Written by Paola Teocoli
Which do you prefer – the sea or the mountains?
In both destinations, the benefits of the air you breathe there will improve not only your health but also your state of mind.
Let’s see why.
The benefits of sea air:
The sea air is rich in sodium chloride, iodine, phosphorus, magnesium and sulphur which, thanks to the action of the sun, evaporate from the sea water and help create air that enables true regeneration for our body.
To take full advantage of the pure sea air, you must first enjoy it during daylight hours – although not during the hottest part of the day.
In the morning and in the evening, the sunlight is less strong (although you must always apply a proper protective cream) and it is the best time to do some breathing exercises. So take advantage of these moments and go for a 20 minute refreshing walk.
Begin by walking on the sand, then walk into the sea until the water is up to your ankles, then up to your thighs. This will wake your body and refresh you.
During these invigorating walks, breathe deeply using only the nose. Try to make full use of the diaphragm and expand the lungs to ensure your body receives maximum absorption of pure air.
The first of our bodily systems to benefit from this ‘air bath’ is circulation.
Other benefits include:
– combat aging, obesity, depression and heart problems.
– Sun exposure increases the production of essential vitamin D for strong bones and skin.
– Breathing promotes relaxation of body and mind and positively affects the oxygenation of tissues.
– Sea air is full of negative ions that will make you feel alert and in a good mood.
The benefits of mountain air:
Like the sea air, mountain air offers a real panacea for our psycho-physical health.
Above 1500m altitude, the humidity rate decreases considerably and with it the presence of mites and pollens. This means air is drier and free from irritants; those who suffer from asthma or allergies will particularly enjoy this fresh air that’s free from allergens.
Like the sea air, the best way to benefit from mountain air is to go for a walk. Walking in the mountains, along paths surrounded by trees and dominated by the blue of the sky, stimulates the serotonin (the happiness hormone) in our brains and helps us feel positive and full of energy.
We shouldn’t forget however that the higher the altitude, the lower the oxygen. But this rarefied air can also be positive, because the decrease in oxygen and the consequent increase in nitrogen is an excellent stimulant for the production of red blood cells – certainly a huge bonus for those suffering from anaemia.
In addition, the myriad of mountain storms that lash the peaks and villages with their large dark clouds, laden with rain and snow also benefit us. It’s thanks to them that there is a proliferation of negative ions in the mountains, which when coupled with the many mountain waterfalls and flowing water, help to envelop us in a sense of wellbeing and energy that is hard to find in any urban environment.
Walking in the pure mountain air will also help our bodies in the following ways:
– Prevent diseases related to sedentary life typical of the city including: heart attacks, strokes, respiratory problems etc.
– Stimulate the digestive system, thanks to the greater amount of negative ions.
– Dissolve adipose fat deposits and tone the body, thanks to the physical movement and the slope of the paths.
In conclusion, both the sea and the mountain air enable important changes to our bodies and our psyche.
The presence of minerals in marine environments and the strong concentration of ions in mountain areas, make us feel recharged with new energy and give us more strength and vigour!
Whether you prefer the sea or the mountains, remember to breathe deeply and enjoy the beauty of the nature that surrounds you, that when coupled with the purest air is one of the best things on this planet!