8 Reasons Lake Michigan is Good for your Health


While away the hours looking for Petoskey stones…


Why do we gravitate toward water? Why is it so hypnotic to watch the waves? There is a reason every stretch of waterfront is laden with houses and parks – it’s where we want to be. Those who live near the ocean swear by the healing powers of the salty sea. And there is nothing more soothing than a long stroll on a deserted beach .


In this part of the world, freshwater lakes abound. And although many of us at Sanford House have experienced soaking our heads (and other body parts) in The Bahamas for the medicinal benefits, we can all attest to Lake Michigan’s clear water, restorative nature. We gather up the women as often as we can for excursions to the shore.


Lake Michigan has a surface area of 22,000 square miles! It is the largest lake within one country in the world. There are 1,600 miles of shoreline to walk, stretching from Indiana to Wisconsin. And it is beautiful. Gorgeous – in all its iterations and seasons. We do not take this amazing resource for granted – frankly it would be impossible to discount its splendor…


8 Reasons to Get to the Water’s Edge



As far as the eye can see… Up North, Michigan


1.    Far as the eye can see – There is something tranquilizing about the bigness of Lake Michigan. There are many places where it stretches as far as the eye can see. A great expanse of liquid grey or cobalt or emerald depending on the light and the season.

2.    Lulled by the sound – The waves and the wind are a lullaby. You are getting sleepy.

3.    Looking for Petoskey stones – Those endless beds of round, smooth stones for gathering. And searching for quartz or Petoskey stones to collect is a wonderful distraction from life’s travails…

4.   Wake-up call (it’s cold) – Water is a nurturing element and bobbing in a freshwater lake is soothing. Lake Michigan, however, is a bit nippy even in the summer.

To put it in the positive, wading or taking a dip is a stimulant!

5.   The air is clear – When the wind whistles off the lake, it acts as a filter and the air feels clean and clear – you can breathe it in, all the way to the tips of your lungs.

6.    Natural exercise – A day at the beach and you feel tired, exercised and hungry. It’s all the walking, wading and skipping of stones. And when you are at the lake you feel younger – it’s nothing to jog or jump for joy!

7.    Stimulates the body’s ability to relax – It is pretty difficult to feel stressed or anxious when you are at the lake shore. A retreat to the water brings comfort and the tranquil effects are a wonderful tension reliever.

8.    It’s good for your recovery – The only thing addictive about a walk along Lake Michigan is how great it makes you feel. Being on this big daddy of a lake stimulates every one of the senses. We don’t recommend drinking the water, but an open-mouthed leap into the waves doesn’t illicit the same “yuck” response as the ocean. And the smells, sights, touch and sounds are a symphony.


Lake Michigan 3

Melancholy is okay too…

Getting in Touch With Healing

We turn to the water when we need comfort. To heal our aching bones and our broken hearts. How often does a solo person, deep in thought or prayer, walk on the beach or sit and gaze at the roll of the waves? It makes sense that gravitating toward water would console us – our first relationship was with water.


As we look out at the vastness of Lake Michigan, a line from Shakespeare springs to mind:  to unpathed waters, undreamed shores…



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Marilyn Spiller is a writer, sober coach, recovery advocate, and student of the world. (She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing). Seven years sober herself, she penned one of the first sobriety blogs "Waking Up the Ghost" beginning in 2013. The blog has garnered an international following. Marilyn is Sanford's Director of Marketing and serves as Editor-In-Chief for the Sanford online magazine, "Excursions".