Top 10 reasons why you should convalesce by the sea

Top 10 reasons why you should convalesce by the sea

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Coastal areas provide a unique combination of sensory experiences: the sight of the water, the sound of the waves and the touch of the breeze all contribute to a deep sense of calming relaxation and mental clarity. But the coastal environment offers even more than that: living by the sea is scientifically proven to enhance overall well-being which makes it an ideal place for recovery, rehabilitation and convalescence.

In fact, Professor Chris Witty asked academics from the University’s European Centre for Environment and Human Health to write a chapter for his annual report to highlight the considerable weight of evidence showing how living on or near the coast benefits physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The clean sea air and healthy environment were the very reason that the site for Rustington Convalescent Home was chosen back in 1897. In Victorian times, living by the sea was a way of treating those with illnesses such as consumption and TB because the fresh and salty sea air was believed to have curative properties. Today, with studies reinforcing the wisdom of this decision, guests who stay at Rustington Convalescent Home for post operative care or respite care benefit from the naturally therapeutic environment. It is a perfect blend of history, modern comfort and holistic healing.

Top 10 reasons why you should convalesce next to the sea

#1 Boosts your immune system

The concentration of salt in sea water is, on average, 3.5%. The sodium chloride has a large part to play in the healing properties of the sea: some people with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis report the sea water helps improve some of the symptoms and it is known to help with minor cuts or grazes. There are other important minerals in the sea water too including magnesium, calcium and bromine. Some of these are proven to help fight infection and are anti-inflammatory for humans.

Whilst we do not specifically expect anyone staying at Rustington Convalescent Home to go swimming in the sea (particularly in winter!), it is suggested that for people with a weakened immune system or high blood sugar, swimming in the sea – under proper supervision and if approved by your medical team – could increase the number of red blood cells by 5-20%.

Recently there has been a lot of press about how sea swimming activates the parasympathetic nervous system resulting in a slower heartbeat and lower blood pressure. There has also been much made of how people who regularly take cold water dips have higher levels of the “cold shock” protein in their blood which helps form synapses and may slow the onset of dementia. However, all this needs to be done with care, in slow stages and only after approval by your medical team as cold water bathing when done incorrectly or too fast, can cause issues. Having said that, a gently swim in the sea on a nice day when in good health and in company is, no doubt, good for the immune system.

#2 Reduces stress

There are substantial psychological benefits of being by the sea. The fresh, open environment helps reduce the feeling of confinement which affects some people when they are in a recovery period. The fresh air produces biochemical reactions that increase serotonin levels which in turn alleviates stress and boosts daytime energy. Such natural settings are known to reduce mental fatigue and improve mood which is essential for holistic healing.

Being by the sea is an open invitation for increased physical activity which is, of course, great for your health, but you don’t have to exercise. Just being by the sea listening to the waves has been shown to lower heart rates dramatically according to a study in Nature which explains how the sounds of the sea activate the parasympathetic nervous system to the relax the body.

Rustington Convalescent Home is situated right on the south coast between Brighton and Chichester giving guests plenty of opportunity to savour the therapeutic qualities of the sea air.

#3 Healthy fresh air

When you visit Rustington Convalescent Home you will feel the air is different if you are used to living in a built-up area. This is because of the high salt content. As the salty sea air is inhaled, the negative ions in it help to improve respiratory efficiency by clearing the throat and respiratory system. This often leads to clearer breathing, better quality sleep and the feeling of being more energetic.

Deep breathing exercises such as diaphragmatic breathing are an excellent activity not only when you are recovering from surgery at Rustington Convalescent Home but also when you get back to your own home. Proper deep breathing can reduce levels of cortisol, lower heart rate and blood pressure and improve overall well-being. And if you can do breathing exercises in the fresh sea air – all the better! But of course, make sure you consult your medical team before trying anything new if you have an existing condition.

#4 Calming blues

The colour blue has positive effects on the mind which can cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming and release feelings of tranquility. Blue is associated with open spaces, freedom and imagination; light blue is also associated with health and healing, understanding and softness. In Yoga, the throat chakra (chakras are the body’s energy centres) is represented by the colour blue with some studies connecting this area with “high spirituality”. It is interesting that interior designers often choose the colour blue to decorate potentially stressful places such as GP surgeries and medical rooms.

When convalescing or taking respite break at Rustington Convalescent Home, the calming blue of the sea is yet another added benefit to the overall amazing experience to help you on your way to recuperation and recovery.

#5 Boosts mental wellbeing

We have seen how just by sitting by the sea and listening to the waves can offer significant benefits to your overall mental health. The rhythmic, meditative sound of the waves and the natural fresh air helps to calm our minds. The noise is gentle and constant which focuses the mind away from anxious and depressive thoughts about our day-to-day lives and more towards the natural environment. It is by activating the parasympathetic nervous system that the natural sounds of the sea are often able to slow our heart rate and relax our body resulting in more positive mental health.

We also know that the sea air accelerates our body’s ability to take in oxygen and helps to produce serotonin (one of our happy hormones) which results in more positive mental health.

Following the Blue Health survey, Dr Jo Garrett of the University of Exeter explains that “the degree to which people feel connected to nature was found to be positively associated with positive well-being and negatively associated with mental distress”. She goes onto say the results showed visits to or living in blue spaces was “associated with a lower likelihood of using medication for depression.”

When recovering from surgery – such as from hip replacement or knee replacement – you may be surprised how it affects your mental state in the beginning. At Rustington Convalescent Home, we are aware that our post-operative guests have been through a lot but we have the time and staff to ensure each person is treated as an individual which positively impacts on your mental health as well as your physical recovery. This means Rustington Convalescent Home, situated on the coast, is the ideal place for both physical and mental recuperation after surgery and is also a perfect place for the all-important respite care when you are ready for a break with nursing care.

#6 Helps you get a good night’s sleep

As we all know a good night’s sleep is essential for our overall mental and physical wellbeing and it is particularly important for those recovering after an operation or illness. While it has not been directly proven that sea air helps you sleep if you suffer from insomnia, some 73% of respondents in a YouGov survey a few years ago said sea air “makes them sleep better”. Dr Natasha Bijlani, a psychiatrist at The Priory Hospital in Roehampton, London explained: “Sea air is good for sleep because it is generally cleaner and fresher, with high levels of oxygen which can improve sleep.”

The high levels of oxygen are a proven fact: sea air contains negative ions. This means that the oxygen atoms of sea air have an extra electron which boosts your body’s ability to absorb oxygen as well as help balance serotonin levels thus aiding a deep and restful sleep.

In addition, the gentle sound of the sea helps to create an environment conducive to relaxation and mental ease. This natural, calming white noise acts as a sleep aid, reducing stress and promoting deeper, more restful sleep.

#7 Social bonding opportunities

And there’s more! Coastal settings foster social interactions and create opportunities for engaging in enjoyable activities in the healthy sea air. Being by the sea provides environment where there is less space for a technology-led lifestyle, where there is a willingness to relax and converse with others and where you can spend quality time with family and friends.

At Rustington Convalescent Home, there are extensive gardens to walk around where you can have a relaxed chat with the nurses, carers or other guests whilst taking in the sea views. Or if you feel up to it, a gentle stroll to the beach or a wander down to one of the benches along the sea front are the perfect opportunity to meet new faces and pass the time of day.

For those recuperating at Rustington Convalescent Home, the sea’s natural environment offers a unique and powerful resource for health and healing. Combine that with the friendly staff and other guests in similar situation as yourself and it makes Rustington Convalescent Home an ideal setting for post-operative recovery and rejuvenation.

#8 Perfect situation for physical activity

Being near the sea often entices people to take more physical activity than average according to the Blue Health study. There are activities for all ages and abilities: you will often see the younger, fitter crowd paddleboarding, surfing or engaging in physically strenuous water sports. For the less agile, walking along the shore breathing in the fresh air, sitting on a sea bench with a coffee or sandwich or doing a spot of fishing are all excellent forms of gentle exercise.

According to the research by Environmental Psychologist, Dr Lewis Elliott at the University of Exeter, the beneficial effect of physical activity becomes even stronger when combined with being in a natural, coastal environment.

If you are recovering from a hip replacement or knee replacement or staying at Rustington Convalescent Home for post-operative nursing care, it is easy to take some gentle, healthy exercise whenever you feel up to it as part of your recovery because Rustington Convalescent Home is right next to the sea.

#9 Free natural skincare

It is interesting to learn that saltwater is rich in anti-inflammatory minerals such as magnesium, selenium, zinc and calcium. As we have seen, some of these are said to help improve the symptoms of eczema and reduce allergic skin reactions. In addition, the exfoliation benefits of salt help remove dead skin cells and clean pores. When guests are fit and fully recovered from their knee replacement or hip replacement or other surgery and feel like a paddle in the sea in the summer (assuming of course they go with somebody and their medical team agree) or if they decide to join a group of sea swimmers, the positive effect on the skin is just another benefit of the seaside life.

#10 Super sunlight

Sunlight plays an important role in health and well-being. Living by the sea with unrestricted views gives you front row seats to sunrises and sunsets when the sun is most gentle and abundant.

Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D. Living or staying by the sea invites you to step outside and enjoy the fresh air. In doing so, as little as 10 minutes in the sunlight gives you enough time to absorb your daily dose of Vitamin D directly through your skin. Sufficient intake of vitamin D is linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including osteoporosis and certain types of cancer. The therapeutic effects of sunlight also extend to mood enhancement, helping alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

For those recovering from knee replacement or hip replacement or after surgery, or who are taking a much-needed respite break, the sea’s natural environment offers a unique and powerful resource for health and healing. It makes staying at Rustington Convalescent Home the ideal place for recuperation and rejuvenation.

Rustington Convalescent Home offers a unique blend of a healing environment and modern amenities. The facility boasts landscaped gardens stretching to the sea, providing ample outdoor spaces for residents to enjoy the calming sea breeze and engage in therapeutic activities like beach walks and quiet relaxation with picturesque sea views.

Nestled in a stunning Grade II listed building, it is more than just a historic site; for anyone considering a convalescent stay or short-term respite care, Rustington Convalescent Home presents an ideal combination of historical charm, medical care, and the healing embrace of the sea; it’s a recuperative haven where the benefits of sea air are an integral part of recovery.

Telephone: 01903 7

The sea air is naturally rich in negative ions, which can help to improve lung function and overall well-being, thus helping to accelerate healing and boosting the immune system.

The coastal setting is thought to enhance sleep quality with its natural white noise and provides the best opportunity for ample sunlight, a vital source of Vitamin D which positively impacts immune function and mood regulation.

Yes, residents can enjoy therapeutic activities like beach walks and relaxation in landscaped gardens, benefiting from the calming sea breeze and picturesque sea views.

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