Life on the water gives people immediate access to an all-new world. Whether you want to explore the mangroves in a kayak, do a little fishing off the dock, or launch a trip into the Gulf, waterfront living has grand advantages for those who wish to pursue natural beauty and an active life. Just the opportunity offered in a waterfront home to step out your back door and onto the sands of Siesta Key is nearly invaluable already.
In Herman Melville's Moby Dick, Ishmael says that "water and meditation are wedded forever." That's another important reason why people are attracted to water. Yet scientists are now realizing that there are even more advantages to living on the water beyond meditation and "fun in the sun."
In his new book Blue Mind, marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols explores the connection between water, health, and happiness. As early as the 18th century, doctors have been prescribing trips to the beach. Research has shown that even the sound of waves lapping the shoreline change brain patterns to reduce stress and develop a greater sense of well-being.
Beyond the tranquility of the sound, sea air contains minerals and negatively-charged ions that can reduce stress and combat free radicals, which improves alertness and concentration. And swimming in salt water helps to preserve healthy levels of melatonin, serotonin, and tryptamine in the brain, thereby treating depression naturally. Even the temperature of water provides its own kind of therapy, with cold water as invigoration and warm water as a relaxant.
If you're not into swimming for exercise, floating in water helps to divert blood flow from your limbs and toward your heart, which allows more oxygen to the brain and ups your alertness. Simply floating in the Gulf of Mexico for a few minutes a day could very well be one of the most healthy things you do for yourself.
Dermatologists have even reported that rashes, dermatitis, psoriasis, and other skin complaints heal more quickly when bathed in salt water. Researchers have also stated that bathing in sea water improves skin's elasticity, providing a much younger appearance. It sure puts a whole new spin on the idea of the "fountain of youth."
Here in Sarasota, we often get caught up in how amazing it is to have such wonderful views of the sunset over the water. But realistically, that's just a fringe benefit. With so many miles of waterfront living, it's no wonder that TIME magazine just named Sarasota as the city with the highest amount of well-being.
Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist