When it comes to having fun, developing a skill and keeping fit, it is hard to beat water sports. They are not only excellent for various parts of the body, but they can improve mental well-being and put you more in touch with nature.
Popular water sports include kayaking and canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) and surfing, but there are many more to choose from. Today, we will discuss 6 great health benefits of these kinds of water sports.
The benefits include burning calories, developing muscular strength, improving your cardiovascular health, balance and coordination, breathing fresh air for lung health and generally improving mental health. Let’s have a closer look at these awesome benefits of water sports.
1. Burning Calories
First, when you take up a water sport, you add regular exercise into your day-to-day life. This is a great way to lose weight and get fit through calorie burning, among other advantages.
When you burn calories, you prevent the fats you eat from turning into unhealthy fats in the body. This is a huge benefit to the overall quality of your life.
You will notice your stamina increasing over time and this will allow you to enjoy the sport all the more.
If you are going kayaking for the first time, you will want to research the best boards for beginners and any other useful tips to make the most out of your experience.
Remember to seek lessons if it is your first time kayaking, SUP boarding or surfing. This is the best way to stay safe while you burn calories.
2. Muscular Strength
As well as increased stamina and potential weight loss associated with calorie burning, you will enjoy increased muscle strength when you start practicing a new water sport.
When you use a paddle and balance on a board or in a boat, you use all of your large muscles to stay upright and in control. Your arms, back, core and legs will all be engaged as you enjoy the sport.
You will notice that as you gain experience in your water sport of choice that you visibly get more toned and are capable of doing longer stints in the water and propelling yourself further. Having improved muscle strength is a brilliant benefit for your everyday life as well as your sporting prowess.
3. Cardiovascular Improvements
In terms of your heart health, water sports are excellent for keeping you fit, strong and functioning properly. We have already seen that these water-based activities are great for burning calories and developing stronger muscles.
When you burn calories, your heart works harder and is strengthened as you go. The heart is arguably the most important muscle in the body, and keeping it strong can extend your life.
You can reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by getting regular exercise. This is because inactivity and obesity are two of the common causes of heart disease. If you want to keep yourself healthy and safe from strokes and heart attacks, taking up a water sport is a good first step.
4. Balance and Coordination
Another huge advantage of taking up kayaking, SUP boarding or any other water sport is that you will develop better balance and coordination. It is super normal to fall or capsize the first time you try out a water sport.
But, as you get better and more comfortable on the water, you will find that you can stay upright more easily. Experience will teach you how to maneuver safely in the water and your balance, coordination and confidence will soar as a result.
With improved balance and coordination, you might find that you improve in other sports that you enjoy. Moreover, as you age, you might find that you are at an advantage over your peers who do not do water sports, as you have built up the muscles necessary for walking steadily.
5. Fresh Air
Remember that when you do water sports, 99 times out of 100, you will be outside in the open air. This is extremely beneficial for your health in a number of ways.
When you breathe in clean, countryside air, you can benefit your lung health. This is a welcome break from the pollution of cities and the stale air of an office building. On top of lung health, fresh air can reduce headaches and tiredness.
Breathing in fresh, outdoor air will also have a marked effect on your mental well-being. When you are physically active and out in the fresh air and sunlight, you will notice an improved mental state. It can clear the cobwebs, refresh you and remind you of the beauty of the world to be outside in the open water.
6. Mental Health Benefits
So, our 6th and final point is that water sports can significantly benefit people with mental health difficulties.
If you suffer from depression, anxiety or any other mental ill health, taking up a water sport can be life-changing. When you get fresh air, build your confidence and experience the thrill and joy of getting better at a new sport, your mental health challenges can be alleviated.
Even if you do not struggle with mental health issues, you will still improve your mood and keep any risks of mental ill health at bay by looking after your body, having fun and being with nature. Mental and physical health go hand-in-hand, so we need to prioritize both.
As you can see, water sports offer a whole host of awesome benefits for your physical and mental health.
Activities like kayaking, canoeing, SUP boarding and surfing are brilliant ways to burn calories, develop stronger muscles, improve your heart health, increase your balance and coordination skills, get out in the fresh air and alleviate mental health concerns.
So, pick a water sport today and start making healthier choices! Remember, if you have never done any of these activities before, you might want to get lessons before you jump into the deep end. Practice safety first and you will have a healthy, happy and fun time with your new sport.