Australia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Not only is the beach a scenic spot to spend your day off, but it's also one of the most active weekend destinations for you and your family.
If you’re after a day trip that's almost always close to home, and one which encourages physical activity and family bonding, you can’t go past your local sandy strip.
Sand offers a unique surface to walk, run and play on. The millions of tiny grains move beneath your feet as you walk, making it more difficult to stay upright and gather momentum. This means that the muscles in your body are working doubly as hard just to run, resulting in some serious calorie burning!
A gentle walk along the beach is great exercise, as are any games that you can play on sand. Think beach volleyball, cricket or an old fashioned round of frisbee with the family dog (they'll love you for that). If you're near an especially large beach, running up sand dunes to toboggan down is also a particularly powerful form of exercise.
Swimming is one of the few forms of exercise that targets all of the major muscle groups in the body, without any 'impact' – making it as gentle on joints as it is intense for muscles. Diving beneath waves, swimming out to sea and body surfing into shore are all activities that many of us find relaxing. However, below the surface, your blood circulation is increasing, your immune system is strengthening and inflammation is easing. Just remember to stay in between the flags!
As well as these benefits, sea water is also good for the skin; the salts and minerals in the water help to hydrate the epidermis, ward off bacteria and gently exfoliate away dead skin cells.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 25% of Aussie adults are vitamin D deficient, which can result in a range of health complications – from stomach issues to depression. You only need a short amount of time in the sun to absorb your daily vitamin D needs; a trip to the beach will provide adequate exposure.
Just ensure that you apply plenty of sunscreen, and always well a hat, shirt and sunglasses during time out of the water.
Have you ever wondered why you feel so refreshed after a day at the beach? It’s not just the beautiful scenery…
Large moving bodies of water – such as the ocean – produce an abundance of negative ions; the crashing of the waves splits neutral air particles, which releases negative ions into the atmosphere. When we breathe in negative ions, our bodies experience a range of health benefits – from allergy relief to sensory stimulation, from immune boosting to greater oxygen absorption. Our bodies can actually be healed by the ocean!
What’s your favourite activity for when you're at your local beach? Let us know your active suggestions!