4 Calorie-Burning Water Sports for Fun and Exercise

Charlotte Miller

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Tired of being locked inside a gym or a yoga studio for your daily dose of exercise? Well, after months of staying cooped up indoors due to the pandemic, so are we!

So if you want to find a fun and thrilling way to get the exercise you need, out there in the lap of nature, then we’ve got some good news for you.

Water Sports for Your Exercise Needs

Several water sports such as rafting, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and scuba diving can help you get tanned, toned, and healthy – all while experiencing the adrenaline rush of a lifetime.

Moreover, most types of water sports are played outdoors. This means that you will have an opportunity to leave your hectic urban lifestyle behind, to breathe in some fresh air and become one with nature.

This contact with nature – which so few of us get to experience in our day-to-day lives – can alone lift your spirits and keep you refreshingly energized for the rest of the day.

Decreased risk of heart disease, improved bone density, enhanced mental health, and increased core strength are some of the other important health benefits of water sports.

Spending a lot of time in the water will also help you build strength and increase your endurance, all while having a lot more fun than any ordinary workout session at the gym could possibly offer.

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The Best Water Sports for Exercise Purposes

Water sports of various kinds can help you get in better shape, both physically and mentally. So, if you’re ready to replace your boring old workout routine with the refreshing waters of a nearby lake or beach, here’s a list of the best water sports you can try for fun and exercise.

  1. Rafting

This water-sport is the perfect choice for those who want to combine socializing with an adrenaline-fueled workout session. You can get together with some of your closest friends, buy or rent an inflatable raft, and spend a thrilling (if exhausting) few hours maneuvering the vessel over the rough waters of a local stream or river.

With each stroke of the paddle, as you navigate the turbulent river currents, you will be building the strength in your shoulders, back, and arms. Maintaining stability on the rough waters will also require you to utilize your core muscles, which are often neglected in traditional workout methods. The companionship of your friends and the thrill of the sport will drive you to work harder than you normally would at the gym or a run-of-the-mill fitness class.

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  1. Windsurfing

This is a unique water sport that harnesses the power of the wind to provide you with breathtaking thrills as well as exceptional physical benefits. By attaching a durable polyester sail to your surfboard, windsurfing allows you to ride the waves while performing impressive flips on the water, thanks to the lifting force of the oncoming winds.

All the muscles of your upper body – from the forearms to the lower back – are used when directing and controlling the sail. Maintaining your balance on the narrow board requires you to build up your core strength and exercise the muscles in your torso. Therefore, if done on a regular basis, this adrenaline-fueled adventure sport can be an incredible cardio workout.

  1. Stand-Up Paddleboarding

A large, inflatable paddleboard and an adjustable paddle are all that you need to partake in this popular and relaxing water sport. Stand-up paddleboarding can provide you with a full-body workout, because you will need to utilize the muscles of your legs and torso to remain balanced on the board. On the other hand, your arms will be getting the requisite workout as you use the oar or paddle to propel yourself forward on the water.

Regular stand-up paddleboarding will help increase your cardiovascular endurance and work the muscles in your hips, torso, and shoulders. Being a relatively low-impact workout, stand-up paddleboarding is suitable for people of all ages, particularly when practiced on the calm, flat waters of a lake or a reservoir. This makes it the perfect water sport to enjoy with your entire family.

  1. Scuba Diving

While a little less accessible than some of the other activities on this list, scuba diving can be the perfect combination of recreation and exercise while you’re on vacation. Carrying more than 20kg (or 50 lbs.) of equipment on your back, while powering through the water, can be quite strenuous. Finning properly underwater – from the hip instead of the knee – helps strengthen the torso, back, and gluteal muscles.

Water also conducts heat from the human body many times faster than air, so your metabolic activity would have to increase considerably to maintain your body’s core temperature and combat the heat loss. While admiring the corals, shipwrecks, and beautiful fish, you may sometimes have to contend with strong currents. And as any experienced diver would know, swimming against the flow can result in significant calorie expenditure.

The Right Equipment

There are many wonderful water-based activities that can help you get some much-needed exercise while enjoying the great outdoors. To make the experience safer and more pleasant for everyone involved, you should invest in the high-quality equipment and gear that will keep you secure and unscathed in the refreshing waters.

The right equipment for your workout needs will vary, depending on the sport you’re partaking in and the water body of your choice. However, you should always buy your water sport gear from a reputed manufacturer or company that is known for offering high-quality and durable products.