If the thought of going to the gym to exercise or walking around a track doesn’t inspire you, why not get fit and have fun with a water activity? There’s something about adding the element of water to your exercise game that makes the whole prospect of getting fit more appealing. With these nine healthy water activities, you might have so much fun that you’ll forget you’re getting fit.
One of the easiest healthy water activities to do is swimming. All you really need is a safe place to swim. Swimming has many benefits. First, it keeps your heart rate elevated, which is good for your cardiovascular health. It also can help build your stamina and muscle strength. For people who want to exercise but are concerned about impacting their joints, swimming can be a good option — especially because it requires you to use almost all of your muscles.
- Paddle Boarding
If you’re not experienced at paddle boarding, you probably will need to practice a bit or take some paddle board lessons before you can really get into this activity. Practice will help you gain balance over time, and then you’ll be able to stay on a paddle considerable distances or even tackle some waves. Paddle boarding can help you exercise your core, increase your endurance, and strengthen your arms and legs.
Surfing is another good choice for cardiovascular and heart health. In fact, your whole body will get a workout. Your legs will become stronger because you will use them to balance yourself on the board. Your upper body and core will benefit because of the intense paddling you’ll have to do that will put you against the waves.
Kiteboarding requires you to hold onto a bar while in a bent position, which can help you gain physical strength and stamina. With regular sessions, you’ll notice that your upper body area becomes more toned as well.
Bodyboarding often requires strong paddling against the waves, which can help increase your heart rate and build up the muscles in your core, back and arms. This activity also helps strengthen your leg muscles because you have to use them to propel the board into the water.
You might think that the part of the body that does the most work during kayaking is the upper body, and you might be right. The muscles of your back, chest, arms and abdomen are in constant motion while paddling. But the muscles in your legs also are given a workout because you use them to balance the kayak. Paddling is a low-impact exercise, which can help improve the range of motion in your joints without causing undue stress. It also helps increase your heart rate, which benefits your cardiovascular health.
Snorkeling can deliver many healthy benefits, especially if you take it on as a regular activity. First of all, snorkeling can help increase the strength of your lungs because breathing through a tube takes more effort than breathing on dry land. It also requires to use a number of muscles and joints throughout your body, such as arms, hip flexors, legs and ankles as you navigate through the water, which can help increase your strength and endurance.
- Water Aerobics
Water aerobics are a good way to get cardiovascular benefits. You can look up some different exercises online if you prefer to exercise on your own, or you can search for classes in your community. Participating in this activity several times per week will give you the most benefit, rather than just doing it occasionally. Water aerobics are a good option to gain physical fitness without impacting your joints. This type of exercise is especially helpful for people who suffer from joint or muscle conditions. You may even find that your range of motion and flexibility increase.
If you decide to take up rafting, white water rafting will provide the most benefit due to the sustained periods of intense paddling. As you use your upper body to paddle, you will tone your arms, back and shoulders. Your heart rate will also increase, which will provide you with cardiovascular benefits. However, whitewater rafting takes skill and shouldn’t be attempted by a novice. Start out by going out on a raft in mild conditions so you can get a feel for how to navigate the raft without hitting obstacles or capsizing.
Photo by Todd Quackenbush