An Outer Banks Vacation is Good for Your Health

Bring Your Family on an OBX Vacation. Doctor's Orders!

We all know that an Outer Banks vacation is a time to let loose and enjoy the sun & sand, spend time with family, and relax. But did you know it’s actually good for your health?! It’s true, and here are eight reasons why you should head on down to the beach to fill your prescription. Doctor’s orders!

Eating fresh seafood

The Outer Banks is overflowing with restaurants specializing in serving the freshest seafood possible. Seafood is nutrient-rich, serves as a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids proven to help in the reduction of common diseases.  Vitamins in a lot of seafood perform many functions, including influencing energy production, metabolism, concentration, and even beauty, as well as promoting heart health, boosting brainpower, improving immune function, and more. [1] So tie on that bib and dig in!

Playing in the ocean

Taking a dip is a necessity during a hot summer day on the beach. What you might not know is that, while you’re cooling off, the salt water could be improving your overall health and well-being. Swimming in seawater allegedly activates the body’s healing mechanisms to fight conditions such as asthma, arthritis, bronchitis and inflammatory diseases, as well as common aches and pains. It also may help facilitate the circulation of blood in your body and help promote a healthy immune system. [2]

Exfoliating in the sand

Wet sand acts as a natural exfoliant and peels off dead skin cells from your feet (and really, anywhere else on your body), leaving them renewed and much softer. This process helps keep pores from becoming clogged and leaving skin with a refreshed and clean feeling. The removal of dead skin cells also speeds up the skin renewal process, helping decrease fine lines and wrinkles. [3]

Basking in the sun

You’re sure to spend plenty of time in the sun during your Outer Banks vacation (don’t forget the SPF!), so be prepared to be in a happier mood and feel an overall calm thanks to the release of serotonin and endorphins. [4] Another effect of sunlight is the release of a compound called nitric oxide into the blood vessels, bringing blood pressure levels down—which can lower the risks of heart attack and stroke. Appropriate levels of vitamin D are also proven to keep your bones healthy, and even reduce risk of some cancers. [5]

Relaxing

What’s more relaxing than lying on the beach with a good book? The health benefits of relaxation are never ending. Since stress can seriously up your risk of severe heart problems, a nice beach vacation is sure to help keep your heart healthy. Other benefits of relaxation include lowering the risk of catching a cold, boosting your memory, lowering risk of stroke, preventing depression and much more. [6]

Sleeping

Whether it is from chasing kids around on the beach all day or just a change of sleep environment which lacks the reminders of your daily stress, a beach vacation certainly helps set the tone for more relaxation and usually better sleep. The sound of the ocean can also help contribute to a better sleep, so be sure to crack the window to listen to the waves before bed! [7]

Keeping Active

Even if your main priority is to relax, you’re sure to keep active on vacation. Walking up and down the beach searching for seashells, throwing the Frisbee, riding bikes, and maybe even a little stand up paddle boarding or surfing are just a few of the fun activities to help keep you active without it even feeling like you’re exercising.

Spending time with loved ones

There’s not much better than spending quality time with your loved ones at the beach, but did you know that that quality time can actually help fend off depression, [8] as well as aid in reducing stress? Studies have also shown that loved ones make you want to live a healthier lifestyle. [9] That alone is a reason to bring your family on an Outer Banks vacation!

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1 http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-eating-seafood
2 http://www.livestrong.com/article/400377-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-swimming-in-sea-water/
3 http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/cleansing/tips/what-is-exfoliation1.htm
4 http://www.self.com/story/sunlight-benefits
5 http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/12/27/vitamin-d-sunlight.aspx
6 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/stress-awareness-day-relaxation-benefits_n_1424820.html
7 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3405747/Can-t-sleep-Listen-sound-WATER-Study-reveals-non-threatening-noises-help-brain-switch-off.htm
8 https://www.bustle.com/articles/115247-spending-time-with-loved-ones-can-help-keep-depression-away-so-start-spending-more-irl-time
9 https://www.bustle.com/articles/110569-a-close-relationship-with-a-loved-one-can-help-reduce-stress-new-study-finds-and-more