. And though avoiding throngs of tourists and getting to enjoy your vacation a la Robinson Crusoe sounds great in theory, I’ve found that there are many solid reasons (some of them even backed by science) to spend your holiday by the sea. If you’re in two minds as to where you should spend your next vacation, here are a few scientific reasons in favor of you picking a holiday destination at the seaside.
Let the Sun Brighten Up Your Mood
Have you ever seen anyone feeling blue at the beach? Of course you haven’t, and there’s a good reason for it. Science shows that sunlight has a positive effect on the human mood as it impacts serotonin and dopamine levels, thus helping prevent anxiety, depression, and mood swings. The takeaway: if you want to chase away the blues, hit the beach next summer and expose your skin to all those delicious, anti-depressive rays of sun. (A neat bonus: you’ll also get to rock a lovely tan for a few months.)
Sea Water for Respiratory Problems
As a chronic rhinitis patient, I know all too well just how tough it can be to survive the flu season and keep your sinuses out of trouble. Fortunately, running from a runny nose gets much easier if you’ve bought yourself a ticket to the seaside for the summer holidays. Sea water is a powerful natural flush for nasal pathways, so if you want to give your sniffer a deep detox, take it to the beach and dip it thoroughly in the seaside air.
Blue Shades Will Soothe Your Mind
When workplace stress gets out of hand and burnout begins to tug at your sleeves, a trip to the beach may just be what your mind needs to recover and replenish. The soothing blue shades of sea water have beneficial effects on the nervous system, marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols says in his book Blue Mind. For this reason, find beach accommodation in Costa Rica next summer and treat your mind and senses to an elixir of a kind. Spending your holiday at the beach will top up your brain batteries and return your mind to its natural state, allowing you to get the biggest rest bang for your holiday buck.
Sweating Stress Our of Your System
When stress hits the fan, hit the beach, not the fridge. According to certain studies, water sports can do wonders for stress-related psychological problems and they’re also suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. If lazing around silky sand and dipping your toes in seawater isn’t a mental flush powerful enough to cleanse your system of pent-up tension, surfing, snorkeling, diving, paddle boarding, and kayaking certainly will.
Anticipation Makes Sea Cats Happy
There’s something special about getting ready for a beach holiday, isn’t there? Even as you’re packing your swimsuit and summer clothes, you’ll be jumping onto the train of happy thoughts – and studies show that anticipation of the forthcoming holiday can help increase happiness levels for vacationers, although their post-trip mood may not differ much from the state of mind of a non-vacationer. If you’re finding it tough to motivate yourself to endure another long month at work, go online and book holiday accommodation ASAP: you’ll be surprised by just how brighter the outlook on the weeks ahead will be after such a simple move.
All stress and little sunshine is never a good thing, so if you want to stay healthy, fit, and strong in both physical and mental terms, you should check in at the beach next summer – or at least that’s what science says you should do. (And if you ask me, delicious cocktails and sexy guys out on the beach are a neat bonus I wouldn’t miss out on again for the world.)