Living near the water is almost universally desirable. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that 36% of vacation home buyers purchased residential property a beach area. Whether you’re choosing a vacation destination or fantasizing about your dream home, chances are you imagine living near the water in a tropical paradise.
Although most people would find a seaside home highly appealing, did you know that living near the water is actually great for your health?
Your health and wellness probably isn’t the first thing you think about when you consider homes to buy, but maybe it should be. How close are the nearest urgent care centers? If you get hurt or sick, can an ambulance take you to promptly to a nearby hospital? Is the local environment conducive to health, with clean air and safe neighborhoods? Even the local grocery stores should be a consideration, since you’ll experience better health if the nearby stores sell healthy foods. There’s a lot more to deciding where to live than knowing which rental house loans you can apply for.
However, the amazing thing about beachside homes is that they have health benefits built-in naturally. From enhanced relaxation to cleaner air, living near the water can be a health benefit just like having United Healthcare insurance. Here we’ll go into detail about how living near the water is beneficial to your holistic health and wellbeing.
Enjoy Fresher, Cleaner Air
You don’t need to be a scientist to be able to tell that sea breeze feels and smells great. But ocean air isn’t just especially pleasant — it comes with its own health benefits, too.
Air that’s been exposed to water is charged with high amounts of negative ions. This is especially the case with air that’s exposed to the ocean. These negative ions help your body to absorb more oxygen, which is believed to increase alertness and improve your mood. As an added bonus, sea air also has higher concentrations of oxygen in it, which means there’s more oxygen in the air for you to absorb.
Besides being an instant mood-booster, sea air has also been shown to improve sleep. In one study, people slept an average of 47 minutes longer on the night following a decent coastal hike. This is compared to people who went on an inland hike, who slept an average of only 12 minutes longer.
You’ve probably experienced these rejuvenating effects during a vacation to the beach. Now imagine experiencing these benefits every day. If you’re looking to buy a house with cash, the sea is the place to be.
Experience a Stronger Immune System
Living near the water doesn’t just boost your mood and help you sleep better. It’s also thought to help strengthen your immune system, which helps you fight off diseases and avoid getting sick.
Most strategies for improving health require you to do something on a regular basis. Eating healthy, working out, and cultivating good mental health can improve your quality of life and help you live longer, but they also demand a fair amount of attention every day. But when you live by the sea, you get to enjoy its health-boosting benefits all the time without even thinking about it. It’s like a 24/7 health care service that looks after your health while you live your best life.
Living near the water doesn’t make you exempt from the normal duties of caring for your health, of course. But being around plants and trees, especially those near the water, can lead to an elevated white blood count. This is because of chemicals called phytoncides, which are produced in high quantities by plants growing near bodies of water. In turn, an increased white blood count helps you fight off illnesses and infections more effectively.
Relax More and Have Clearer Thoughts
The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain associated with emotion and self-reflection, among other things. When this area of the brain is activated, you may find it easier to relax, cultivate positive emotions, and think clearly. What’s fascinating is that the prefrontal cortex has been shown to be engaged whenever people listen to sounds of the ocean. Compare this to experiencing the sounds of traffic, which have been found to increase levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
When you’re more relaxed, it’s easier for your body to heal and for your mind to respond to pressure in a healthy way. When you find it easy to think clearly, you end up making better decisions, both for your health and every other aspect of your life. It’s easy to see how living near the ocean can improve your life in this way.
Be More Active Easily
When you live next to a beach, it’s only natural that you would start to lead a more active lifestyle. Not only can you pursue recreational swimming during the warmer months, but there are several other oceanside activities people frequently participate in. Sailing, surfing, paddleboarding, and even fishing can all engage your mind and body, and keep you healthy and fit.
Water sports aren’t the only activities to pursue when you live on a beach, of course. Thanks to the uplifting, energizing properties of the ocean, you’re likely to find yourself engaging in other physical activities you wouldn’t normally pursue. Many beach towns have vibrant communities of people who enjoy sports and athletics together, from golf to yoga. Bike riding, hiking, and jogging are often easy activities to practice in seaside areas. Even home improvement projects or dock building are things that help keep people active when they buy a new home near the sea.
Experience More Happiness
Everything we’ve looked at so far can contribute to increased feelings of happiness and wellbeing. But the benefits of living near the ocean don’t stop there. Scientists and researchers have found that simply being by the sea causes people to experience greater happiness.
When you’re exposed to water, your mind enters a sort of meditative state known as the blue mind. Scientists have said that looking at or enjoying water causes dopamine to be released in the brain, which is the neurochemical famously associated with pleasure and reward. This means that people who are exposed to water often find themselves to be happier and more relaxed in general.
There are lots of reasons why the sea can cause feelings of happiness. For one thing, it’s thought that the flat plane of the ocean’s surface promotes a feeling of safety and security. Human beings naturally feel safer in places that lack significant complexity. Forests and cities are both highly complex, both visually and audibly, and there are countless natural and social threats to be wary of. But when you’re standing on the beach, you’re able to see for miles across a surface that feels simple and unthreatening. With no potential threats to think about and few distractions, the mind assumes it’s in a predictable, stable environment, and it’s easier to be calm.
Boost Your Mental Health
Better sleep and increased feelings of happiness go hand in hand with better mental health. And scientific studies have been done that specifically showed living near the ocean correlates with good mental health. In fact, living by the sea could help you ward off depression and anxiety.
A certain study look at census data from nearly 50 million adults in England and how they rated their health. The results demonstrated that people who lived near the coast experienced little mental distress, but when they moved inland, their mental health began to suffer.
Another study surveyed almost 26,000 people to analyze their mental health and wellbeing. According to the results, people who lived less than one kilometer from the coast were 22% less likely to experience mental health problems than people who lived 50 kilometers away.
You don’t even have to get into the water to experience these benefits. Simply looking out the window at the vast ocean can calm your mind by putting your worries into perspective. Most of us would probably admit that our daily fears and stressors aren’t nearly as serious as they seem to us, but it’s hard to hold onto that kind of perspective when you’re drowning in little frustrations. But petty concerns often start to seem trivial when you look out into the ocean horizon. This is due to the feelings of awe that often accompany gazing out onto the ocean. The feeling of awe itself has numerous health benefits, as it promotes feelings of calmness, contentment, and release from pride and ego. Many people find that the ocean makes them feel very small, which helps put their lives into a healthier perspective. It even helps people feel more generous. Green spaces like forests can also provide these feelings of calm and awe, but the effects are even greater when you’re surrounded by both greenery and water.
Enjoy the Healing Effects of Saltwater
Improvements in mental health are a somewhat obvious benefit of living near the water, given the ocean’s relaxing sounds and presence. But physical health improvements are another more surprising benefit of living by the sea.
Ocean water is very rich in minerals, including magnesium, sodium, chloride, potassium, iodine, and sulfur. Many of these minerals can have curative and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. In fact, it’s been found that a combination of sea water and UVB radiation (from sunlight) can improve skin problems like dermatitis and psoriasis.
Besides the skin-enhancing mineral content in sea water, sea air contains a mist of saline water, which seems to have a soothing effect on the mucosal lining of the respiratory system. Because of this, people with health conditions like sinusitis may benefit from living near the water.
Of course, the health benefits of being near the sea have been widely known and talked about since the Victorian times, if not earlier. But it’s still exciting to see how science has confirmed so many ideas about the health benefits of the ocean, some of which were merely anecdotal until recently. Going to the seaside for your health means you’ll be taking part in a centuries-old ritual.
Experience a Perpetual Vacation
Even if you aren’t retiring and you still hold down a full-time job, living near the water in a beach town makes it feel like every day is a vacation. And this itself can lead to improved health and wellness, as people naturally feel better when they’re taking a vacation.
Of course, eventually even the most glamorous life starts to feel normal. But as long as you take advantage of the benefits of seaside living and exercise gratitude (which is also a tactic for improving wellbeing), you can avoid losing the feeling of bliss and thankfulness that comes from experiencing a vacation destination.
Imagine walking on the beach every morning, collecting shells and taking pictures of the sunrise. Or going out on the town in the evening, visiting local shops and amazing restaurants. Can you imagine what it would feel like to live that way every day? This kind of lifestyle doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. It’s simply noticing the little opportunities available to enjoy yourself. Nowhere is better for doing that than by the sea.
Enjoy the Benefits of Living Near a Seaside City
For many centuries, people have been drawn to the seaside. This wasn’t just for the amazing physical and psychological benefits of being near the ocean — it was also because the sea was often used as a network for trade between different countries. Because of this economic interest in the sea, numerous cities have sprung up in coastal areas, in places where ships could easily access.
As a result of this, you will find that many of the most beautiful coastal areas in the world are right next to sprawling cities. New Orleans, Los Angeles, and even New York City are just a few examples of major cities built along coastlines. While city living probably isn’t your ideal scenario if you’re looking to live by the sea, being conveniently near a big city can have health benefits of its own.
This is because bigger cities tend to have more services and opportunities for improving your health. From world-class healthcare counseling services to athletic clubs, there’s something for just about everyone in a city like Los Angeles or Miami.
If you prefer to live in a more remote area, you should still be able to find a clinic with telemedicine implementation for long-distance care. Not surprisingly, hospitals and doctors’ offices in larger cities are more likely to have this kind of technology set up.
The latest technology tends to sprout up in big cities before it spreads to other places. Besides resulting in improved, cutting-edge healthcare, this comes with numerous other benefits that can improve your quality of life. For example, there’s more than one virtual school Miami residents can use through the internet, which may be used to supplement in-person learning. This comes with mental health benefits of its own, as continued learning keeps your mind sharp and promotes overall wellness.
Living near the water in a coastal area is great for every part of life, not just your health. But as you can see, the health benefits that come from living by the ocean make it a wonderful idea for anyone looking to find a new home.