Health & Fitness

If you love being out on the water, there are many great activities you can participate in. Not only are these activities fun, but many of them are also a great form of exercise. So ditch your traditional exercise routine and try one of these active water sports! Also, in this section of the website, you will find  information about useful items for your health and safety.

For people who live to get out in the sun and the water, health and fitness are side benefits of a fun-loving lifestyle.

When you’re already out there doing what you love and loving what you do, health and wellness are just part of the routine. These kinds of activities not only keep us physically fit, but also mentally strong. They give us the mental edge and extra energy we need when we are regularly exerting ourselves physically and immersing ourselves in the activities we love the most.

At waterhead.com, we’re committed to bringing you all of the latest news and trends on the world of water, and this means keeping you up-to-date with helpful resources and safety tips. On this page, we’ll take a look at some of the best sports and activities for keeping you healthy and fit, all while having a blast out on the water, and we’ll also throw some safety tips your way for each one. We need to keep you sharp and in the game, so let’s take a look at a shortlist of our favorites and how to tackle them the right way.

Surfing

Tied to the board
Tied to the board

Surfing may just be the queen mother of all beach-going activities, both for the fun factor and its ability to whip you into tip-top shape in a hurry. And, did we mention how much fun it is? Even learning to surf (if you go into it with the right attitude) can be immensely pleasurable. The feeling of gratification from getting up on the board for the first time is a rush that you will never forget. And it only gets better from there. But the increase in confidence and the guaranteed fun-factor are only the start.

Specific health benefits from surfing are clear and obvious. Cardiovascular health is improved by the nature of the activity, from paddling to swimming, to getting up onto and off of the board. Core strength is increased as you develop greater muscle density and coordination in large as well as support muscles throughout the legs, lower back and abdomen. And generally, your strength and muscle tone will improve because of the combination of cardiovascular and strength movements.

Get out into the surf and onto a board! If you’ve never done it before, take the plunge and take lessons the next time you’re on vacation. You can do it and you’ll never regret it.

SAFETY TIPS: Always be aware of your surroundings and the water conditions where you plan to surf. Adhere to any warning signs or indications that it is not currently safe to be in the water. Having an amazing time and catching killer waves doesn’t have to mean being unsafe, so play it cool so you can live to surf another day.

Swimming

Violet one-piece swimsuit
Violet one-piece swimsuit

The universal water sport of humankind and arguably the most complete and comprehensive exercise, encompassing strength-building, muscle-toning and cardiovascular movements. Perhaps the greatest appeal of swimming is that it can be enjoyed in such a broad diversity of locations and settings. From tropical beaches and rugged coastal shorelines to freshwater lakes and luxurious resort swimming pools, there is an experience tailor-made for every individual.

For those looking to get the greatest health benefits from swimming, a regular routine of laps is usually just what the doctor ordered. But even if you aren’t a dedicated lap swimmer, you can enjoy the health benefits of swimming just by getting out and going at your own pace. You’ll find that you’re getting a proper cardiovascular workout after treading water for just a minute or two, and your entire body will be working to support every micro-movement of each limb and your core. Swimming is both fun and good for you, so if you want to increase energy and enjoy greater overall fitness, work time in the water into your regular exercise routine, and you may even find yourself looking forward to your workouts a little more.

SAFETY TIPS: It may seem obvious, but you need to be aware of your environment, and that not only includes where you are, but also who you’re with. If, for example, you’re enjoying vacation time at one of the beach locations we’ve featured here, where there are times when the tide can be intense, you need to be wary of swimming, especially with kids, even in shallow waters. Pay attention to all signage and listen to lifeguards on duty.

Paddle Boarding

Couple Paddle Boarding
Couple Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding is one of our favorite water sports for one big reason: you can get exercise and chill at the same time! I mean, how many water activities can offer that? It is an activity that, similar to surfing, once you have the idea, can provide both physical and mental health benefits. Both activities require focus and concentration, and this complete immersion in the activity can build confidence and give a sense of fulfillment and real joy, especially as you find yourself progressing along.

Standup paddle boarding offers a full-body workout, even as it is a low-impact exercise. Besides the obvious benefits to the core muscles, paddle boarding is also great for building muscle tone and strength in the lower legs, upper back, shoulders and arms. And there’s no need to take it at anyone’s pace except your own. Some days you might find that you get really into a high-energy, high-paddle workout, while on other days, it may suit you more to skim along the surface at a more even pace. In either event, you’ll be burning calories, toning muscle, building strength, and most importantly, having fun!

SAFETY TIPS: Wear your life vest. Pack your sunscreen. First and foremost, consider going out with an experienced boarder for the first time, or, take a lesson. Once you’ve got it, it will be second nature, but to get going, play it safe so you can concentrate on having fun once you’re up.

Kayaking

Kayaker
Kayaker

Anyone who has spent a day out on a kayak will tell you that you are going to get a good workout. Now, this doesn’t mean that every time you kayak needs to be super intense, but if getting a killer workout while also being out on the water is appealing to you, look no further.

First and foremost, make sure you have all the gear you need, starting with an appropriately sized kayak. Once you have your gear and equipment covered, you’re ready to get out on the water. If you have a local waterway nearby, you can take it out anytime, or strap it to the top of the car for your next road trip. The fact that you can enjoy kayaking in so many settings, from rushing rivers to peaceful lakes makes it that much more appealing.

Another awesome benefit of kayaking is that it is not prohibitively expensive to get started. You can purchase a high-quality, durable kayak and all of the equipment you need for an affordable price, and begin to enjoy not only the fun, but also the health and fitness benefits of being out and active on the water with more regularity. It’s an investment worth making.

The paddling that kayaking requires is a combination, cardio and muscle building workout that can also have the desirable side-benefit of also being a really good time. We like these kinds of activities. For us, staying fit is all about having fun, and there’s no better place to do that than on the water.

SAFETY TIPS: As with paddle boarding, it’s important to wear your life vest. Kayaking is a perfectly safe water activity when you play it smart. It’s important to keep in mind that water and weather conditions are always susceptible to change, so have your safety gear and equipment in line and you’ll be all set.

Check out our list

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Health, Fitness and Wellness Tips

To make the most of all of the activities listed above and to stay on top of your fitness game in general, we’ve put together a short list of your basic, run-of-the-mill best practices for staying safe in the sun and surf.

  • We don’t want to sound like mom and dad, but come on, bring the sunscreen! You’re going to be rocking in the sun all day long and you need to protect your sensitive skin from harmful UV rays. Lather up. You’ll thank us later.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Did we mention hydrate? Bring your reusable water bottle and plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day, especially with prolonged exposure to the sun. If you’re taking part in more intense water sports, build in breaks to recoup and rejuvenate.
  • Know your surroundings. Be aware of weather and water conditions, any signs or warning placards, listen to the experts and authorities, and be prepared with the appropriate safety equipment for your needs.
  • Bring appropriate gear and equipment. This applies in spades to safety gear, which is a pre-requisite for enjoying these activities the right way. If you’re kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, sailing, or enjoying any number of the other multitude of activities that call for a life vest, wear one! It’s for your own safety, and further, allows you to take your mind off of anything but enjoying your time in the sun.
  • Go at your own speed. If you’re a beginning surfer, give yourself time to be a beginner. Enjoy the process. When you give yourself the luxury of going at your own speed, you often catch yourself learning and advancing much more quickly than you could have ever imagined.
  • Bring a wet/dry bag. Depending on the activity, these can be lifesavers.
  • Do you own a wetsuit? You may just want to look into one, especially if you’re a person who doesn’t allow cold weather or water to deter them from passions like scuba diving and surfing. Stay warm and stay safe. Plan ahead and know what the water conditions are like prior to taking the plunge that day.

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