The summer season is fully upon us. With that comes warmer weather, longer days and the activities we all know and love—i.e. barbecues, swimming, camping, etc.
But summer is also a great time to reset and reclaim your health! If you’re looking to do just that but don’t know where to start, here are some ways you can take advantage of the summer season and set yourself up for success all year long.
Part 3: Take A Trip To The Ocean
There is one activity that stands out as quintessentially summer—going to the beach!
But the innate desire to head towards the ocean during the warmer months isn’t just about cooling down or soaking in some sun—there are actual, biological reasons we are drawn towards spending time at the beach:
- Minerals: Ocean water contains an abundance of minerals. In fact, there is no other single source that provides a greater concentration than the ocean. Minerals play a key role in almost every biological process and many of the minerals present are some of the most important, including: magnesium, sodium, calcium, potassium, etc. By spending time immersed in ocean water, you can utilize these minerals to decrease inflammation, enhance immune function and even lower stress levels. Not a bad tradeoff for a day at the beach!
- Cold Thermogenesis: The Atlantic waters are known to be pretty chilly most of the year (many would argue the entire year). And while some may lament the frigid temperatures, there is enormous benefit in regularly exposing yourself to the cold—a process called cold thermogenesis (CT). CT takes advantage of primordial pathways buried within our evolutionary past designed specifically to enhance mitochondrial function in the face of colder temperatures. The benefits of cold exposure include: enhanced mitochondrial energy production, production of metabolically active brown fat, decreased inflammation, improved hormone levels, and positive changes to the adaptive nervous system. Though it may sound unbearable, spending time in the cold ocean waters is incredibly valuable—fortunately, it can be easy to get lost in time at the beach and spending time in the cold water may feel like a breeze. If cold isn’t your forte, start with 30-60 seconds and build up your tolerance—over time, you will become more cold adapted and able to stay in longer. Work to get to the point that you can be in the water for 15-20 minutes without stopping.
- Grounding: The final benefit of ocean water is one of the most fascinating—grounding. Grounding is an age-old practice that involves making direct physical contact with the earth—this was commonplace in a world before shoes, paved sidewalks and indoor living, but has become increasingly rare in the modern world. By directly connecting to the surface of the earth, you are able to harness the earth’s limitless supply of stored electron energy. Energy is the currency of life and increasing electron availability creates an environment for improved cellular energy production. This leads to decreased inflammation, enhanced repair, regeneration and activation of the parasympathetic nervous response resulting in stress reduction.
The ocean is an often forgotten but critical tool in creating better health. Fortunately, it can be as easy as planning a day at the beach!
The summer season is one of opportunity—the opportunity to grow, work towards better habits, strengthen your relationship with nature and reconnect with family and friends. Not to mention, the most purposeful practices you can work towards integrating this summer are 1.) generally free and 2.) enjoyable—i.e. trips to the beach, time spent in the sun, local food, etc. This year, reclaim your health and set yourself up for long-term wellness by taking advantage of all the summer has to offer!