Exploring forms of water sports for exercise; which is right for you?

Water sports are a great way to exercise and have fun all at the same time. And with so many to choose…

Exploring forms of water sports for exercise; which is right for you?
Foto: Photo by Crawfish Head via CCL

Water sports are a great way to exercise and have fun all at the same time. And with so many to choose from, there’s little chance of getting bored or stuck in a rut. A lot depends on what you’re looking to get out of the activity. Ask yourself if it’s total mind and body or one more than the other. No matter what the answer is, you’re sure to find something that fits your speed. If you’re the adventurous type, and depending on your fitness level, you may want to try them all until you find what’s best for you.

If you live near waves, few water sports will give you the best of both worlds when it comes to total mind and body benefits like surfing. It’s a great way to get in shape, and many of today’s top surfers extol its zen-like virtues. If you know any surfers, you’ll have to agree. They’re usually super laid back and have a very definite swimmer’s body with a trim waistline and hips. Surfers are the first ones at the beach in the morning and, for the most part, follow a healthy diet for all the energy they’re going to burn — especially if they’re going to compete. Though competion may not be in your future, this is still an excellent way to get in shape and clear your mind. As long as you’re a good swimmer, this sport is great for beginners, too.

Scuba diving falls into the advanced water sports category because it requires a certain level of fitness and training. If you’re considering this sport for yourself, be sure and consult with a physician before you invest in certification classes or gear. You may have a condition that precludes you from this activity, and it’s best to know it upfront. If you are deemed healthy enough to participate in this fun sport, besides the physical exercise, you’ll also experience the relaxation benefits that come with the tranquility of floating about and being in your own little world under the sea. Obviously, this is another one of those must-live-near-the-ocean things, and it can get a bit expensive, so bear that in mind.

Kayaking, like the other water sports we’ve mentioned, is a great total mind and body workout. Think about it. You’ve got to load your kayak onto the car or into the truck to get it where you want to go, and then unload it and hike to your launch area. Once you’ve shoved off, the real upper body workout begins. This is great for core strengthening and arms and shoulders. Every time you climb in and out of it, you’re exerting effort as well. And while you’re on the water, just like canoeing, you’re left to your own mental devices to clear your head or sort things out while you take in the scenery. This is one of those water sports that can be both very challenging and very relaxing. It’s up to you to set the limits. Beginners and intermediates will enjoy this sport.

As water sports go, windsurfing combines skill and agility with a certain amount of fearlessness. This total mind and body workout can be taken advantage of wherever there’s wind and water. It’s a very popular activity all across the country, and it’s best suited for strong swimmers and adventure junkies. Start out with surfing before you move on to this form of fun exercise. This, as with the others, is more of a solo sport, which affords you plenty of time to think — or not.