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Lake-Life Retirement: The Health Benefits of Living Near Water

A senior couple on a sail boat out on the lake

Crashing waves. The steady pitter-patter of rainfall. A gurgling brook or the soft rumble of a waterfall. Calming water sounds like these are among the most popular choices for sleep and relaxation soundtracks. Some might even say the only thing better is actually living near the shore, where you can reap all the health benefits of living near water — including its soothing sounds.


How Living Near Water is Good for Your Health

The advantages of living near water are partly due to the lifestyle it affords; the beautiful scenery provides great incentive to spend time outdoors. Researchers also believe there are some specific health benefits of living near water. If you’re considering where to retire, consider these advantages of spending your golden years near a lake, river or ocean.

Mental boost: Considering how often the sound of water is used for relaxation or peaceful white noise, it’s probably no surprise researchers believe there’s a connection between living near water and better mental health. Spending time near the water is thought to lower stress and anxiety while increasing one’s sense of well-being and happiness through the release of feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine.

Heart health: In a similar vein, water’s hypnotic draw can also play a role in blood pressure and heart rate. One study found subjects’ heart rates and blood pressure lowered simply by observing an empty fish tank; the rates dropped further as fish and plant life were added. Now you know why fish tanks are so common in doctor’s offices.

Better sleep: If you’ve ever noticed sleeping better when you’re exposed to the sounds of nature, you’re not alone. Better, more restful sleep is commonly cited as a health benefit of living near water. In fact, researchers have found that people who fall asleep listening to water sounds sleep more deeply and experience a memory boost.

Extra exercise: Research suggests people tend to be more active near blue spaces, and living near a body of water means you have a wide array of options when it comes to physical activity. For example, you might enjoy walking on scenic trails around a lake or getting an extra vigorous workout traipsing sand dunes along the shore. Sailing is a full-body workout, and swimming is a terrific exercise option for seniors because it engages so many muscle groups with less strain on joints than many other forms of cardiovascular exercise.

Outdoor exposure: Spending time in nature is another health benefit of living near water. Enjoying the fresh air is always a perk of being outdoors, but when you’re near the water, the air quality tends to be better, which helps your body absorb more oxygen. Being outside on a sunny day also means you’re getting natural exposure to vitamin D, which plays an important role in helping your body absorb calcium and regulates other cellular functions.

Stronger immunity: Your immune system is negatively impacted by factors like stress and chronic conditions like high blood pressure, but spending time near the water reduces both of those risks, as does added exercise. The extra vitamin D you get outdoors also helps support your immune function, which means better immunity is another health benefit of living near water.


Look Forward to Retiring with Waves Nearby

Looking for the best places to retire near a lake so you can experience the health benefits of living near water? Heritage Monona, a senior living community located just across Lake Monona from Madison, Wisconsin, offers a homelike atmosphere with high-end senior apartments, premium amenities and unparalleled care. Get in touch to learn about the enriching lifestyle and living options available in this community located just a few blocks away from a cozy lakeside park.