The sea in winter. 10 benefits for mind and body
The sea in winter, the positive effects on psychophysical health
The winter sea offers postcard views and is also a cure-all for mental and physical health. This is due to the presence of iodine and salt which work as a natural nebulizer treatment and an effective cure for many diseases.
According to a research by the University of Ghent (Belgium) together with the Flemish Institute for the Sea (VLIZ), the marine spray, i.e. the sea water vaporized into the air by waves, interacts with human genes involved in the formation of lung cancer and cholesterol, inhibiting them.
Furthermore, from a study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (IS Global) published in the scientific journal Environmental Research, the Blue Therapy has a positive effect on well-being and mood. With Blue Therapy we mean short and frequent walks in areas where there is water, such as beaches, lakes, rivers or near fountains. These are called blue spaces.
The IS Global study is based on data from 59 adults who, for a week, spent 20 minutes a day walking in blue spaces. Then, during another week they walked within the urban environment of Barcelona. Finally, during the third week they rested at home. Before, during and after each activity, the researchers measured the participants’ blood pressure and heart rate and used questionnaires to assess their well-being and mood.
The researchers observed a significant improvement in the well-being and mood of the participants immediately after a walk in a blue space, compared to that of walking in the city or resting. In particular, a short walk on the beach of the Catalan city helped to improve their mood, vitality and mental health.
Even Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist and research associate at the California Academy of Sciences, in his book ‘Blue Mind. Mind and Water’ highlighted the positive effects that sea water can have on our body, mind and spirit, sharing the results of over ten years of studies between evolutionary biology and medical research.
Therefore, the sea is not only the perfect destination for summer holidays, but also a natural medicine. And especially during the colder season it offers a precious support for our health.
The Sea in winter: 10 benefits for the mind-body wellness
The winter sea fosters the well-being and has positive effects on the health of adults and children:
- Natural nebulizer treatment. The sea air is full of mineral salts, such as sodium and magnesium chloride, iodine, calcium, potassium, bromine and silicon. They have an anti-inflammatory and mucolytic effect that improves the conditions of those suffering from allergies, chronic sinusitis, asthma, cough, bronchitis, nasopharyngitis and respiratory tract infections. The best time to walk by the sea is between 9 AM and 12 PM and between 4 PM and 7 PM;
- Beach walking. Beach walking, that is walking on the water’s edge, relieves the legs, counteracts water retention, improves blood pressure, lymphatic and venous circulation, promotes the elimination of excess fluids;
- Strengthening of muscles and the immune system. Walking on the sand, like the soft white one by the splendid Sardinian sea, slims the calves and strengthens the leg muscles. It relieves the sense of swelling and heaviness. Moreover, the trace elements in the sea water stimulate the immune system and help restore the body’s homeostasis;
- Foot health. Unlike a walk on the asphalt, walking by the sea, especially barefoot, strengthens the muscles of the entire plantar fascia. In addition, it allows to consume more calories as the foot exerts more pressure. Finally, the exfoliating action of the sand remove the dead skin cells;
- Stimulation of metabolism. The marine climate facilitates the correct functioning of the metabolism. This is due to the presence of iodine which helps the body to quickly burn fat;
- Vitamin D. On a beautiful winter day, a long walk by the sea is an excellent form of exercise at any age. In addition, it allows to fill up on Vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for proper bone development and to prevent osteoporosis;
- More happiness. A walk on the beach relieves headaches and reduces aggression. It also stimulates the production of serotonin, the so-called happiness hormone, and releases endorphins with positive effects on mood. Remember that serotonin also regulates circadian rhythms (sleep-wake cycle), appetite and sexual desire;
- Easier introspection. Taking a walk to the sea in winter helps to relax your mind and change your perspective on things. Furthermore, it favors contact with a more intimate dimension of ourselves;
- Less stress. The sound of the waves, the rhythm of the undertow and the blue color of the sea, considered the color of calm in chromotherapy, have a relaxing effect. They alleviate anxiety and give an incredible feeling of well-being;
- The Blue Mind. The sense of peace we feel by the sea is what Wallace J. Nichols calls the Blue Mind. This is the ability of water to instill tranquility, serenity and harmony. It calms tensions, increases empathy and stimulates creativity.
Do you want to discover the benefits of the sea and live a dream vacation in a real paradise? Book a stay at the Forte Village Resort in Sardinia.