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Do You Know the Health Benefits of Going to the Beach?

Mon July 22nd, 2019

Barefoot Beach Bonita Springs

In Southwest Florida, the beach is a short walk or ride away for many people, but are there really health benefits from visiting the beach?

As early as the 18th century, doctors prescribed trips to the seashore or a visit to a “bathing hospital” where they practiced “sea bathing.” Respiratory and glandular complaints were thought to benefit from this type of treatment.

Bath hospitals often had open areas for access to fresh air. Bath nurses would escort patients to be immersed in sea water. Maybe a combination of better food and fresh air, coupled with the sea water treatments, helped contribute to patients feeling better after visiting a bathing hospital.

Today, there are no longer bathing hospitals, but living close to the sea may be good for your health. If you think about it, having a picture of the beach on the wall or even as a screen saver on your computer promotes feelings of well-being when viewed.

According to NBC News, science says the surf and sand does the mind and body good! Data published in the journal Health Place reported better physical and mental health for individuals who live by the coast.

Also, a study in the Journal of Coastal Zone Management showed those who live in a residence with a view of the ocean report feeling calmer than others who don’t.

So, why does the beach boost mood? There are a few contributing factors, including:

  • The color blue boosts creativity
  • Our brain waves’ frequency changes when we look at the ocean, it puts us in a mild meditative state
  • The sounds of the waves de-stimulates our brains and activates our parasympathetic nervous system which slows us down so we can relax
  • The salty smell of the ocean and ocean breeze helps soothe us. It could in part be the negative ions we breathe in that occurs around places like oceans and water falls
  • Putting our feet in the warm sand is also soothing and relaxing
  • There is also a placebo component because we all expect the beach to be a place to relax and unwind
  • No wonder, according to Coastal Living, Naples and Marco Island are ranked number one when it comes to the happiest and healthiest places to live at the beach
  • A survey reports residents living here in Southwest Florida have the lowest worry, stress and depression and highest levels of life enjoyment. Many SWFL residents moved here because of our beautiful beaches but get caught up in work and activities so much that they rarely visit the beach
  • If you haven’t been to the beach on a while, make time for yourself and go relax and recharge. You will be happy you did!

Source: NBC News, historic-hospitals.com, wide open eats, coastal living