When the topic of sports comes up, the first things the majority of people think of are sports such as soccer, basketball, football, volleyball, and so on. It’s rare that watersports are the first to jump into the mind! However, that doesn’t mean they are any less exciting or fun. Watersports and watersport activities are always a favorite summer pastime, although they also occur year-round. If you are looking to do something a little different, have a look at these top watersport activities. We’ve also included health benefits for each to entice you even more!
Kayaking is a classic watersport activity that all ages can enjoy. If you aren’t already familiar with it, you sit in a narrow boat and have to use an oar to propel yourself in whichever direction you desire.
- Develops arm and shoulder strength from using oar
- Increased abdomen strength from twisting to row
- Low impact activity
Surfing is one of the oldest watersports alive! There are many competitions and it is a fun activity to both watch and participate in. There are many famous surfing spots around the world and you are extra lucky if one of those is near you!
- Surfing uses almost all the muscles in the body, so it’s great exercise! Paddling out with your board uses you arms, legs, balance, and coordination to get pat the waves to the perfect position to catch one.
- One you stand up, your stomach muscles are engaged as you balance and move your board to ride the wave.
- It’s a total body workout!
3 Paddle Boarding
Paddle boarding hit a high a couple of years ago. This newfound trend had been around for a while, but suddenly became popular. Most people who try it for the first time are surprised about how tiring it can be, but the exhaustion is often replaced by fun!
- Improves balance
- Increases arm and torso strength from paddling
- Reduces stress through the connection with nature
- Improves endurance
Kitesurfing is a watersport activity that is powered by wind. It’s like it sounds: you use a kite to move you and your board through the water. The “kite” is more like a parachute, which helps to capture more wind to get you moving. You can get going pretty fast!
- Kitesurfing takes a ton of arm and ab strength in order to control the kite and turn it the way you want
- Is a form of aerobics and resistance training, burning a lot of calories
- Tones the muscles used
5 & 6 Water Skiing and Wakeboarding
We’ve combined water skiing and wakeboarding because generally you get to choose your preference between the two when you go. Both involve being pulled by a boat, ensuring exhilaration once you get up. This sport is usually done in freshwater, such as a lake or river.
- Working to get up on your skis or board might take a few tries. This is because you must use a combination of general body strength and balance.
- Once up, you have to continue concentrating on your balance by using your stomach muscles.
- Can be considered as an aerobic sport
7 Synchronized Swimming
This one is a unique watersport that is a blast to watch. It’s a beautiful art and is also so healthy! It can be done solo or as a team, and makes for a great hobby. There are so many routines and combinations, plus it takes a ton of practice to get it all right. This watersport activity even has a place in the Olympics.
- Moving in the water for long lengths of time is an all-around workout
- Improves balance, agility, and posture
- Boosts muscles since you must hold and control certain positions for various amounts of time
- Develops better coordination
- You need stamina and good breath control
8 Water Polo
Water polo is a watersport if there ever was one. It is intense and you have to be in good shape to do well. Water polo is a team sport that can get very physical. It’s like basketball and soccer combined in the water, and gets rather competitive but is also a lot of fun.
- You are extremely active while playing
- Lots of calories are burned
- All body parts are used and therefore strengthened
- As with any sport, overall health is greatly improved
9 White Water Rafting
White water rafting is a fun watersport activity that can be done with a group of friends or with family. It is exciting, thrilling, and can even be a bit dangerous, which make it even more fun. There are only certain place you can do this activity and within those places, there are different levels of the difficulty of the rapids.
- Upper body strength from rowing
- Improves mental health through gained confidence and teamwork
- Is a cardio workout
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention swimming in general as a top watersport. Swimming is accessible to many more people if the above activities are not feasible. Swimming is an inexpensive way to get all the health benefits mentioned above. It’s low impact, which means there will be less wear and tear on your body.
Water and being in water has a calming effect on most people, especially if they are strong swimmers. It is not only healthy for the body to participate in water activities, but also healthy for the mind. With so many sports mentioned here, there is something for everyone, no matter what the age.
Consider what health benefits you are looking for exactly, what’s available to you in your area, and what your personal interests are. All of these considerations will help you choose a sport that can get you fit and be fun at the same time!