Proximity to the ocean can have a positive impact on your health: the closer you are to the sea, the better you feel. In fact, doctors have been prescribing curative trips to the shore from as early as the 18th century, and recent studies suggest the link between the ocean and health is a scientific fact.


Not only does the seaside promote good physical health, but there’s also much to be said for how it improves your mental well-being too.


Being near to the ocean is relaxing. Researchers have found that the sound of waves alters brain patterns, which lulls you into a deeply relaxed state and rejuvenates body and mind. Also, the seaside encourages physical activity, even if it’s simply a walk on the beach.


Besides the natural exfoliation your feet get from beach sand, walking on the beach provides considerably more exercise than walking on a flatter surface, like lawn. This is because your body is constantly counter-balancing the uneven surface of the sand, effectively working your calves, thighs, and gluteal muscles, without you even realising it.


Swimming in the sea gives you a full-body workout, improves circulation, and increases your immune system function. Studies have shown that the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in seawater produce antibiotic and antibacterial effects that promote immunity. Furthermore, swimming in warm seawater activates the body’s healing mechanisms to fight conditions such as asthma, arthritis, bronchitis and inflammatory diseases, as well as common aches and pains.


The seaside is good for your skin too. Scientists have claimed that the magnesium in seawater increases skin’s elasticity, hydrates it, and improves its appearance. Salt and potassium chloride, which are naturally found in seawater, are great healers. And, a certain amount of sun can be good for some skin complaints such as psoriasis. This is because a small amount of ultra violet radiation from the sun’s rays helps dry the skin and promotes healing.


Ocean air has health benefits too. The negative ions in sea air accelerate your ability to absorb oxygen, and balance your serotonin levels, a body chemical linked with mood and stress.



Being near to the ocean greatly affects mental wellbeing. As you sit on the beach listening to the roar of the waves, feeling the ocean breeze blow through your hair and enjoy the warmth of the sun on your skin, you feel wonderful. This seaside buzz is known as “thalassotherapy”, a term coined by Hippocrates.


The rhythmic sound of the waves pounding the shore enables a meditative state. The benefits of meditation are far reaching: stress reduction, deep relaxation, increased happiness, improved peace of mind, spontaneity and heightened creativity. Furthermore, meditation is said to help you discover your purpose in life. Think of it as perspective: a year spent in an office cubicle and city environment shortens your visual horizons – you stare into a screen all day, and when you look up, your view of the sky is framed by an office window or traffic light. At the beach, the endless horizon of the sea is so large, you can almost (almost) perceive the curve of the earth. The visual stimuli your brain receives from this view literally opens your mind to new opportunities and experiences.


While you’re sitting on the beach pondering the meaning of life, the heat of the sun is working away at your endocrine system, enabling it to secrete endorphins – the body’s feel-good chemicals. The salt in seawater also aids your mental wellbeing by preserving the melatonin, tryptamine and serotonin levels in your brain, which fight off depression.


Oceanside vacations promote healthy eating too, which in turn affects your state of mind. Scientists have discovered that people who eat fish regularly are less likely to suffer from depression than those who eschew seafood. A marine diet is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids that promote brain cell growth.


Article courtesy of Sun International

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