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Make no mistake, I am totally biased when it comes to #beachlifeliving. As someone who has spent most of their life in the northern inland states with only occasional access to a beach, I feel like I have always had a natural attraction to coastal regions and I know I'm certainly not the only one (as the price of real estate near beaches certainly reflect that.) But, hear me out here, apparently science has some answers to why humans are so entranced with ocean-based lifestyles. I was recently doing some research about the health benefits of living near a beach, and perhaps not surprisingly, scientists believe there may be a lot!
According to multiple sources including Professor Lora Fleming, epidemiologist of England's University of Exeter, who also studies human health exposures and effects of harmful algal bloom toxins, our environment has an undeniable impact on our overall health and wellness.
From vitamins to better relaxation, heightened motivation and so much more -- science is now suggesting that living near a beach has its array of benefits beyond that of just a bragging right.
Here are 5 surprising health benefits of living near a beach.
1. Beaches are exceptionally therapeutic
For those who enjoy the sounds of waves crashing against the shore and the calming effects of the color blue, it's no wonder that beaches can help promote relaxation. But, believe it or not, one study concluded that among participants those who merely looked at photos of the beach while in stressful situations like dental surgery felt less pain. While studies are still in the early stages, there is evidence to suggest that the beach has exceptionally therapeutic effects and people who live near beaches report overall better health. I personally admit that there's nothing like watching a sunset over the ocean to really help meditation and putting your life into perspective.
2. Beaches promote an active lifestyle
Good weather mixed with a great atmosphere is just about enough to motivate anyone to get out and about. Even the simplest walk on the beach or digging around for seashells can count as a workout, let alone if you partake in any other ocean-based activities like surfing and swimming -- and yes, beach yoga counts! It's only a huge bonus that all the tourist attractions in coastal areas also help to promote active lifestyles (imagine walking around Disney World all day) -- it is truly a win-win. Plus, all of this stimulation is equally as good for your brain as it is your body.
3. Beach lifestyles are linked to increased vitamin D production
This sort of goes hand-in-hand with #2 because the more time you spend outside in the sun, the more vitamin D your body is able to produce. Have you ever heard of seasonal depression? Doctors often think that a leading cause of this depression is due to a lack of -- you guessed it -- vitamin D. Our bodies need sunlight (but not too much or else you'll become The Sunburnt Blogger) to interact with chemicals in our skin to produce vitamin D3. Believe it or not, this vitamin is essential to our good health and its deficiency has been linked to an array of major health problems besides depression.
4. Salt water is good for skin
Next time you are swimming in salt water you can feel good knowing that it is not only an excellent exfoliant that will help you shed dead skin cells and perhaps even deter acne, but it's rich with minerals such magnesium, calcium, and potassium that your body may absorb. That being said, ocean water should not be used in or around open wounds, and it definitely should not be consumed. If you want to use purified sea salt for wound healing and garnishing, you can purchase some here.
5. Beaches promote healthy eating
Fresh seafood anyone? There are plenty of studies to suggest that seafood is one of the best protein sources around and high in omega-3 fatty acids, not to mention, fresh seafood is touted as being a healthier alternative to farmed fish. Living by an ocean almost certainly means there will be local fishermen serving up the day's catch fresh off the boat. Even if you aren't a seafoodie, an active lifestyle naturally encourages healthy eating habits -- so perhaps you will be more likely to pick up a salad as opposed to a burger after your long romantic walk on the beach.
So, are you convinced? Let me know in the comments below how you feel about the health benefits of living near a beach and don't forget to check out my many other posts about beach living!