Exploring the Benefits of Coastal Health and Healing
Couple Enjoying Romantic Beach Holiday

“Live in the Sunshine, Swim the Sea, Drink the Wild Air…”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ever notice you’re more alert, calm, relaxed, and in better spirits after a day at the beach? The invigorating fresh air, the soothing sound of the ocean waves, and the warm sun are some of the reasons we love to spend time by the sea. Now, a scientific study suggests we should live by the sea . . . as if we need an excuse!

“Live in the Sunshine, Swim the Sea, Drink the Wild Air…”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Health Advantages of the Coast

The study, conducted by the European Centre for Environment & Human Health, concludes that populations living by the sea report rates of good health more than similar populations living inland. Researchers took into account sex, age, and socioeconomic status; however, the link between good health and living near the coast was strongest in the most deprived areas, suggesting that financial wealth has nothing to do with the results.

Another study by the Centre in collaboration with Natural England reveals that visits to the coast leave people feeling calmer and more revitalized than visits to city parks or the countryside. While science has yet to prove exactly why living by the coast affects our health and wellbeing, there is strong evidence correlating the two.

Healing By the Sea

Sea salt water is comprised of many beneficial components such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.  The main component, however, is sodium chloride which has a magnitude of healing power. Sea salt is known to activate your body’s natural self-healing, and provide positive psychological and therapeutic effects. Also, tens of thousands of negative ions are emitted in this environment, relieving stress and boosting your mood.

Benefits of the sea:

  • Energy levels increase.
  • Preserves serotonin and melatonin hormones, which help the body to relax and promote a better night’s rest.
  • Relieves and hydrates dry and itchy skin, and naturally opens up the pores.
  • Helps to relieve muscle pains.
  • Reduces inflammation in the respiratory system, therefore slowing down the production of phlegm.
  • Helps to alkalize the body.
  • Stimulates a strong immune system.
  • Calms nerves.
  • Naturally detoxifies the skin and exfoliates dead skin cells.
  • Helps to heal wounds and reduce infection.
  • Flushes out toxins.

A Little Bit of Sunshine Goes a Long Way

One of the most important dietary deficiencies in the world today is vitamin D. It has been proven that people with adequate levels of Vitamin D have a significantly lower risk of developing cancer. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, researchers have found that vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in cancer patients, regardless of nutritional status. Consequently, vitamin D is a necessary component for good health.

Vitamin D regulates the immune system, helps fight depression, balances calcium (which helps to maintain healthy bones), and reduces anxiety. It is recommended to expose unprotected skin to at least two 15-minute sun sessions a day in order to receive the right dosage of vitamin D . . . which is obviously much easier to achieve if you live near the beach!

Beach Body Workout

In addition to the health benefits already mentioned, oceanside living provides better opportunities for exercise. Running or jogging barefoot in the sand is considered an excellent workout. Muscles are forced to work harder since the sand gives with every step, and going barefoot increases strength in the feet. Plus, sand is a natural exfoliator for those heels and toes. A morning walk along the beach can be just as invigorating. Also, ocean swimming is an excellent and challenging cardiovascular exercise. The water’s natural tides provide resistance, yielding a solid full-body beach workout.

R & R

Now this is something you all know . . . the beach is one of the best places for a little rest and relaxation. Traditionally, the beach is a vacation destination where people flock to recoup and regroup. The beach reconnects us with nature and the simple side of life. Listening to the ebb and flow of the ocean waves can be very therapeutic. For additional rejuvenation, try meditating, or reading a book. Regenerate your body. Clear your mind. Or explore your creative side and build a sand castle. Think of all the stress that could be eliminated by having easy access to the beach on a daily basis.

So go ahead . . . seek out that beachfront property and ye shall find a happier, healthier body and mind.

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Cited Sources

Benefits of Sea Salt.LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 2012. Web. 26 Aug. 2012. https://www.livestrong.com/benefits-of-sea-salt/.

Coastal Populations Are Healthier Than Those Inland, UK Study Finds.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2012. Web. 26 Aug. 2012. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120716191439.htm.

Nordqvist, Christian. “What Is Vitamin D? What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin D?Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 24 Aug. 2009. Web. 26 Aug. 2012. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161618.php.

Swenson, Herbert. “Why Is the Ocean Salty?” Why Is the Ocean Salty? US Geological Survey Publication, n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2012. https://www.palomar.edu/oceanography/salty_ocean.htm.