The swish of the waves, the birdsong, and ice cream splattering followed by shrill screams – these are the default sounds of a good beach day, especially here on the KZN South Coast.
If you’re anything like us, you will know that the sea has magical powers that can help with almost anything. Whether you enjoy swimming in the ocean or not, the beach has something for everyone. If you aren’t keen on taking the plunge, there are many other activities to partake in on the KZN South Coast; you can tan and read whilst listening to the waves break upon the rocks; you can take a long walk with the sand between your toes and the sun in your eyes, or you could take in the sunset whilst riding a horse across the shoreline. Coastal living has many benefits, be it physical, mental or spiritual and scientific research has shown that people who live on the coast are happier and healthier than those who live inland.
Thinking of bringing your family to the beach this holiday? Here are 4 health benefits that you can take advantage of here on the KZN South Coast:
1.Rests our brains
We are constantly bombarded with sensory stimuli in our everyday lives; be it in our home, office spaces, from our devices or in our cities, our brains never get a rest. Being around water gives our brains and our senses a rest from overstimulation. The sound of water, from an auditory perspective, is simple and calming and easier to take in. It isn’t like the sound of voices, music or city life hustle. Visually, the ocean is less stimulating than a room full of people, a road full of cars or a mall filled with goods, where you are taking in a million pieces of information per second. When standing on the edge of the water, and you look out at the horizon, you are inclined to feel calmer because you are taking less in and your brain starts working differently as you have reached a ‘blue mind state’. Arriving at this state of mind is beneficial to one both physically and mentally as people who are calmer, sleep better, have increased energy levels and rarely suffer from anxiety and other stress-induced disorders.
2. Water inspires a sense of gratitude and releases negative energy
It’s no coincidence that many important ceremonies and religious rituals are held close to water, or make use of it. When one is near water, especially on the coast, the emotion of awe and gratitude is often invoked. This sense of wonder leads us to feel more connected to something beyond one’s self and to feel more in touch with nature. Being in a restful and contemplative state is good for us holistically. Our minds are clear from the toxicity of our trivial issues and allow us to gain perspective and see the bigger picture. In the fast-paced lives that we live today, many of the illnesses that befall us, stem from our negative thoughts, our envy of others and gluttony. When embracing what we have and being thankful for it, we can embark on our life journeys in a less burdened and more mindful state. This positive spiritual space will have positive ripple effects on your physical wellness as well.
3. Better sleep and increased fitness levels
Have you noticed how much more soundly you sleep when you are on the coast or near the sea? This, according to science, is because the sound of the waves alter the patterns in the brain and lull you into a deep and relaxed state of sleep. The ocean air is also charged with healthy negative ions that accelerate our ability to absorb oxygen. These negative ions balance our levels of serotonin, a body chemical linked with mood and stress. When you are well rested, you have more energy and are more inclined to partake in fitness activities. Sleep also controls your diet; which in turn controls how your body feels. If you don’t sleep well, you won’t eat well and will therefore not have the energy to exercise resulting in you feeling unhealthy and lethargic. We often underestimate the importance of a good night’s rest not realizing that it is probably one of the most influential factors in our everyday lives.
4. Happiness is healthy
In a study on the topic, Laura Kubzansky, a Harvard Associate Professor of Society, Human Development, and Health found that emotional vitality, which encompasses a sense of enthusiasm, of engagement in life, and the ability to face life’s stresses with emotional balance—appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. According to Happify, people who consider themselves as happy have a lower heart rate, a lower level of the stress hormone called cortisol and a lower concentration of a plasma that is associated with heart disease. Apart from contributing to a longer lifespan, being happy also has releases the feel-good hormones like serotonin and endorphins. These hormones can be released by smiling, laughing and by just having fun, and there’s no better place to have fun than at the sea.
These are merely 4 of the infinite benefits that living on or visiting the coast has on people.
The calm setting, slower pace and being more in touch with nature is what sets the KZN South Coast apart from other destinations. Keen to get away from the hustle of your everyday life and to detox from city life stresses? Book your stay with us, today.