The crash of the waves, the feeling of sand beneath your feet, the sun on your back. There are few things like it. We live in a coastal community here in San Diego and sometimes we might take that for granted. A lot of people dream of crashing waves and white beaches. There’s a reason people come from all over to surf our waves and walk our sandy shores. Even for those who live farther inland in North County, we are still only a 30 minute drive from the beach. But for us, the people who actually live here, there are quite a few benefits and perks to living by the ocean.
1. Living near the ocean is good for your mental health
Living near the ocean has a range of beneficial mental health effects. Sunshine can combat depression, the roaring of the waves can help reduce stress and anxiety, according to several studies. Taking a stroll by the ocean helps you unplug, something we all probably need to do in this technology-saturated society.
2. Your body will feel the benefits
People who live on the coast tend to be in better health, say several studies. The reasons aren’t exactly clear, but some things can be ventured. Going to the beach can certainly be an active lifestyle — surfing, volleyball or just running along the shore — and an active lifestyle is no doubt healthier. There are also other benefits, such as the way ocean minerals can help with arthritis symptoms, the way sand acts as a natural skin exfoliant and the fact that seawater increases skin elasticity, helping to keep you looking younger longer.
3. You’ll never get bored
There are a plethora of activities that the ocean can inspire. In San Diego, we have a thriving world-class surfing community, along with some of the best surf spots in the country. There are also opportunities to fish, boat or kayak in our little slice of the Pacific. Even without fancy equipment or water vessels, you can always go for a swim. Being at the beach makes everything better; it will inspire you to go out and actually have a casual stroll, walk your dog, or roll down the coast on a bike.
4. The sea breeze is, literally, a breath of fresh air
Ever notice that a deep, fresh breath of sea breeze makes you feel almost instantly better? There’s a reason for that. The ocean air is charged with negative ions, helping us absorb oxygen better. Beyond that, we definitely have a smog problem here in California. While San Diego air certainly isn’t as unclean as Los Angeles, we can still feel the harsh effects of air pollutants. Knowing this, it’s a good thing that the sea tends to keep the air quality in check.
5. You’ll always have fresh seafood
Seafood. It makes up a large portion of many diets across the country. But for those of us on the coast, we may take for granted the surplus of fresh options we have. Seafood options around coastal communities are fresher, more varied and cheaper. The coastal waters near California are productive and San Diego has long been a center of the tuna industry.
6. The coasts are cultural
It’s no secret that more people tend to settle by the coast than farther inland. Once upon a time, this was because of the trade and economic opportunities that port cities allowed. Nowadays, coastal living might make for greater exposure to interesting art and culture. For example, in San Diego there is a thriving craft beer scene, and a large community of interesting artists and musicians.
7. The climate isn’t extreme
The ocean has a habit of moderating the weather. Winters tend to be milder and summers cooler. That fact combined with the way San Diego has, arguably, the best weather in the world, it’s no wonder that we are a bit spoiled when it comes to climate conditions. On a side note, we can always be thankful that hurricanes are almost nonexistent because the waters off our coast are too cold for them to form.
- La Jolla Coast 2015: Evan Cast/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved