We at Hyfe, Inc., are a company devoted to working on tools to better understand the importance of cough. It is Hyfe’s intention in the future to seek regulatory approval for medical products that analyze cough in order that they may be used to diagnose, monitor, and facilitate better treatment of respiratory illnesses.
The beach is a refreshing and enjoyable haven for most people. With its cool breeze, crashing waves, and calming vibe, a visit to the beach can, without a doubt, ease even the most devoted workaholic. So, if simply being at the beach is relaxing according to your intuition, your intuition is correct! Yet, scientific research can explain this feeling of relaxation and reveal how the sea breeze can improve our health. Did you know that even just the seaside air can be healthy for you? So let’s dive in, shall we?
The beach can offer a broad and rich sensory experience. In other words, eyeing the scenery while feeling sand under your feet as you hear the waves and wind, all while drawing in the maritime air, can stimulate pretty much all your senses. The blue oceanic hue produces feelings of calm and peace, and the color blue itself is associated with creativity. Moreover, according to scientists, staring at the ocean can change our brain waves’ frequency, placing us in a relaxed, meditative state. Apart from the ocean’s beautiful color, the sound of the waves effectively relaxes your nervous system. This unwinding is due to activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is involved in relaxing your body and slowing things down. Even the simple act of touching warm sand can help you relax. But, the sea breeze, in particular, plays a unique role.
Sea air is a rich combination of seawater, salt, iodine, magnesium, and trace elements. Research says that this improves your ability to absorb oxygen. When our bodies use oxygen more efficiently, we usually feel more alert. Breathing in sea air also soothes irritation from substances that make you sneeze or cough. People with cystic fibrosis may experience improved lung function by inhaling the salty air. Those with hay fever may also benefit from a trip to the beach as the maritime air may blow pollen and other allergens away.
We are seeing that the sea breeze does a lot of good for our respiratory organs and skin. Additionally, it boosts our immunity and also improves circulation. Visiting the beach may be especially beneficial for asthmatics and people with allergies or skin problems. Dry air and pollution in the city are common issues for these patients, so being in a fresh and clean environment remarkably improves their health. In addition, inhaling sea air can make phlegm easier to cough out, mainly by loosening the mucus that tends to build in our airways.
Other research has shown that the sea breeze may even prevent lung cancer and drop cholesterol levels. Researchers exposed human lung cancer cells to sea air and examined the effects on the genes. They found sea air affected these tumor cells at the gene level, similar to how new cancer therapies and cholesterol reducers affect tumor cells. Research is still ongoing about the extent of improvement sea air can have on our health, but these findings are definitely exciting!
Socially, the beach can also positively affect us. Stress levels are lower, and immunity is much higher. These are ideal conditions to encourage us to live healthier lifestyles and build closer community connections.
Overall, this tells us that reconnecting with nature is healthy for us. Natural substances found in seawater like vitamins, pigments (mainly antioxidants), polyphenols (micronutrients), and phycotoxins (antimicrobial substances) all have powerful beneficial effects on our bodies. Remarkably, the beach does much more than just calm the mind—the maritime scenery also rejuvenates and relaxes the body and allows it to function more efficiently.
If those were not enough, here are the other health benefits you can enjoy if you live by the sea:
Clearly, we cannot discount the numerous health benefits of going to the beach. Who knew just how healthy “vitamin sea” could be? Of course, you do not necessarily have to live by the beach to reap its benefits. So, even just visiting for the day can already have a positive impact.
Mikaela is a dentistry clinician at the University of the Philippines.