Water sports are an incredibly popular pastime in the UK, despite our unpredictable weather. Some of the fittest, healthiest people are found in and on the water. Research has found that people who partake in water sports enjoy this form of fitness more than their dry land counterparts enjoy theirs. With Spring now upon us and Summer not far away, what better time to get to the water and enjoy some healthy water sports?
The Health Benefits of Water Sports
There are many health benefits to taking part in water sports. In most cases, water sports are done outside where you get to enjoy nature and breathe in the fresh air, making you feel energised and refreshed.
Water sports are a fantastic form of exercise. They make you work almost the whole of your body, burning calories and increasing metabolism. People with health issues such as chronic heart disease, arthritis and diabetes will all benefit from participating in water sports. Water’s fluidity is ideal for soothing sore achy muscles and joints without aggravating symptoms. Water will hold 90% of your body weight, making it easy to move without causing discomfort or further injury. Swimming is an ideal sport for anyone with joint injuries, back pain, arthritis, or even depression as it is great exercise and good for your mental health in general.
In the Water
Water sports done in and under the water such as swimming, diving, water aerobics and water polo are great for fitness as they give the entire body a workout. These sports increase physical stamina and are great regardless of what your fitness level is.
The ISC blog explains the effect of water sports on the body:
“Many of the sports that take place in aquatic environments require a coordination of both anaerobic and aerobic exercises which in turn promote stamina; As a direct result, swimming, diving and other such activities help us push ourselves for much longer. It is worth stating that the well- being of young adults is directly associated to their physical state, making it essential to avoid becoming overweight which threatens so many young adults of the 21st century.”
On the Water
There are a lot of people that take part in water sports because they enjoy doing it with friends and family. At weekends, beaches are busy most times of the year with surfers, paddle boarders and wind surfers. Although these sports are done on the water rather than in it, they are still great forms of exercise requiring stamina, balance and strength.
Kayaking, for example, is a great way of relieving stress as well as being an excellent way of keeping fit. When a kayak paddle goes through the water and a stroke is completed, almost every muscle in your upper body is worked, as well as some lower muscles.
Other water sports done on water include jet skiing, sailing, rowing and kite surfing.