Vitamin Sea: Rediscover the Healing Power of Water
Combine your digital detox with a trip to the sea and you’ll double up on the physical and mental health boost.
The sea has so many benefits, that it’s been referred to by some as ‘vitamin sea’. As an island nation in the UK, we are at most 70 miles from the sea in any one direction and there are over 31,000 miles of coastline for you to explore. It is also free to use and as the weather improves, and restrictions are lifted there is really no excuse to not take advantage of the gorgeous beaches we have at our fingertips.
But why is the sea so useful when it comes to digital detox? Well, there are lots of physical and mental health benefits that are associated with wild swimming, as we talked about in a previous post. Not only that, but there are also untold benefits related to our use of technology.
You can’t bring your phone
The first, and perhaps most obvious benefit of wild swimming, particularly in the sea, is that you can’t bring your phone. When you are running, cycling or walking it is fair to say that your phone is rarely apart from you- measuring every step. However in this unique form of exercise, there is no pocket for a phone, and the very environment of the water will likely destroy it so it must be left on land. This gives us a rare opportunity to simply be with nature. We can appreciate the beauty and strength of the sea without the option of taking photos or calls. If you are able to get into the habit of swimming in the sea regularly, you can then give yourself a regular break from your screens.
Studies have also shown that the breathing patterns used whilst swimming and underwater simulate a parasynthetic nervous system response in a positive way, influencing your brain waves and hormone regulation to impact you positively. Not only are you getting some good exercise therefore, you are also resetting your brain from the addictive qualities of your devices, to allow them to function healthily and positively.
The sea, as we’ve already pointed out, is free which is one of its greatest benefits. Hydrotherapy (water therapy) has been shown to have significant impacts on decreasing anxiety and depression amongst those who regularly swim. One study even found that the use of hydrotherapy (which some pay thousands for) was similar to a commonly prescribed anti-depressant. So, if you live nearish the sea, or a river or lake, (which most of us do in the UK), take advantage of your free resources!
Joys of cold water swimming
Whilst the waters will be warming up at this time of year, we are never going to suggest that the sea in the UK is anything but cold. However, this does not have to be a negative. If you struggle particularly you could get a wet suit, but the cold water is actually a great positive for your physical health. Regular swimming in cold water has been shown to increase seratonin, bodily immunity, organ function and more– so why not get some vitamin sea through your cold water exposure?