Why Living Near the Gulf of Mexico Is Good For Your Health
There's a near-endless list of good reasons to live near a large body of water like the Gulf of Mexico. Anyone can imagine how fun and luxurious it could be to live in a condo by the beach, but how many people know that living near a large body of water can improve their health? There are many benefits to living near the water, including improved mental and physical health. Ocean air is fresh and clean, and the sound of waves can be soothing and calming. Plus, swimming in the ocean is a great way to stay fit. Need more evidence? Keep reading to learn about fact-based health advantages of the waterfront lifestyle.
Access to Water Reduces Stress
In addition to the luxuries of waterfront living, studies have shown that exposure to water can reduce stress levels and even lower blood pressure. This is because being near the ocean or other bodies of water puts us in a naturally calming environment with soothing sights, sounds, and smells. In fact, some research has found that just looking at pictures of the ocean can lower heart rate and blood pressure.
Have you ever gotten out of the car after a long drive to the beach, smelled the ocean air, and immediately felt your body unwind? You're not imagining things.
Experts have proven that air exposed to a large body of water, such as the ocean or the Gulf, contains an additional electron. Known as "negative ion air," these potent molecules are theorized to improve your mood and even reduce the depressing feelings of seasonal affective disorder.
With that in mind, don't hesitate to take a trip to the coast the next winter!
Less Polluted Air
One of the most significant benefits of living near the ocean (or another body of water) is that you'll breathe less polluted air, which reduces your risk for lung disease and cancer. Unlike many large cities, where pollution levels can be dangerously high, bodies of water act as natural filters that clean the air.
Plus, being near a body of water limits the amount of development that can occur. Landlocked areas face the threat of never-ending ocean sprawl. While there have been some attempts to construct buildings on top of a body of water, the ocean generally prevents overdevelopment.
It's also believed that oceanside communities have more oxygen in the air than other areas. How can this be true? The exact amount of oxygen in the air at any given time is challenging to estimate accurately. However, it's proven that more than 50% of the Earth's oxygen comes from the ocean. It stands to reason that people living closer to the ocean would be surrounded by more oxygen.
Living near the ocean also means more sunshine in your life. Studies have shown that people who live closer to the equator have lower rates of depression and stronger resistance to illness, likely due to increased vitamin D levels from spending time outdoors under the sun's rays.
Out of all of the states in the continental U.S., Florida is the closest to the equator. It's no wonder they call it The Sunshine State! The Destin area averages 226 sunny days per year, which makes it hard to be in a bad mood.
Health professionals agree that allowing time every week for safe sun exposure can increase levels of serotonin, leading to overall improved feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
Plenty of Options For Low Impact Exercise
Another great benefit of living near the ocean or a large body of water is that you have low-impact access to physical activity. Swimming and other water sports are perfect for people who have joint problems or suffer from back pain, as these activities put little weight on the body.
Across the board, doctors and other health researchers agree that a minimum of 150 minutes of modern aerobic activity per week is essential for maintaining optimal health.
Moderate aerobic activity is any sustained activity that uses large muscle groups and gets your heart rate up to a moderate level. Activities like walking, jogging, biking, and swimming are considered moderate aerobic activities. For reference, moderate aerobic activity should increase your heart rate in breathing enough that you sound winded when you talk.
Even a Partial Water View Improves Health
While you'll undoubtedly reap more health benefits if you live right on the beach or near a large body of water, simply having a view of the ocean can have positive mental and physical effects. The soothing sound of waves crashing on shore can help improve your mood, while research suggests that just looking at a photo of the ocean can increase feelings of calmness.
From a psychological point of view, the color blue is proven to bolster peaceful feelings. Imagine the long-term calming effects of waking up every morning at a Gulfview condo in Destin and gazing out across the emerald waters.
That said, you don't need to live right on the beach to enjoy the health benefits of the Gulf. Making the time at least to visit the water twice a week can have a noticeable effect on your mood and health. Some research suggests that surrounding yourself with the emerald-blue Gulf waters can enhance your creativity.
Time Spent On the Water Is In Our DNA
As human beings, we seem to be hard-wired for interaction with the forces of nature. Studies have shown that people who relocate to coastal settings tend to live longer lives than those who don't.
It's been speculated that this has something to do with our ancient DNA, which gives us a psychological need to interact with our natural environment.
What's your favorite activity on the water? If you've ever experienced the bliss of a great kayaking trip or a day of surfing, you've probably noticed how stress seems to just melt away.
Researchers have proven that time spent focusing intensely on a water-based activity can boost self-esteem and lower anxiety. The evidence isn't just anecdotal, either. Physiologically, time spent in or on the water consistently lowers the blood pressure and levels of stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine.
While the scientific reasoning may be too technical to grasp, the evidence is clear: time in or around a large body of water like the Gulf of Mexico can improve focus, mental health, and physical health.
Sleep is essential for overall health. It's one of the most overlooked health requirements of the modern era. It can be challenging to get high-quality rest when you live a stressful or busy life, dominated by constant glowing screens.
Several aspects of coastal living increase sleep quality.
As mentioned above, the increased exposure to sunlight is a significant health perk associated with life in the water. It may seem counterintuitive, but seeing more sunlight during the day makes it easier to fall asleep at night.
The reason lies without circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is the cyclical pattern that helps your body time its physiological processes.
When you live by the ocean or another body of water, the increased sunlight cues your circadian rhythm and makes it easier to synchronize with a good sleep pattern.
Your body's natural circadian rhythm is dedicated to the sun. Unobstructed sunrise and sunset views help you keep your rhythm fine-tuned in today's screen-lit world. After dark, a slow walk on the beach can induce your brain's natural melatonin production, making it easier to relax and fall asleep.
Indeed, something intrinsically relaxing about being near sea breezes and waves makes it easier to doze off at night. Instead of hearing the hum of traffic and blaring horns at bedtime, people living near the ocean can fall asleep to the sound of waves gently rolling onto the beach.
Increased Vitamin D Enhances Numerous Health Indicators
People who work inside all day are more likely to experience vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, and it's a pivotal contributor to the effectiveness of your immune system.
Cold-climate inhabitants in areas with long, dark winters are especially vulnerable to low levels of vitamin D, as exposure to sunlight is our most abundant resource for the essential nutrient.
When you're living in a high sunshine waterside community it's easy to get outside. Some days, it's hard to stay inside. People who spend a lot of time outdoors in a coastal community are less likely to experience severe bone disease and illnesses that reduce their quality of life.
Vitamin D regulates the body's ability to absorb calcium. People living by the ocean can skip the hard-to-swallow supplements and get the vitamins they need by walking out their front doors.
Experience the Health Improvements of Life by the Gulf
If you're looking for ways to improve your health, moving closer to a place like Panama City Beach Florida may be one of the best decisions you ever make. The salty air, gentle breezes, and stunning views can work wonders on your mind and body, providing many health benefits that are hard to find anywhere else. Visit the Gulf today to get a sense of the remarkable improvements it can bring to your life.