Uncommonly Coastal

A Walk on the Beach

Aren’t beach vacations great? I love discovering a new little “mom and pop” seafood spot. I crave a deep tan because, let’s face it, people look better with some color. And spending the afternoon on my beach towel with a great read is extremely enjoyable. But one part of my getaway tops the list every single time:  A walk on the beach.  

A walk on the beach

NOTHING COMPARES

Honestly, the stroll has healing powers for me. After weeks and weeks of jam-packed schedules and an endless to-do list, I plan this activity first.  Is it the exertion of energy that recharges my physical being?  What about the numerous health benefits of the sun and surf?  And the endurance and stamina being built while doing something that doesn’t feel like exercise?  Maybe all these advantages combined? While I may gain from all of these, there’s nothing that compares to the therapeutic benefits for my overall well-being from a walk on the beach.

A walk on the beach

HITTIN’ THE GYM

My regular exercise regimen (and I use that term loosely) lacks motivation, and  I’m not a gym person.  I’ve joined, but when I force myself inside, the trainer who showed me how the machines work is on vacation.  No way am I going to be the person who makes the weights slam loudly or who struggles on the treadmill.  Perhaps the most embarrassing part of the outing is when at least 2 people let me know that my face is “very, very red” and maybe I “should rest and cool down.”  That’s how my skin has responded to physical effort. Red.  Then there’s the miserable walk of shame leaving after only 10 minutes, dragging myself across the crowded lot to my stifling hot car. The inside temperature gauge reads 104.   

 

A walk on the beach      A walk on the beach

COMFORT ZONE

And just between us, I’ll admit that I also prefer the comforts of my own shower and dressing area.  After four kids, I’m not shy.  It’s just that I love my sea glass-tiled shower and matching ultra-plush towels. Pampering myself with my favorite body lotion makes me feel happy, makes me glow.  Plus, I know whose feet were in my spacious shower just a while before – Mine, and only mine.  See, the gym is not for everyone, especially me.  I prefer a walk on the beach anyday.

A walk on the beach

GOT IT COVERED

Truly, the highlight of every vacay day is my walk on the beach.  I am not a runner – too hard on the joints.  Sometimes I march, and other times I saunter. Doesn’t matter which because I am moving, and I am in my happy place.  I have learned that a loose-fitting outfit made of an airy cotton fabric is best to move with me.  Before I go, I cover every inch of myself in EltaMD sunscreen, which has Hyaluronic Acid for moisturizing and hydrating my skin.  My goal is a bronze tan – not a dangerous and painful sunburn causing me to suffer  with aloe gel all over me. 

A walk on the beach

BAREFOOTIN’

Protected by sunblock, I take a walk on the beach barefoot and comfortable. That’s right, I want my bare feet in the sand. Did you know that there are more nerve endings and sweat glands on the soles of our feet than anywhere else on our bodies?  No wonder it feels so good.  There are HUGE benefits to bare feet on the sand, and I’ll keep an eye out for not only beautiful seashells and starfish, but also jagged rocks or sharp shards of driftwood that could hurt.  Do you realize this is nature’s free pedicure?   All the dead skin cells are exfoliated, and my feet will be just like a baby’s in no time.   Ah……

S T R E T C H

Before a walk on the beach, stretching is important to warm up my muscles as in any sport or exercise. At the same time, my mind continues to muddle through the list of unfinished projects and unmade calls.  I bend, I extend, and I twist and elongate. My body is now ready to hit the sand, and soon my mind will be calm.

                           A walk on the beach

SOOTHING SOUND

In the early years, my fanny pack held my phone and provided upbeat music.  It didn’t take long to realize that there are no phone calls that could not wait an hour.  I’m not a life-saving surgeon and there are no sounds on earth more soothing than the surf.  Now I go completely unplugged where I can lose myself in the tranquil sounds of the crashing waves and the peacefulness of the nature around me.

A walk on the beach

ALL BY MYSELF

Starting slowly, I continue to  wake up my underutilized muscles as I adjust to the resistance of the sand beneath me. There are times when I walk with a dear friend, solving all the world’s problems in less than an hour by the sea.  I love this. And it’s such a bonding activity for all ages and time just flies.  Most times, I take a solo stroll following the coastline and enjoy that time stands still.  Low tide is ideal, when a walk on the beach can last longer.  And the waves can change the shore constantly, causing the hard-packed sand to slope to different levels for my feet.  I just read an article on this phenomenon.  Did you know that this changing of surfaces is called “proprioceptive?”  Because of this, we want our feet and legs to reach their full range of motion. 

WIND WIN

At the beginning, I’ll walk into the wind, but for my return, I want the wind at my back, gently pushing me.  Every step in any direction means that the earth’s energy force can actually be absorbed into my own body’s electrical energy.  This can be transferred from my feet throughout my legs and body.  Let’s face it, there are days when we can use all the enregy we can get!  I know that salty sea water is rich in minerals that are good for my skin, my bones, and my immune system.  It contains magnesium, potassium, and iodine that can help fight infection and provide healing and detoxing.  

VITAMIN SEA

I  have learned the hard way of the dangers of UVA and UVB rays.  Now I tend to walk more in the early mornings and evenings for the best benefits – and for Vitamin D,  which helps my body absorb calcium to strengthen my bones.  According to the Mayo Clinic, I can get my daily dose of Vitamin D with just 10 minutes of sun exposure, and a walk on the beach for me lasts way longer. However, if the only time I can walk is midday, so be it.  With my 50 SPF, I’ll add protective clothing that blocks the bad rays and get moving. Whether I’m wearing my stylish straw sun hat or my hip new bucket hat, I avoid scalp or ear-top burns.  I can now increase my endorphins – another plus!

                            

PURE BLISS
There are many well-known benefits about a walk on the beach.  However,  here’s what really matters most to me. It’s not only my number-1-absolute-favorite-thing-to-do-on-earth, but it is the absolute best thing for me, too.
I’m easily stressed, as a Type A personality, but once I arrive on the first day, I catch the radiant sunrise that renders me speechless.  The view includes the endless sand leading toward the horizon and the waves breaking over and over without ceasing.  I take in the beautiful colors of the water, darkening as they deepen, far beyond what I can see or imagine. Inhaling deeply, I ingest the sea air, both pleasurable and beneficial, clearing my sinuses and my conscience.  And best of all, I feel the warmth of the same magnificent ball of fire that touches each and every one of us, and then displays the most glorious sunsets.  

A walk on the beach

IT’S A WIN-WIN

Beneath a cloudless sky stretching forever above, I realize how small I feel, and more importantly, how truly insignificant we all are in the big scheme.  Everything that really matters in life becomes quite clear. To me, a walk on the beach improves my mental health, brings issues into clarity and also improves my core balance and stability.  Also, it will sharpen my reflexes and increase my metabolism. These 1 to 2-hour escapades, continued regularly, will also cut my chances of heart disease and assist with weight loss.  Why?  Because this counts as exercise!  And  I’m on vacation, too!  Talk about a WIN-WIN!

A walk on the beach

Some of my best talks with God happen in these precious moments during a walk on the beach.  He created this time of stillness for me, knowing that I will joyfully return to this breathtaking scenery again the next day.  In fact, I think I’ll stay another blissful week.

 

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