For some, the thought of having to immerse themselves into the water in any way or form terrifies them. Whether it’s at the beach or the pool, they are perfectly content with lazing by the side and staying far away from the action. Whereas for others, they live for the fluidity and unpredictability of water, never missing out on a chance to throw themselves headfirst into it. As such, most of them tend to engage in water-based activities whenever they can.
Cliff diving, kite surfing or kayaking — there is a myriad of water sports out there and the best part is that they boast several benefits for our physical and mental well-being. Unlike most land-based exercises, certain water sports can be beneficial for those suffering from chronic joint aches or muscle pains as they place lesser pressure on the affected body parts. This is due to the buoyancy of water, which allows for people to easily move through it, without straining their stiff joints. As a result, it is not unusual to see individuals of all ages embracing water sports such as swimming, aqua aerobics or scuba diving.
In addition, as many water sports are conducted in an outdoor setting, it also provides you with an opportunity to experience the beauty of nature while burning calories. Thus, it’s sure to revitalise you and aid in alleviating stress. However, when participating in these water sports, you are essentially exposed to various weather elements which can take a toll on your skin and eye health in the long run. Facial creases and lines, freckles, sun spots, skin cancer, photokeratitis and cataracts are all just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the side effects of overexposure to strong sunlight for an extended period of time. Therefore, it’s important that you take the necessary precautions to decrease the likelihood of such health issues from occurring by regularly applying sunscreen and investing in UV protection gear.
Nevertheless, whether you are a sports enthusiast or someone who wants to become more active, water sports are a great way to get your body moving and heart pumping. Depending on your experience or preference, there is a water sport out there for everyone. In light of that, let’s take a look at 3 water activities that sports fanatics should try as below.
Make A Splash With These Interesting Water Sports
As mentioned, it’s essential that you safeguard your skin and eyes from the intense ultraviolet rays that you encounter outdoors while participating in various water activities. As you are going to be in contact with water for long intervals of time, make sure to invest in good water-resistant sunscreens that can withstand sweat, saltwater or chlorine. This is to ensure that it doesn’t melt or slide off your skin. In addition, opt for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which can aid in repelling water off your skin and stay away from those that contain retinyl palmitate. This is because retinyl palmitate can increase the probability of sun sensitivity and make your skin more susceptible to sun damage, in the form of red and irritated skin and increase free radical cell damage. Subsequently, due to the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight, you will have an increased chance of developing dark speckled skin and dark spots or potentially exacerbating any existing ones. Also, be sure to re-apply your sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours as it can wear and slather on generous amounts of it on all exposed areas.
Asides from that, if you are an avid watersports fan, you can also consider investing in specialised watersports sunglasses with polarised lenses that will reduce the glare of the harsh sunlight while simultaneously protecting your eyes at the same time.
Alright, now that you are equipped with the basics of the sun protection measures that you should undertake while participating in outdoor water sports, let us move onto the different water activities that sports lovers should try. Here they are:
If you are a fan of thrills, spills and fancy movements, why not try out kitesurfing? Comprising of different techniques adapted from windsurfing and wakeboarding, kitesurfing is a sport whereby you have to balance on a board that is connected to an enormous kite. Depending on the wind speed and direction, you are then dragged across or out of the water and given the opportunity to perform various airborne stunts. As it can be a rather challenging sport to master, lots of practice and training is required, but it’s sure to get that sense of adrenaline coursing through your veins.
If you are looking to get toned arms while paddling and appreciating the scenery, Kayaking is the perfect way to do so. And the great thing about kayaking is that it can be done on lakes, reservoirs or seas, thus making it super convenient. Plus, it is also an activity that is carried out on your own or with a partner. However, remember to put plenty of sunscreen on your face, neck, arms, legs and any other exposed areas as you will be under the sun for a long time while kayaking, thus increasing the probability of getting a sunburn or exacerbating your existing freckles or dark spots if you do not take the necessary precautionary measures.
Akin to surfing, skimboarding requires you to navigate the waves on a surfboard. The only difference is the initial starting point. Instead of beginning to surf only when you hit the water, you do so at the beach instead. Depending on your skill level and preference, you can also buy skimboards that are made out of wood or foam.