Does where you live affect your overall wellness?
Story by Becca Edwards
Becca Edwards is a wellness professional, freelance writer, and owner of b.e.WELL+b.e.CREATIVE
Abso-mother-nature-loving-lutely. Referred to as “geomedicine” by many experts, the science of where you live can be just as vital to your health as how you live. Here are five reasons why living in the Lowcountry can add years to your lifespan.
The Effects of Temperature
Each person reacts differently to changes in temperature, which can affect the production of various hormones, organ function and bodily processes. Typically, a temperate environment is ideal for most people. Summer in Hilton Head can surely heat things up, but for the most part Islanders enjoy fairly moderate, seasonal temperatures, especially in the winter.
In addition, our climate encourages people to exercise outside year-round. And we all know the effects of consistent exercise.
The Effects of Vitamin D
You probably already know that vitamin D can be synthesized into our bodies when sunlight hits our skin. But did you know vitamin D is not a vitamin at all? It’s a pro-hormone and it’s lauded for:
• Maintaining the health of bones and teeth
• Supporting the health of the immune system, brain and nervous system
• Regulating insulin levels and aiding diabetes management
• Supporting lung function and cardiovascular health
• Influencing the expression of genesinvolved in cancer development
According to bestplaces.net, “On average, there are 215 sunny days per year in Hilton Head Island.” That’s 215 opportunities to build up vitamin D in your body, and bask in its benefits.
The Effects of Humidity
A humid climate helps our skin to eliminate toxins. Because breathing dry air all day can dry out nasal passages and cause respiratory problems, humid air is better for our noses. Similarly, low humidity causes dry skin, dry hair, itching and chapping, whereas high humidity creates supple, moisturized skin.
The Effects of Natural Beauty
The Lowcountry’s lush and verdant environment and coastal waterways inspire people to be immersed in nature and play sports like golf and paddle boarding. These types of exercises aid us both physically and mentally. When it comes to trees, Japanese researchers found that practicing shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing (essentially, walking in a tree-dense setting) led to lower cortisol levels and lower blood pressure, and greater activity in the body’s calming parasympathetic nervous system. When it comes to the ocean, another research team found that people who lived within 3.1 miles of the coast were more likely to classify their health as good. This causes a positive chain reaction. The more you feel healthy, the healthier you become.
The Effects of Natural Ingredients
The Lowcountry is brimming with natural ingredients that help us be more radiant. Take saltwater for starters. Studies show that it helps in treating skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis and acne. Sand is a great exfoliant. And oysters contain:
• Zinc—Which strengthens the immune system and promotes healing.
• Omega-3 Fatty acids, potassium and magnesium, which can help reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and lower blood pressure.
• Essential nutrients—Including vitamins A, E, and C, B12, zinc, iron, calcium and selenium