General Health

Hydro-Boost for happier and healthier life

Relaxation and peace are two words usually lacking in our daily hectic lives. Spending time near water may not only help in reducing stress, anxiety and depression but also inspire creative thinking, improve memory and promote compassion. Water or even the feeling of sand on the feet helps to relax, unwind, uplift our moods and result in a happier and healthier life.

recent study confirmed that water is good for the mind and the soul. The study, published in the journal Health & Place, found that people who live near water have better mental health than those who don’t.

It is a well-established fact that connecting with Mother nature in lush green spaces is beneficial for our mental health. Recent research has shown that spending time near water – by the coast, rivers or even fountains in the park could be deeply restorative.

Whether it is just bracing a sea breeze, the gentle lapping of waves, the ripples in water or the glint of sunshine on a water surface, there is something restorative about either being in or near water. The Victorians knew this little secret since times immemorial and prescribed sea air as a treatment for melancholy, and so did the French, who, for several centuries, sent people with ailments to natural springs. Now scientists are catching up on the therapeutic benefits of Vitamin Sea!

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In recent times, we recognize the benefits of being out in nature more keenly than we ever did. Several studies that catalogue the beneficial effects are now being translated into healthcare policies and being adopted in the formulation of health strategies. Urban redevelopment projects are incorporating water bodies like pools and fountains into their projects to provide hydro-boost to the residents. Being near water can alleviate several health conditions that accompany modern life.

The idea that nature can give us a mental boost is nothing new. The practice of shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing”, is an established Japanese tradition of connecting with nature through all the body’s senses. It gained popularity in the 1980s after studies demonstrated its calming effects on both the human body and the mind, such as decreasing heart rate and reducing stress hormone levels, reducing anxiety, and blood pressure, and improving mental alertness and psychological well-being and overall health of an individual.

Apart from better mental health, staying near water provides several other health benefits which are as follows:

  1. Fresh air – Fresh air would mean more oxygen and oxygen is extremely important to survive and is required to convert molecules into energy. Fresh air also improves the serotonin balance and thus, helps in stabilizing moods. Fresh air also helps in the better digestion of food and reduces obesity.
  2. Improving immunity levels – Spending time near the sea helps in improving our immunity levels by reducing stress as the ability to fight viruses of our immune system is reduced with the increase in stress. It also helps in increasing the count of white blood cells (WBCs).
  3. Better sleep – Spending time near water helps in relaxing the brain and thus, ultimately better sleep. Spending time by the sea decreases or eliminates unpleasant and negative thoughts from our minds. Better sleep will eventually balance all the activities and reactions inside our bodies and improve immunity, mood and also strengthen the heart.
  4. Makes us happier – Sea view makes everyone happy. Researchers have reported that when we are near sea beaches, the human body absorbs negative ions coming from the breeze from the sea which helps in absorbing more oxygen and regulating the levels of serotonin, which helps in controlling anxiety and in releasing feel-good hormones in the body, making us happier. Staying by the sea or near water helps in developing or enhancing positivity within us.
  5. Glowing skin – Studies have shown that salty water is great for the skin as it has anti-inflammatory properties which aid in soothing skin and making it look younger. It also helps in eliminating fine lines from the skin. The salty water of the sea has been regarded as a natural exfoliator that helps in treating dull and dry skin. It also decreases acne, blackheads, and breakouts.

So, staying near water may not only be pleasant and increase family time but can calm the mind and boost the mental and overall health of an individual who may feel at peace, rejuvenated and relaxed by merely soaking their feet in the water or enjoying the ocean ripples while feeling the soft breeze gently hit their face.

Author

Pooja Toshniwal Paharia

Dr. Pooja Toshniwal Paharia is a Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Physician and Radiologist, M.DS (Oral Medicine and Radiology) from Mumbai. She strongly believes in evidence-based radiodiagnosis and therapeutic regimens for benign, potentially malignant, or malignant lesions and conditions either arising from the oral and maxillofacial structures or manifesting in the associated regions.

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