Now that lockdown is lifting in many places and there are some signs of getting back to normal, it’s good to know what ways you can keep fit and healthy. While many people have had to make do with running because of Covid-19, now is the time that you can explore other options that will hopefully be a bit more interesting and exciting. And while the weather’s so good, water sports are the perfect alternative!
And water sports aren’t just great physically - they’re good for your mental health too. It’s proven that getting out onto the water can release mood boosting endorphins, while also providing an escape from day to day life.
In this post, we’ll take a look at seven of the best water sports activities that will improve your fitness. There’s sure to be one perfectly suited to you!
Let’s start off with a simple one - swimming. It requires no equipment (except a swimsuit of course), and you can do it in a number of places. Whether it’s your local swimming pool, wild swimming in a lake, or taking a dip on holiday at the beach, it’s one of the most fun and exhilarating activities there is. More importantly though, it provides a full body workout and you can build up your strength and cardio the more you push yourself against the water resistance. Swimming is also great if you’re coming back from an injury since it’s pretty much impact free.
Stand up Paddle Boarding
When you see people stand up paddle boarding, you could be forgiven for thinking that they’re not actually doing all that much. Just drifting across the surface of a still lake or gentle waves against the shore occasionally moving their paddle. However, you might be surprised! Stand up paddle boarding at a leisurely pace burns between 300 - 450 calories per hour. This is about twice what you’d burn walking at a speed of 2.5mph.
It’s a great workout for your core, and good stand up paddle boarders will find that their levels of balance and stability increase. It can increase cardiovascular endurance too. It’s no surprise that so many people love SUP - it’s the fastest growing board sport in the world!
If you like the sound of stand-up paddle boarding, you’ll love SUP yoga. It’s exactly what it sounds like - yoga on a paddle board! Combining both workouts means that as well as working on your core, you’re improving your flexibility and using muscles that have long lain dormant too. And there’s also the fact that you should be able to totally relax and disconnect from everyday life. There are even specific yoga stand up paddle boards, the best type for this are inflatable as they offer lots of space and are also easy to transport.
As well as yoga, fishing and surfing are popular activities to combine with SUPing too - each with their own benefits!
While on the subject of board sports, it’s impossible to miss surfing off a list of the best water sports workouts. It really does test the whole body - you’ll need upper body strength to paddle out, balance to ride the waves as well as agility, stamina, and concentration.
It really benefits your cardiovascular system too - your heart will be pumping hard throughout the workout. In terms of your core and upper body, surfing is still considered quite low resistance so it’s easy on your joints.
And if you think about it, how many surfers have you seen that don’t look great?!
Kayaking could sometimes fit into the same category as stand up paddle boarding. It may look like it’s not that much of a challenge from afar, but spend a couple of hours kayaking even the calmest streams and rivers and your mind will soon be changed. Paddling is not only good for your cardio, but toning your legs, arms, and core. Kayaking is a more than adequate alternative to the gym - and it’s easier to social distance too!
You’ll find that most people don’t do scuba diving as a workout activity, as it’s a lot of commitment just to get a little trimmer. However, you can’t deny its obvious physical and mental benefits. You’ll use the same muscles that you use with swimming, but with more resistance. And there’s the small fact that you are also wearing quite a few kilograms of equipment in the depths of the ocean!
There’s also the fact that in most places that you can scuba dive, you’ll see tropical fish, turtles, and sharks. What’s not to love?!
For those who have been looking at this list thinking, great, but where are the team sports, let’s end with something for you. Water polo can be played casually with friends, or if you’re more competitive, in a league. The feeling of scoring a goal and being part of a team is just as beneficial for the mind as the full workout you get as you tread water to stay afloat is for the body.
Published by Lavismichel Inkel