The Surprising Health Benefits of Beachside Living
South Australians feel a special connection to the coast, and we are blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world - so it’s no surprise we love to live as close to them as possible. Beach front property is some of the most expensive in the country, but at Village Green Aldinga, the beach lifestyle is a real option.
More than just a beautiful view, and the smells and sounds of the seaside, there are many health and social benefits to beachside living - here are just a few of the bonuses;
Recuperation - The ocean is a place people have traditionally gone to ‘heal’ and recuperate, both physically and emotionally, and to leave the worries and stresses of their work lives behind them. In Australia, people flock to our beaches every summer season to escape the heat and enjoy the ocean breezes. But it is a shared sense of freedom that comes from floating, jumping, diving, splashing in the waves, and throwing a ball or playing a game of cricket on the beach that we all truly love. The mere act of shedding your street clothes and donning a bathing suit with dozens (and even hundreds) of others, is an experience unique to the beach. It’s literally lightening yourself from the load of clothes and worries, and behaving in a more carefree way – the beach is a place to relax and play in the sun and sea, just for the sake of playing!
The Sounds of the Ocean – you may have noticed that whenever you’re by the beach you feel instantly calmed by the sounds of the waves – whether they’re gently washing the beach, or crashing down. There is a theory that wave patterns in your brain are altered by the sound of the ocean waves and help to induce a tranquil state of mind. One of the most popular ‘relaxation’ audio tapes purchased to help people de-stress or fall asleep, is ocean sounds. Research has shown that listening to the sounds of the sea lapping against the shoreline can actually reduce blood pressure – and stress.
The Combination of the Sun and the Ocean on your skin – exposing your skin to sunlight allows you the benefit of absorbing a necessary source of vitamin D. You need to be careful, especially in Australia, about the level of sun exposure you have, and be sensible about covering up in the height of the day, wearing sunscreen, hats and sleeves for any prolonged exposure. But getting a regular dose of vitamin D when the sun is at its gentlest (in the morning perhaps) may help to combat diseases such as cancer, depression and heart disease. The heat from the sun on your skin causes your body to release endorphins, which can help you unwind and feel relaxed and happy. Exposure to sunlight also helps to improve skin conditions such as psoriasis – and the combination of sun and salt water can greatly improve skin conditions like dermatitis. Salt and potassium chloride are thought to be the main components in sea water for healing skin conditions.
The Benefits of the Ocean Air – What is it about the satisfaction of a large gulp of ocean air? While it’s not something you can pick up with your nose, scientists have discovered that ocean air has more negative ions in it than, say, city air – and that taking a few big gulps of it may improve your health! A higher intake of negative ions is thought to have a positive effect on mood – and possibly other physical health benefits as well. Clearly living near the beach will mean you’ll enjoy those negative ions more of the time, and recive more benefits than those who are limited to weekend trips to the beach!
Healing Properties of Ocean Water - Sea water contains many beneficial components, including calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. For centuries people have used healing therapies and potions derived from the sea in an effort to live a longer and healthier life. The components found in sea water and sea salt are believed to help;
Calm the mind
Improve skin conditions
Psychological Benefits – in addition to literally ‘shedding’ your clothes, a visit to the beach can help you to shed your worries as well. In the salted waters of the sea, your body can become easily buoyant – more so than your average chlorinated swimming pool – and the simple pleasure of laying back, relaxing, and surrendering to the support of the sea can help to completely clear your mind and put you into a near-meditative state. Many people find swimming and floating deeply therapeutic. Using snorkel and goggles, and submerging entirely beneath the waves for an exploration, can make even suburban beaches a visit to fascinating foreign terrain – there is nothing quite like the feeling of being entirely immersed in a new world, with its muted underwater sounds, the ability to glide around without touching down, and seeing the sea creatures around you. It’s meditative, inspiring, and physically active all at the same time!
Full Body Exercise – swimming makes you use your body in a different way to walking or other land exercises – and prolonged exercise in the cooler waters of SA will make you burn additional calories – and make you HUNGRY! In cold sea water, your body is burning calories both to support the physical activity of swimming, but also to keep your body temperature at a safe level – cooler water means you’ll burn more calories than water closer to body temperature. This explains why an afternoon at the beach will have you coming home ravenous to eat! Ocean swimming has been linked to boosted immunity, muscle relaxation, and increased circulation. It’s also excellent for sports rehab – particularly knees – the water supports the injured joint during activity, but also provides a gentle resistance useful during exercise.
Beach Activities – the beach is an inclusive place, equally welcoming if you’re alone, or with a group of people. If you’re alone, you can go and soak up the atmosphere on your own, set up an umbrella, sit on your towel and read a book or listen to music. Depending on when you go (a busy holiday weekend will bring with it lots of sun-seekers and summer activity, or you might prefer to go on a morning during the week – when you’ll be sharing the whole coastline with only a few others.) You can take Fido to Aldinga’s dog friendly beach, throw a ball or a Frisbee, swim or run together. Families and groups of people can have a bbq at the public facilities on the Esplanade, a swim or snorkel, body surf or kayak, and then perhaps a game of beach volleyball or cricket together. While ‘sunbaking’ is a dying pastime, lathering on the sun-screen and laying back on your towel to enjoy the feeling of the sun on your skin will never go out of fashion. Make sure that you’re covered in the event you fall asleep – most beach-going Aussies have done it at least once in our lives and woken to blisters and regret!
Living near a pristine beach is a lifestyle for all seasons. During the summer, it’s jumping with activity and energy and colour, and the chance to go for a walk and meet new people – and just play. During the spring, you can take your car onto the Aldinga beach for a drive, and enjoy the sunrise in this pristine environment. During Autumn you can make the beach a part of your exercise routine, walking (or cycling) every morning along the shores will start you out on the right foot, and remind you to savour all the moments of your day. The sea takes on a special kind of personality in winter, and we highly recommend rugging-up and going to the shore to contemplate it as the sun sets – and take photographs. Beach living offers so much, and often contradictory things; relaxing and energising, rejuvenating and exhausting, inspiring and satisfying and… sand in your bathers! But best of all, at Village Green Aldinga, it’s accessible – give us a call to find out how you could be living beachside soon!