Science Explains How The Beach Can Change Our Brains And Mental Health

The Beach Can Change Our Brains And Mental Health

Have you ever spent a day at the beach and come back home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated? You may readily agree that the beach has a calming effect, but did you also know that being at the beach can have a dramatic effect on your health and well-being and can even change your brain. Let’s take a look at some of the scientifically backed benefits that the beach can offer.

Lora Fleming of the University of Exeter in England says the idea that the beach helps our health is well established. As early as the 18th century doctors use to prescribe trips to the ocean to visit “bathing hospitals”. Bathing hospitals wee specially designed clinics that provided seawater  bath treatments.

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Best beaches in México

Winning tip: beach huts and hammocks at Punta Zicatela

Hidden away at the far end of Puerto Escondido’s five-mile beach, Punta Zicatela is a cross between surfer paradise and hippy hideaway. By far the best place to swim in town, La Punta is centred on a street of cafes, surf shops, hostels and restaurants. Cabañas Buena Onda (bed in dorms from about £4) is a simple hostel on the beach offering individual huts, dormitories and tents. The palm trees provide much-needed shade, a place to sling a hammock, and give the place an authentic, jungle feel. There is a simple kitchen and basic washing facilities – don’t go there if you want the full spa treatment – but there are few better places in Mexico to watch the sunset than from one of their beach chairs with a cold Caguama beer. By night, the Punta is generally quiet – jump in a taxi to Zicatela for bars and nightclubs – but there are also plenty of opportunities for card games, impromptu acoustic concerts and stargazing.

Tulum: peace, quiet and ruins

Imagine sand as soft as sifted flour, a cyan sky and 13th-century Mayan ruins atop a rocky cliff and you have Tulum, a refreshingly unreconstructed resort on Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula. Compared with Cancún, 80 miles to the north, Tulum will appeal to those who want to let the silence in and experience a sense of timelessness. We stayed at the Secret Garden Tulum Hotel (doubles from £63) which offers a green oasis at reasonable prices. For a dip there are natural limestone pools nearby – and the warm Caribbean sea of course.

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