Sugar-white sand, rays of golden sunshine, reading a book in a hammock that’s gently swaying in the breeze… sounds like an ideal vacation, doesn’t it? But wouldn’t it be even better if you didn’t have to travel across the country to experience paradise? If the beach was only a 10-minute drive away, or, even better, if you could see it from your kitchen window, there are some unexpected health benefits in store for you!
What are some health benefits of living near the ocean?
When you move to a coastal town or city, you’ll receive more than just beautiful views. Here are some surprising health benefits of moving to the coast:
Benefits of swimming in the ocean:
It is well-known that swimming is a great fat-burning exercise that is also easy on the joints. However, swimming in the ocean offers a few benefits that you won’t find in a pool or lake:
- Improves skin health. Seawater contains essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that you can absorb through your skin. The saltwater and sand also act as natural exfoliates, giving you smoother, healthier skin.
- Boosts your immune system. It is said that the more you swim in the ocean, the better your body will be at fighting infection. Studies have found that those who immerse themselves in cold water multiple times per week have a significantly higher white blood cell count than those who do not; white blood cells are necessary for fighting infection.
- Provides you with a natural high. When you swim in cold water, the chemical that makes us feel good during activities is released. That chemical (endorphins) is activated to help us manage pain.
Benefits of being near the ocean:
City living contributes to a multitude of respiratory conditions. Smog can worsen asthma and dusty, polluted air can lead to allergies. However, when you move to smaller cities and towns near the coast, you can say “goodbye” to car exhaust and factory fumes and say “hello” to cleaner and fresher salt air. Benefits of simply being near the ocean include:
- Improving Oxygen Absorption. According to the experts, as the ocean surf pounds against the beach, the action creates negative ions in the air, similar to those seen after spring thunderstorms. These negative ions increase oxygen flow to your brain, resulting in heightened alertness and awareness, decreased fatigue and greater mental energy. And though research is ongoing, it is said that these negatively charged ions may also alleviate symptoms of respiratory conditions, such as asthma or allergies.
- Reducing Stress Levels. You might already know that drinking water reduces stress because dehydration leads to an increase in cortisol production—the stress hormone that contributes to weight gain and hypertension. However, did you know that simply looking, being close to, and interacting with water can reduce stress levels? Researchers have observed that the human brain is programmed to respond positively to water. For many, living near water provides relief from depression and anxiety while simultaneously boosting creativity, clarity and focus.
- Enhancing Sleep Quality. Many people love the sound of ocean waves pouring in and pulling out in an endless rhythm. The crash and woosh creates their own ambient music. Plus, the steady flow can often calm fussy children and anxious adults. When you listen to ocean waves at night, the sound of the surf can mask other distracting noises that would otherwise interrupt your sleep. Experts have found that those who listen to ocean waves experience reduced muscle tension, stress levels and heart rates, which all play a key role in your overall sleep quality.
Although the occasional vacation, trip or getaway to the beach can give you temporary benefits, you’ll want to move closer to the coast if you want to experience all of these benefits on a regular basis. So… what are you waiting for? Get started by contacting the moving experts at Wheaton World Wide! We can help you get started with your coastal move—and don’t worry, we’ll be here to help until you reach your destination.