Vitamin Sea - The Health Benefits of Sea Swimming

Falmouth

For centuries, people have been coming to the coast to feel the healing effects of cold seawater and fresh sea air.

The term ‘thalassotherapy’ (using seawater for cosmetic and health treatment) is a long-lived practice that dates back to the ancient Egyptians.

Fast forward to 2019 where sea swimming’s popularity is continually growing throughout the UK. At St Michaels Resort we’re lucky enough to have beautifully crystal clear, turquoise waters on our doorstep all year round. Whilst we’re still enjoying the sunshine, now is the perfect time to take the leap and restore your body and mind.

With surmountable effects on health and wellbeing, let’s dive in and discover a couple of benefits to get you inspired.

Skin
Skin

Seawater contains minerals such as magnesium, sodium, calcium, chloride and sulphate that work as natural cosmetics for the skin. Magnesium-rich seawater promotes the retention of moisture in the skin whilst absorbing toxins and reducing inflammation, leaving the skin fresh and vibrant. Other research suggests that seawater can help people with atopic skin problems like psoriasis and eczema as it’s an anti-inflammatory and speeds up the healing process.

We really believe in the benefits of seawater for the skin which is why, one of our partner brands is Living Sea Therapy. Hand harvested from the cobalt waters around the Lizard peninsula, the Living Sea Complex harnesses the sea’s restorative powers especially for you and your skin.  

Wellbeing
Wellbeing

Sea swimming has been known to actively improve your health and wellness with calming immersion and exposure to sunshine. The elements activate the body’s healing mechanisms and support healing for diseases, asthma, bronchitis, arthritis and localised aches and pains. Also rich in magnesium, seawater helps release stress, relax your muscles, promote deep sleep and spiritually cleanse your aura. Swimming in the sea has also been linked to stimulating the parasympathetic system which is responsible for rest and repair and can trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin. These are a vital part of keeping us happy and low levels are linked with depression.

Circulation and Immune System
Circulation and Immune System

Thalassotherapy is known to improve blood cycle and circulation by restoring essential micro-elements within our bodies that are depleted by poor diets, stress or environmental pollution. The cold water moves blood very quickly from our extremities to our major organs and then back up again as we warm up, which is great for circulation.

Ocean waters contain an endless supply of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, trace elements and micro-organisms which have antibacterial effects and can even work as natural antibiotics. These components are absorbed by the skin when you swim and even by inhaling a sea mist. Also, immersing yourself in cold water boosts the production of white blood cells which are important for fighting off infection.

Sea Swimming in Falmouth
Sea Swimming in Falmouth

Falmouth has plenty of options when it comes to sea swimming and a firm favourite is the breath-taking Blue Flag Gylllyngvase beach, just steps away from St Michaels. Gylly beach is ideal for all and the calm waters make it the perfect spot for a dip in the sea.

Atlantic scuba – a group dedicated to keeping fit with an interest in the sea. They are not qualified swimming instructors, only snorkelling and diving, however their in depth knowledge of the Cornish coast and the currents around Cornwall means they can do it safely. The group normally meet on Tuesday evenings at Gyllyngvase Beach at 7pm for 30-45 minutes. It’s usually an easy swim at an easy pace with flat water. They also meet at weekends, these swims can be anything from a swim around an island to lengths in a quarry. To find out more information, the facebook group you can speak to them on is Cornwall Sea Swimmers.

FXU Sea Swimming – The Falmouth and Exeter Students Union Sea Swimming society meets every Sunday at 1pm of Gyllyngvase Beach. All abilities are welcome from those who fancy a dip in the shallows to those who want a more intense swim. The group swim all year round and in the cooler months warm up with a hot chocolate or pint after the swim to warm up. At the end of every year, the group also go on tour either in Cornwall or North Devon. Open to Falmouth or Exeter students, you can find more information here.  

 

Top Wild Swimming Spots in Cornwall
Top Wild Swimming Spots in Cornwall

Tidal pools, waterfalls and quarries, oh my! Cornwall is filled with various wild swimming locations, each unique for their own reasons. We could be seen as biased when we say that our number one sea swimming spot is by Pendennis Point, only a stone’s throw away from St Michaels. With crystal clear waters and secluded beaches (even in the summer), this secret spot is perfect for your first dip in the sea.

Alternatively, if you want to travel further afield, there are plenty of hidden gems spread across the county. From Goldiggins Quarry on Bodmin Moor, an hour and a half’s drive North East of the hotel but perfect for both experienced cliff jumpers and children in the gentle shallows, to Portheras Cove, an hour’s drive West and a real locals beach off the beaten track. With its tropical waters, beautiful sandy cove and sheer cliffs at the northern end, this spot is well worth the search for a wild swim away from the masses.

Another favourite is Kynance Cove, approximately an hour away from St Michaels. Set amongst the wild flower covered rocks of the Lizard Peninsula’s breathtaking and rugged coastline, Kynance Cove has been a long loved part of Cornwall. Its clear, azure water is the perfect place to snorkel, swim and, if you’re daring enough, jump from the rock towers.

Sea Benefits Without the Swimming
Sea Benefits Without the Swimming

If taking to the water isn’t for you, at St Michaels Spa we have the perfect solution. Our signature spa treatments such as the Ishga Marine Detox and Relax and our Cornish Hand or Foot Rituals use products from brands who have a passion for replicating the benefits of the sea in their products. Alternatively, our hydrothermal experience features the world’s only sea-salt steam room. Infused with Living Sea Therapy’s Cornish Sea Salt minerals elixir, the steam room reduces toxins and clears your lungs.

To continue these Cornish sea benefits at home, we recommend the Living Sea Therapy bath soak or body lotion. Both are St Michaels staff favourites and it’s easy to sea why. The bath soak allows you to plunge into an infusion of seaweeds, sustainably harvested from Cornish seabed forests, reviving your senses, soaking away stress as well as providing deep muscle relaxation. The nourishing body lotion lets your skin lock in moisture, improving both skin tone and elasticity. Infused with essential oils such as frankincense and rose geranium, this fresh coastal fragrance will make each day feel like a holiday. Speak to our team on the spa reception to purchase the products or learn more about the benefits from Cornish waters.  

We also have an extraordinary Completely Cornish Spa Day and Spa Break which uses the products derived from the sea right here on Cornwall's Lizard peninsula. 

Now that you know about all of the wonderful benefits the sea has to offer, come down to Cornwall and give your body some Vitamin Sea!