In symbiosis with the sea: the health benefits of sailing

Let us understand symbiosis as a beneficial fusion between two things, and I say this because it is evident what an incredible connection the human being has with the sea. What is not so evident is the amount of health benefits that sailing has that we do not know about.

The sea breeze: is there anything purer and cleaner than the sea breeze as you sail? Not only does it help us relax and facilitate sleep, but it is also tremendously beneficial to our health as it contains iodine, and iodine acts to regulate our thyroid glands (which are very important for the metabolism). The humidity favours the expulsion of mucus and the ozone prevents the infection of bacteria in the lungs, which allows us to achieve a strong and clean respiratory system. In addition, it has been shown that sailors have less cough, improve mucus, capacity and functions of the lungs.

Now let’s talk about the mental health benefit of sailing. Being close to the sea stimulates the production of serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin (fundamental substances for mental health) that will provide us with calm, relaxation and well-being. What about the sound of the waves, the hypnotic effect produced by the immensity of the sea or that blue colour in movement? I think it is one of the best natural therapies for anxiety and stress that a person could choose.

What about swimming in the sea water? The resistance that sea water offers to our swimming or simply the effort we have to make to maintain our balance in the sea, makes us do an exercise that in other conditions we could not do, strengthening our muscles and joints. In addition, floating in the sea, helps to relax the muscles, a perfect exercise for recovering from injuries.

We all know the benefit of cold water in the circulation, we have bathed in cold water and we have felt how the heaviness of the legs was reduced, and that is that cold water produces a contraction of the blood vessels, and that makes the return of blood from the legs to the heart easier.

If we have the possibility of anchoring and approaching a beach, the combination of water and sand gives us many more benefits. We have many nerve endings in our feet, which, when we walk on the wet sand, we stimulate. We also activate the blood circulation and strengthen the muscles.

Finally, our skin also benefits when it comes into contact with the sea as it helps regenerate tissues, improves healing and has antiseptic and drying properties on wounds. But it is very important to protect yourself from sunlight with a good photoprotector, (and remember that it is applied every 2 hours!), because otherwise we will leave marks on the wounds. Moreover, if we have any other skin problem, they will also benefit, such as acne, psoriasis or atopic dermatitis.

THE SEA CURES EVERYTHING? Not as much as everything, but it has many beneficial properties. It brings us many things, and that is why I encourage you to continue caring for it, to thank it for everything it brings us, because with small gestures we can make it continue to be like that for many years to come. And then if we achieve that, we will reach the true symbiosis.

Adrían Domingo. Pharmacist. Farmacia Progrés

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