4 Surprising health benefits of spending time in the ocean

This summer, a dip in the ocean might just be what the doctor ordered
4 Surprising health benefits of spending time in the ocean
October 13, 2020   |    Shannon Moyer

If you’ve been putting off weekend beach trips to embark upon your latest Netflix binge, consider this your wake-up call. Despite being an all-around fun activity, spending time both on the beach and in the ocean provides you with an incredible list of health benefits.

This summer, take the plunge and brave those chilly ocean waters for a healthy dose of all-natural healing, from your head to your toes.


Breathing in fresh ocean air won’t cure all your respiratory problems, but research looks promising for a multitude of conditions.

A long-term Australian study published by the Wall Street Journal showed salt-laden air, like that blowing in from the sea, helped clear out the patients’ lungs, thin mucus and improve lung function across the board.

While the exact amount of time one needs to spend by the sea to fully reap these respiratory rewards isn’t clear, even a single visit will provide therapeutic benefits. 


If you have eczema-prone or irritated skin, you need a trip to the beach, stat. As sea salt has anti-inflammatory and bacteria-killing properties, saltwater does a great job at sterilising the skin and calming irritation. Plus, the individual grains of salt act as a great exfoliant–something you can use even after your beach trip has ended.

There’s plenty of anecdotal and research-based evidence that saltwater helps heal cracked skin, reduce acne breakouts and heal eczema. However, the National Eczema Foundation warns saltwater can both soothe and irritate skin, based on the amount of open wounds an individual has.

If you’re not sure how your sensitive skin will react to the saltwater, it’s best to limit your ocean time to a few hours, take a cool shower and moisturise afterwards; your skin will thank you.


Dealing with dandruff? Prone to excessively oily hair? A dip in the sea might be just what you need. Just like saltwater is a great exfoliant for the skin, it’s also a fantastic exfoliant for the scalp and surface of your hair.

If you colour or have recently bleached your hair, be sure to moisturise your hair thoroughly after your swim, as your cuticles need a bit more care after being exfoliated. Be sure to rinse your hair with cool water and enjoy that clean, healthy scalp.


Swimming is one of the best forms of low-impact cardio around, and a dip in the ocean provides you with a rejuvenating full-body workout. As saltwater breezes help us breathe easier, you can work that little bit harder during your workout.

From swimming with friends, to boogie boarding across the surf and tackling major waves on a surfboard, there are plenty of ways to get a fantastic cardiovascular workout in the ocean. Plus, when you’re working out in the sun, you’re getting a dose of heart-healthy Vitamin D at the same time. Just remember to drink plenty of fresh water and reapply sunscreen every two hours.


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