Health Benefits of Boating
Recent research shows that being near, in, or on water can provide a long list of benefits to the human mind and body. Lower stress and anxiety, increase happiness, and even lower heart and breathing rates. These are just a few of the proven calming effects of water.
Many of us have experienced this first-hand when we get into a boat on the weekend, feeling that exhilarating rush of wind and feeling the physical stress slough off. For many of us, the relaxation and rejuvenation that come with being on the water are unmatched by anything else.
In addition to improving your general well being, water has been used to help treat and manage PTSD, addiction, and anxiety disorders. Want to boost your creativity? It can help with that too.
Whether a lake, river, or ocean, most of us can get to a body of water within a day. Go on now. Get yourself to the water.
Blue Mind Wellness
Marine biologist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D., is the author of Blue Mind, which promotes the health benefits of being on or near the water. Now he’s touting the health benefits of boating. “We now know, thanks to science, that the mere sight and sound of water promotes wellness by lowering cortisol, increasing serotonin and inducing relaxation,” says Nichols. “It only makes sense that being on a boat is one of the best ways to access the wellness benefits of the water.”
Study Reveals Stress Decrease
Seventeen healthy adults underwent MRI scans while listening to a series of five-minute soundscapes of natural and manmade environments. The study concluded that the sounds of nature were strongly associated with a reduction in the body systems that cause the “fight or flight” reaction and boosted the systems that promote relaxation and focus. And the more stressed the subject started out, the more benefit they reaped from nature sounds. Water is one of those nature sounds that can work wonders for the mind and body.
Ways to Boost your Brain and Body
The website Discover Boating collaborated with Dr. Nichols and listed several ways that being on a boat can give your brain and body a boost. Below are just a few:
- Boating is a brain reset. Getting on a boat and removing yourself from all your day-to-day headaches is a great way to reset and recharge. There are no deadlines or traffic jams on the water.
- Boating is like meditating. When adrift, you can let your mind go and think about nothing.
- Boating is an incredibly sensory experience. From the sun reflecting off the water to the smell of the fresh air, boating engages your senses in a way that sitting in an office never will.
With nearly three-quarters of the Earth covered in water, finding your favorite boating spot shouldn’t be too difficult. Get out on the water whenever you can. See how much better it can make you feel.