lifestyle

Outdoor Activities: How to Make Water Sports Good for Your Health

mehealth & fitnesslifestylehealth-wellness

People riding on water tubes on a lake Exercise—This month has been a busy one for me, and I’m starting to realize that I haven’t spent as much time exercising as I should. When I’m at the house or office, I tend to somehow end up back at my desk, with the intention of checking email just one more time. The next thing I know, after clicking through one too many links, I realize the time set aside for working out is gone, and I’m on to the next activity.

But this doesn’t happen to me when water sports are involved! I love to be in the water, and when I go swim some laps, there’s no email alert that's going to interfere with my time in the pool. I put on my goggles and count away the laps.

When we are at the beach, cruising on the boat, or riding some of our inflatable boat tubes, what is happening in the stock market is the farthest thing from my mind. I just hang on as we glide across the water, and enjoy the warmth of the sun, and the waves splashing around the tube. And below the water, when I am scuba diving, I focus on my air consumption, depth, time – I think very little about anything that’s above the water during that peaceful time!

I personally find that being involved in outdoor water sports are one of the best ways for me to stay healthy, both mentally and physically. Mentally, participating in a water sport helps to relieve both stress and tension. My mind takes a break from the hectic pace of a busy life, and I relax and have fun. The water has a calming effect, and I can feel my muscles loosening up as I move my arms and kick my legs. I also focus on my breathing: I purposefully take in deep inhales, and then slowly exhale, trying to push all the air out of my lungs. That mental activity has great physical benefits too.

Girl water skiing People of all ages, and health levels can participate in a variety of water activities. The strong and athletic can enjoy water skiing, wake boarding, or kite surfing. Those who are somewhat athletic can ride on boat tubes, kayak, paddle board, swim from point A to point B, or just tread water. People can also benefit from just relaxing along the shore or sitting on the dock, watching others have fun on the water.

As you participate in outdoor activities, take advantage of the time and focus on some healthy habits: practice your breathing techniques, be conscious of your posture, do some isometric exercises for your core muscles, lift your arms or do push-ups for your upper body, take a quick walk to get some cardio activity.

Whatever you do, allow your mind to rest, and keep your body moving. And don’t worry; whatever you set aside that day, will be there when you get back!

What are your favorite water activities? What water sports help you to stay active and healthy?

Jane Warren enjoys outdoor water sports such as swimming, diving, and boating. She manages the blog TowableTubesDirect.com which provides reviews, and recommendations on Newport inflatable boats, towable tubes, and safety related accessories. Based on her own experience with water safety, she also provides rules for safety during water sport activities.

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