North Shore Beaches

3 Ways The Ocean Boosts Your Well-being

Here at North Shore Explorers we consider the ocean an honorary member of our family. The ocean has a way of making people feel like relaxed and we can’t get enough. Many people will visit the beach to unwind, escape and engulf themselves in paradise.

Marine Biologist and NY Times Best Selling Author, Wallace Nichols, has conducted several studies on how the water (in our case the ocean) does the brain good. Nichols says, “we all naturally have a ‘blue mind’ which is a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment.”

We’ve put together some of Nichols’ work to bring to you 3 ways the ocean boosts your well-being. Keep reading to learn more.

  1. The Ocean Relaxes Our Brain

The ocean stands as a sort of vacation for our mind; it gives it a break. For most of us, our days consist of technology coming at us in all directions. Our brains are also typically swamped with information from the outside world – everything we see, hear or touch works our mind.

Just like any muscle in your body needs to be rested after repetitive stress, so does our brain. The sight and sound of the water is much simpler for your brain to process than the city noises and tv screens we associate with on a day to day basis.

All in all, the ocean allows your brain to work less.

  1. The Ocean Inspires Us to be Better

The relaxing and introspective influence that the ocean has on your brain allows you to take a step back and experience a state of amazement. The vastness of the ocean also increases your feeling of reverence towards life and the beauty around you. This helps your brain to essentially switch gears from the perspective of “I” to “we”.

When we can separate ourselves from an egocentric attitude and join a more universal mindset we heighten our empathy and connection to others. Can you imagine for a second what the world would be like if everyone lived in a home with a view of the ocean? Dare I say world peace?!

  1. Exercise by the Ocean Proves Beneficial

It is no secret that exercise is a natural (and healthy) stress-reducer. Whether you’re in it or your toes are in the sand next to it, top that experience with an extra boost from the ocean. Dr. Nichols says that “exercising out in nature, especially by [the ocean, creates] a different environment for your brain than being inside a gym where there is loud music playing, tv screens, and loads of people.”

We feel so blessed to be able to share our love of the ocean and our passion for adventure with others. We encourage all who are able to experience the beauty that is Hawaii at least once in their life. Here at NSE we offer it all – surfing, scuba diving, kayaking, paddle boarding – the list goes on. Give us a call, let us help you make adventure happen!

Stand Up Paddle Surfing: Then & Now

If you’ve noticed heavier crowds through Sunset Beach on Oahu’s North Shore it’s more than likely due to the 2017 World Tour Opener, Sunset Beach Pro, for Stand Up Paddle Surfing. The APP (Association of PaddleSurf Professionals) World Tour delivers live and post-produced coverage from the very best in the world battling it out year-round for Professional Paddle Surfing & Racing World Championship Titles across premier networks worldwide.

The Sunset Beach Pro opened February 11th and ended on February 24th. The contest featured Men, Women and Youth divisions. Consisting of both trials (open entry) and main event, with the top four trialists advancing to the main even in both Men and Women divisions.

Although SUP has more recently become an organized sport, stand up paddling in some form or another, has been around for thousands of years. Ancient cultures from South America to Africa used boards, canoes, and other watercraft propelled with a long stick to travel, fish and even ride waves. And while stand up paddling may have developed in various places around the world, the modern surfing tradition has undeniable Hawaiian ancestry. In the 1940s surf instructors in Waikiki, like Duke Kahanamoku, Leroy and Bobby AhChoy, would take paddles and stand on their boards to get a better view of the surfers in the water and incoming swells. From time to time they would surf the waves themselves using the paddle to steer the board.

Overtime the respect and popularity for SUP has grown tremendously. The sport has been found to provide a great core workout, as well as increased visibility both above and into the water, making it 2009’s single fastest growing part of paddle sports in North America.

The slower traffic through Sunset Beach may be less than desirable in these next few weeks, but take some time to appreciate the fast-growing sport for what it is. Park on the side of the road to watch a heat or two, you’ll be amazed at what the professionals do. If their skill sparks a SUP interest in you, be sure to stop by one of our three North Shore Explorers locations to get your hands (and feet) on one today.


North Shore Explorers