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Top 5 Water Sports Activities For Boosting Mental Wellbeing

Posted by Luke Green

You probably already know how beneficial watersports activities are for physical health, but what you may be less aware of is how they can benefit our mental health. Any kind of physical exercise releases endorphins that boost our mood, however the soothing effects of being in water mean that water sports activities can have their own unique wellbeing benefits. So if you’re looking for ways to help mental wellbeing, whilst staying fit and having fun, be sure to check out the following watersports activities…


Wild Swimming


Wild swimming has become increasingly popular in recent years, and when you look at the physical and mental health benefits you can see why. Wild swimming is one of the best water sports activities you can do to de-stress. Studies have shown that taking a dip in cold water regularly can boost dopamine levels (the happy hormone!) whilst improving our mental resilience and response to stress. Just make sure to follow the necessary safety precautions when wild swimming, particularly when cold water swimming in lakes, rivers and seas.

person open water swimming wearing a wetsuit and pink swimming cap

Paddle Boarding


The soothing effect of floating on the water, combined with the mental health benefits of being in nature, make paddle boarding one of the most effective watersports activities for promoting positive mental wellbeing. In addition to this, the repetitive action of paddling is said to help focus the mind and reduce stress levels in the process. Making the most of the calming benefits of being on the water by paddle boarding regularly can help to ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.

organiser of 101 SUP carrying a SUP surf board

Kayaking


Kayaking, just like paddle boarding, is one of the best water sports activities for discovering new locations and wildlife. It’s a great way to escape everyday stresses and it reduces feelings of anxiety by focussing the mind and releasing endorphins. It’s also a great way to ensure your body is getting the fresh air and vitamin D that it needs. Kayaking in a tandem or with others also provides a perfect opportunity to catch up with loved ones.

sail boat on the sea at dusk

Sailing


Another one of the best watersports activities for boosting mental wellbeing that’s often overlooked is sailing. The mental health benefits of being on or near the sea have been widely known for years, however many people who sail have also claimed that it has helped boost their self-esteem, whilst the sense of teamwork that many types of sailing require further helps to improve happiness and wellbeing. Joining a sailing club is a great way to make sailing a fun, social activity.

person kayaking on the sea at dusk

Surfing


Surfing is a high energy activity and so it’s clear to see how the physical element of surfing releases endorphins that boost your sense of wellbeing. However, in addition to this, surfing is also said to improve mindfulness due to the concentration that’s required to catch a wave. It’s also said to contribute to better sleep patterns and sleep quality, as well as helping you escape everyday stresses by immersing yourself in the natural environment.

3 women paddling on Red inflatable paddle boards as the sun goes down off the Dorset coast