sea boost

We explore the health benefits of living by the sea.

Living at West Cliff Mansions means you are close to one of the most remarkable coastlines in the country. Bournemouth beach is well-known for its silky smooth sand and stunning scenery, and it’s a popular destination for holidaymakers, not just from the UK, but from all over the world. During the last year Bournemouth has also become a wellbeing destination, as more and more people begin to explore the health benefits of living by the sea and swimming in cold water.

The link between our oceans, rivers and waterways and our overall wellbeing is not a new concept; Marine biologist, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, has been researching the theory since 2013. His research into the Blue Mind movement reveals a whole host of health benefits for both the body and mind when living near water. There is lots of other research to support this;

Rightmove’s Happy at Home index in 2020 found that on average people are generally happier when living in coastal locations.

So what are the wellbeing benefits of living near the ocean? And why is coldwater swimming becoming increasingly popular?

Reduces cortisol levels
Being near water can reduce your cortisol levels, which is the hormone responsible for stress. Hearing the ebb and flow of water and watching waves move up and down can be incredibly calming and the movement is thought to reduce stress and anxiety and place us in a ‘mildly meditative state’.

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Increases energy levels
Lots of people call upon cold water immersion to clear their minds and set them up for the day. The science suggests that the shock of the water increases your alertness, which in turn makes you feel revitalised and refreshed.

Reduces inflammation
A study by the University of Portsmouth and Royal Sussex County Hospital found that cold water swimmers’ stress and inflammatory responses were lower and they developed fewer colds and infections than their partners.

Mood booster
When diving into icy waters, the body releases a host of chemicals including serotonin, otherwise known as the happy hormone. It does this to fight off the chill, but after being in the water for even just a few seconds the body begins to acclimatise and releases the feel good factor.

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Creates community
There’s no doubt that cold water creates community, with an array of swimming groups, surfing and paddleboarding tribes to join. Bournemouth has a number of watersports groups and training centres, all designed to help people try out a new sport or activity that’s connected to the sea.

Provides purpose
Feeling connected to the natural world can improve our sense of purpose and overall wellbeing. When worked into a daily routine, whether alone or with groups of friends, walking on the beach and/or diving into the sea can help you maintain focus and appreciate your surroundings.

All lifestyle images are indicative only.