In a never-ending quest to maintain a healthy body, we are constantly searching for new ways to improve our well-being and mood, and to take our minds off of our day-to-day struggles.
In science, the sea has been widely known to be a key facilitator in actively improving our health and wellness, both from a physical and a mental perspective. Seawater elements can help activate the body’s healing mechanisms and support a multitude of common health issues.
In this article we will discuss the various health benefits to the sea specifically, as well as the health benefits of being active and ultimately how you should be combining the two of these factors together through watersports!
Health Benefits of Seawater
Seawater is one of mother nature’s great gifts and its benefits have been scientifically shown to be many.
Taking a plunge into the sea is known to improve blood circulation by restoring essential micro-elements within our bodies that are depleted by poor diets, stress and environmental pollution.
To complement this, when exposed to cold water, blood moves very quickly away from our extremities towards our major organs and then back out again as we warm up, aiding in our circulation.
Also, immersing yourself in cold water boosts the production of white blood cells which is important for fighting off infection.
Additionally, being rich in magnesium, seawater helps release stress and relax your muscles, but interestingly, being in the sea has also been linked to stimulating the parasympathetic system which is responsible for rest and repair and, crucially, can trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin.
These are hormones vital to keeping us happy, as low levels of these are linked with depression.
Finally, ocean waters contain an endless supply of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, trace elements and micro-organisms which have antibacterial effects and can even work as natural antibiotics. These components are absorbed by the skin when you swim and even by inhaling sea mist.
So all-in-all, get in the sea!
Health Benefits of Watersports
Of course, when it comes to taking care of our health, nothing beats moving our bodies! In that regard, watersports are known to be notoriously therapeutic. Whether wing foiling, surfing or boating, there’s something undoubtedly thrilling and healing about being active in the water.
Physical exercise, in any form, releases endorphins, which are natural secretions that lighten our moods and make us feel happy; so paired with the health benefits of the sea listed above, you have a powerful way of keeping stress, anxiety, and other common mental health challenges at bay.
Further to this, the water has an extremely positively soothing and calming effect on our minds. It does so by focusing the attention solely on the activity, which can help you escape your own head for a while, feel grounded in the moment, and enhance your cognitive skills.
When practiced regularly, aquatic sports can work to reduce your likelihood of feeling down or depressed.
Why Wing Foiling
Wing foiling in particular is one of the newer watersports and is quickly gaining popularity because of many reasons, but primarily due to its ease of access. Compared to something like windsurfing, for example, where you need a large board, sail, boom, mast and other small parts, wing foiling equipment is all very compact and easy to rig.
Now, whilst this may aid your mental health (no more frustrating gear rigging!), there are also further benefits in the water.
Wing foiling (as well as foiling in general) is an extremely elegant watersport. As the foil lifts you above the surface of the water, your ride instantly becomes more like gliding, floating, or flying. You no longer have all the bumps and chop from the sea hitting your knees and joints as you normally would in other board sports, and so from that perspective, it’s a much safer sport for your joints.
Obviously, like with any sport, wing foiling can significantly boost your cardiovascular health. Engaging your whole body promotes better oxygenation, enhanced metabolic functions, and improved overall wellbeing.
Last but not least, sports are well-known for helping reduce the risks of chronic diseases. As such, individuals who are prone to obesity, diabetes, or chronic heart diseases can witness a significant improvement in their health and immune system with frequent exercise in the water.
All you need is a wing and a board! (Note: you can start with a large paddleboard!)
So all in all, it comes as no surprise that watersports are some of the most popular activities out there. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned vet, everybody can see some sort of benefit from practicing these on a regular basis.
As mentioned, they naturally improve our mood and strength and deliver a great workout; without forgetting all the health benefits of the sea, as well as the enjoyment and exhilaration that comes with being in the water!
Happy surfing!Team Ftero