7 Health Benefits You Can Enjoy from Sailing
August 7, 2020
Sailing is a wonderful leisure activity. You can enjoy a peaceful holiday away from the crowds with your family, party with your friends, or indulge in some quality me-time while fishing or just relaxing on the deck. But what many people don’t realize is that sailing is so much more than just a hobby or sport. In addition to giving you the freedom to choose where to go and what to do, it also offers a plethora of health benefits. What are these benefits, you ask? Here are just a few of them that might convince you to enroll in Europa Sailing School, when quarantine is already lifted, of course, in order to learn how to sail.
Sailing Develops Muscle Strength
Sailing involves pulling lines, as well as hoisting and trimming sails to help you maneuver your boat properly. In turn, these activities can help develop muscle strength on your shoulders and back, as well as your legs and thighs to some degree. The same activities can also improve your agility, endurance, fine motor skills, flexibility, and hand-eye coordination.
Sailing Can Help Improve Cardiovascular Health
As discussed in the previous point, sailing involves physical work. When you engage in strenuous activities, your lungs get some “exercise” as well to provide your body with enough oxygen. This, in turn, helps improve your cardiovascular health. The benefits are further boosted by the better quality of air that you breathe when you’re in the middle of the sea. And when you have optimal cardiovascular health, you’ll also have lower risks of hypertension and other heart-related diseases.
Sailing Can Help Keep Your Bones Strong
Exposure to sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D, which is crucial to bone health. When you go sailing, you get unrestricted access to the sun, with no man-made structures getting in the way of sunlight. Of course, it’s best to get your sun exposure early in the morning, when the sun’s rays aren’t as harsh. Also make sure to slather on some sunscreen to prevent skin damage, and wear a hat and a pair of sunglasses to minimize your risk of headaches and eye strain.
Sailing Helps with Mental Wellness
Being surrounded by calm blue waters and inhaling the fresh, salty sea air can help improve your mental wellbeing as well. In particular, the salt in the air helps your body absorb more oxygen, which in turn helps balance the amount of serotonin in your system. Serotonin is known to many people as the “happy hormone,” which can help improve your mood. Meanwhile, being near a body of water is also helpful in regulating one’s mood. This can be attributed to the relaxing sounds of flowing water or of waves slapping the sides of the boat or crashing onto the shore. This is also why a lot of white noise machines that help people sleep have the option to play simulated sounds of the ocean or a rushing river.
In addition to all of these, sailing is also a peaceful and quiet sport that you can enjoy in full privacy and isolation. Being alone with nothing but the sun, sand, and sea is sure to help you mentally refresh from the stresses of your daily life.
Sailing Helps Improve Concentration
One of the ultimate goals of sailing is to keep the boat afloat and cruising smoothly on the water. Doing this requires monitoring various aspects of the weather like wind pattern, while you steer the boat and keep an eye on the gauges. In this way, sailing can help also improve your focus and concentration, making you pay attention to the smallest details. This mental training comes in handy for those who need to multitask in their day-to-day lives.
Sailing Can Help Reduce Stress
Unless you’re prone to seasickness, the gentle rocking motions of a boat and the sound of splashing water and the wind on the sails can help bring about a sense of calm in you. This, in turn, can help reduce your stress levels and soothe your mind. As we all know, low stress levels can help strengthen our body’s defense against disease.
Sailing Can Help Improve Spatial Awareness and Visual Acuity
Handling a boat needs spatial awareness. That is, you need to quickly estimate how much space a boat requires so that you can manoeuvre it without coming into contact with other things — a skill that is especially useful when you are berthing a boat in a marina. Indeed, sailing helps improve one’s spatial awareness and depth perception, which is also useful for driving. Moreover, sailing helps train your eyes to notice things at a great distance. This can again prove useful back on land, when you’re driving or even when you’re simply crossing the street.
With all of these health benefits, you can see that sailing is definitely more than just a fancy hobby. While sailing, you keep your body in great physical condition and your mind sharp enough to take in everything that’s going on around you. Through all of these, you will develop a healthy mindset that celebrates your freedom, independence, and mastery of the sport.
If you’re a boat owner or thinking about buying or chartering one, you can take pleasure in the thought that your favorite activity is not only fun but also good for your wellbeing. Find a sailing boat to sharpen your skills with, and experience the freedom of sailing today!