The ability for people to enter water coupled with the biological hostility of an aquatic environment makes for an exciting setting to challenge the limits of your body AND mind. Whether by swimming, surfing, sailing, or otherwise, watersports are a fun way to stay physically fit and keep your reaction time sharp.
However, each specific water-related activity calls for its own form of mental and physical preparedness. Otherwise, an attempt to use the thrilling nature of water for fun and exercise, you will likely suffer setbacks, injuries, and possibly worse. Nevertheless, practicing the right techniques and using the right gear will give you a high chance of success for fun and fitness.
In addition to swimming as exercise, the necessity of swimming as a basic skill applies to all watersports: there is no guarantee you won’t be forced to swim, in which case you need to know how! Assuming swimming for exercise is occurring in a pool or ocean, an investment in goggles is essential for preventing chlorine or salt water from irritating the eyes. Goggles even help see better in freshwater than just the naked eye.
Surfing is both fun and physically demanding, and allows those living near the ocean a fun way to workout. Beginner surfers need a surfboard that fits their weight/height and has especially high-buoyancy. This allows for a greater tolerance of movement without tipping over as a tradeoff for reduced maneuverability. While beginner surfers may fear sharks lurking in the water, the more likely threat to their bodies is the sun and the water itself. Surfers shouldn’t venture outside the break for long periods without wearing high quality/performance rash guards to help prevent body-temperature drops, saltwater irritation and sunburns. Exposed skin needs waterproof sunscreen which is not cheap, and probably won’t last your entire workout session.
Few high-intensity workouts compare to navigating water rapids in a kayak. Similar to surfing, to prevent rash and sunburn from the high-intensity exposure to water and sun glare when operating a raft or kayak it requires a protective performance rashguard. Furthermore, a properly-fitting flotation vest can be the key to survival if tossed overboard or capsize. Of course, a trustworthy vessel is also required for safe and enjoyable rafting or kayaking. Lastly, somebody with experience ought to accompany beginners, and under no circumstances should those new to rafting or kayaking attempt rapids rated high for danger and difficulty.
Handling the rigging and other tasks needed to successfully operate a sailboat is a surprisingly great way to get exercise. You’re on your feet most of the time operating a racing sailboat or even a sailing dinghy, especially when winds are moving. Of course, the catch-22 with sailing is the upfront investment needed. Aside from the necessary gear for your person, such as quick-drying boardshorts and a high-performance long-sleeve rashguard, you have to get the rigging and lines, sails, and of course the boat itself. In short, it’s a hobby mostly for the well to do. Not to mention, the regulations for owning and operating a sailing vessel is no simple list of tips and rules. However, sailboats do tend to sit on the less expensive end of the boat-pricing spectrum, allowing many working-class men the opportunity to save up for a boat to call their own.
All in all, water provides a conducive environment for men to have fun while getting fit. Whether by simply swimming, having a go at surfing a wave, or even manning a vessel for a full-body workout on top of the water, each requires some preparation and practice. It’s important for men to properly prepare for whichever watersport they choose, to both stay safe and increase the chances of sticking to it. So, see what looks the most fun to you personally, get some tips off the Internet and from talking to people that already do that activity, and have had it… And even if you don’t get that watersport down right away, remember that everything takes practice!