5 Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Sailing
Sailing is not only beneficial for the body but for the mind and soul as well. You can achieve an excellent fitness regimen while having a tremendous time under the sun. Here are to mention some of the health advantages of sailing.
1. Physical fitness – The constant task of pulling and hoisting a sail to keep the boat in the right track strengthens and builds muscles of the upper and lower extremities, trunk and abdomen. Agility, flexibility and endurance of the body needed to meet the demands of sailing activities are developed and enhanced.
2. Cardiovascular fitness – Just like all physical activities and sports that keep one healthy, sailing activities can decrease the risk of heart disease and hypertension, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce risk for obesity. And just like all muscles, the heart grows stronger with exercise, so it can pump blood more effectively throughout the arteries and veins of the body and also work at maximum rate with less effort. Those who exercise also have a slower resting heart rate due to less effort needed to pump blood.
3. Psychological – Why are people always in a jolly and pleasant mood while out on the water? Aside from the natural calming effects generated by the sounds of the waves and the wind, the saltiness in the air also contributes to that feeling of euphoria. The various moods of an individual are greatly affected by a neurotransmitter called serotonin, a chemical substance that is known to produce a happy feeling. The saltiness of air is comprised of charged ions which promote oxygen absorption in the body, thereby producing a more balanced serotonin levels. The more balanced the serotonin levels in the body are, the greater the sense of happiness.
4. Relaxation – The sound of the wind and waves, splashing water, the cadenced movement of the boat, and the feel of breeze on your face stimulate the brain wave patterns in ways that promote a relaxing and calming effect to a person. The body and mind are alleviated from stresses and anxiety as one becomes relaxed and focuses on the fun and exciting tasks.
5. Concentration – Concentration skill is developed and enhanced while sailing as sailors need to stay focused and mentally alert to perform the multiple challenging tasks at hand.
In addition to the above health benefits, sailing provides an opportunity for people to socialize and spend time outside with a positive ambiance. Sailors belong to an active, diverse and dynamic enthusiast group. Furthermore, sailing creates a sense of healthy and strong appreciation for nature.