The thrill of surfing and the excitement of an afternoon kayaking aren’t solely wonderful for the joy they bring. In fact, a number of individuals pursue them primarily for their health benefits. Talk to any wild swimming enthusiast during winter and you’ll often be told all about the numerous benefits that come from regularly submerging your body into cold water, in the same way that paddleboarders are likely to share the physical benefits of their low-impact activity.
Whether you’re new to water-based activities or are considering picking one up, here are some of the benefits that your well-being will receive.
While any physical activity, even a gentle stroll, will benefit one’s physical health, watersports are especially valued by those looking to get into shape. Whether you are looking to build upper body strength with a kayak paddle, embrace a low-impact and full-body workout with swimming, or to develop core strength and balance with paddleboarding, you’re certain to enjoy your exercise, all of which is inextricably linked to navigating the landscape of water.
Being out in nature, by placid lakes and relaxing waves, helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Even outside of the aquatic activities themselves, simply being outside and among the wild landscapes, helps to boost one’s mood. This is because the calming atmosphere helps to reduce blood pressure while activities, such as wild swimming, help to encourage a sense of accomplishment.
Immune System Boosting
Immersing oneself in cold water might not seem like a particularly good idea, or certainly not one we might voluntarily opt to do, however, it has a range of health benefits. Swimming, especially cold water swimming, stimulates the body to create more white blood cells, gradually building the body’s defences by boosting its immune system.
While cold water might seem too difficult a hurdle to overcome for the benefits, it’s worth noting that a body immersed in cold water will also release endorphins, giving the mind a sense of excitement that some even find slightly addictive!
Many watersports enthusiasts will monitor their heart rate when getting out onto the water. This is because aquatic activities stimulate the heart and blood vessels, improving cardiovascular health. For those looking to improve their stamina, blood pressure, and even cholesterol levels, heading out to paddle or swim is an excellent idea.
Watersports are ideal activities for groups, which is why a number of lakes, rivers, and shores will have dedicated communities nearby, whether kayaking clubs or swimming meets. Joining these groups is a great way to safely experience the activity for the first time, ensuring that you each look out for one another. They can also help to build confidence too, encouraging individuals to commit to an activity and offering positive reinforcement.
Socialisation is important for mental health, which is why many find themselves enjoying watersports so readily, enjoying not only the activity itself but also the friends that are formed through it.