The Covid-19 global pandemic has impacted every part of our life, reminding everyone affected by the pandemic of the importance of health and well-being.
We are spending a lot more time at home due to remote work, fewer nights out at our favourite restaurants, or that international travel is off the cards for the year (at least). Therefore, more and more people are now looking for areas to live that welcome natural light and fresh air, especially a lifestyle shift that seeks out a sea or tree change.
Access to beaches and the ocean is often at the top of the list – and for a good reason: research shows that coastal areas provide actual mental and physical health advantages. Scientists have coined the phrase “blue health” to describe this phenomenon, and while it appears that all types of water habitats are beneficial, the beach appears to provide the most benefits.
1. Wash away stress and boost your mental health
The ocean’s soothing effect on mindset is one of its biggest gifts. Watching waves roll in and out, immersing yourself in the water, or just taking a moment to be grateful for the beauty of nature are all mindful exercises with huge rewards.
Recent scientific research shows that coastal living can also help in warding off depression and anxiety.
2. Sea air helps you to sleep better
There’s clear science that backs up the fact that you feel sleepier or more rested after a visit to the seaside.
“Sea air is good for sleep because it’s generally cleaner and fresher, with higher levels of oxygen, which can improve sleep.” said Dr Natasha Bijlani, a psychiatrist from London’s Priory’s Roehampton Hospital
It is also found that people who live near the coast sleep, on average, 47 minutes longer than those who live in the city.
3. Saltwater helps your body heal
Physical health improvements are another potential benefit of living by the sea.
Seawater is rich in minerals such as magnesium, sodium, potassium, iodine and sulphur, many of which have curative and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. Additionally, the sea air contains a mist of saline water, which is shown to have a soothing effect on the respiratory system.
4. A more active, and therefore healthier, lifestyle
A 2014 study from the UK found that coastal proximity increased your chances of being fitter and healthier than those who lived elsewhere – partly due to the fact that those living closer to the sea have higher levels of physical activity
The water provides the chance to get involved in sports all year round, such as sailing, surfing or paddle boarding. Likewise, the coastline provides the perfect opportunity to keep fit through jogging, running and hiking.
Nestled between the mountains and the sea, around an hour’s drive from Sydney, the coastal region of Illawarra offers an enviable coastal living lifestyle and a promising opportunity to improve moods and overall quality of life. It encompasses the three cities of Wollongong, Kiama and Shellharbour.
This juxtaposition of mountain and beach is what gives the whole south coast region its special character. With mixed-use developments, an increasingly cosmopolitan lifestyle and the opening of the bar and café culture in the town centres, the Illawarra offers the best of both city and coastal living.