Whether you’re out on a lake to relax or competing at high speeds against other boats, sailing can be a great activity for your health and fitness. Not only are you controlling a vessel, but you’re also adjusting constantly to Mother Nature’s elements, which can be a strong force that challenges your mental and physical fitness.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of sailing:
- Muscle strength and endurance: The many activities involved in sailing, like pulling and hoisting of sails to maneuver a boat or a yacht, add to your muscle strength for your shoulders and back.
- Cardiovascular fitness: Sailing can also improve your cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of hypertension, obesity and other heart illness. This is because of the large amount of oxygen uptake that happens when you engage in intense activities.
- Mental wellness: Being out on the water puts you in a good mood not just because of the calmness of the water but because of the salty air. The saltiness of the sea air is composed of charged ions that aid in the body’s oxygen absorption, which in turn balances serotonin levels. The more balanced your body’s serotonin levels are, the happier you’re going to be.
- Lowers stress levels: The swooshing and splashing of water, the rhythmic movement of the yacht and the sound of the wind in the sails can all affect brainwave patterns. This relaxes and soothes a busy and highly stressed-out mind.
- Increases agility: The various tasks associated with sailing also help improve your flexibility and agility. Activities like pulling lines or hoisting sails can significantly improve your hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
- Improves concentration: Because many people today are chronic multi-taskers, they should develop a deep sense of concentration. With the ultimate goal of staying safe while on board, sailing enhances a person’s ability to focus even with multiple tasks at hand.
- Improves communication skills: To effectively control a boat, the captain and his crew must act as a unified unit. To do this they need to learn how to communicate effectively, especially through non-verbal means. Everyone on board has a crucial role to play in order to keep the ship afloat.
- Spatial awareness: Sailing requires the participant to be aware of the dimension of the boat along with the space required for the maneuvering of the boat. By sailing, you can have an increased understanding of how much space something requires; this skill translates to skills required on land as well such as driving.
- Organizational skills: Being on a ship requires that everything is kept in “shipshape.” After being exposed to this mentality, other aspects of your life begin to reflect this standard. You will become more organized in your personal life, which will boost motivation to eat healthier, exercise more and increase your quality of life.