To get you feeling inspired, we’ve put together some of the best watersports to help you get fit for summer. Here are our top picks…
At the top of our list is cold-water swimming, also sometimes referred to as ‘wild swimming’. Like a lot of people during this lockdown period, we’ve become big fans of the buzz and freedom which cold-water swimming provides. It’s a fantastic way to fight off cabin fever whilst helping you get fit for summer by boosting your immune system and burning calories.
You just need to make sure that you’re taking the necessary safety precautions by checking out the tide times and wearing the necessary equipment. Ease yourself into the water to prevent shock and make sure you don’t spend too long getting cold. When you exit the water, be sure to wrap up warm. Red Original Pro Change Robes is ideal for cold-water swimming, keeping you warm and dry whilst allowing you to change easily before getting back in the car. For more detail on the safety precautions and equipment, you should be aware of, check out our beginner’s guide to cold-water swimming in winter.
Kayaking & Canoeing
If you’re not feeling too keen on getting in the water, why not try a watersport which will have you exercising on the water? Kayaking and Canoeing combine cardio and resistance training which is why they are so effective in helping people get fit for summer. Paddling to control the boat requires a great amount of upper and lower body strength, particularly use of the core muscles. It’s a great way to get your heart-rate up whilst having minimum impact on joints which can often be a problem with land sports such as running.
What’s great about this type of watersport is the flexibility. It’s an effective way to get fit for summer regardless of your initial fitness level. Beginners can try out calm, slow paddles whilst more experienced watersports’ enthusiasts can embark on longer and more challenging routes. Kayaking and Canoeing use different shaped paddles and so require different techniques. This means you can choose whichever activity you feel would be most preferable. Whichever activity you choose to help you get fit for summer 2021, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the stunning glimpses of nature that can only be seen from the water. In fact, if great views are what you're really after, you'll definitely want to check out our article on the 10 best places for kayaking in the UK.
Another effective way of building core strength is through paddle boarding. This particular watersport is an enjoyable way to get fit for summer without feeling like you’re doing a high-intensity workout. Paddle boarding burns loads of calories whilst your core is engaged to keep you balanced and the rest of your muscles work to propel you through the water. Gliding along the water on your board is relaxing and does wonders for your mental health. As you get more confident, trying out different routes allows you to experience a tonne of nature all whilst giving your body the exercise it needs.
As with all other watersports we have been discussing in this blog, make sure you have the right safety equipment and plan your route carefully. In the unlikely event that you get into trouble on the water, you want to have taken the necessary precautions. Wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) when you’re out on the water is really important to keeping you safe. A good PFD will be lightweight and won’t restrict your movement, whilst providing you with the essential safety features.
If you want to get more into paddle boarding but don't have any of your own equipment or accessories, we have everything you could ever want or need on Red Original. We also offer a wide range of inflatable paddle boards through our sister company, Red Paddle Co.
If paddle boarding isn’t your thing, how does surfing your way through to summer 2021 sound? Surfing well requires a great deal of technique, which is why it is such an effective way to get fit for summer. Paddling through the surf requires a high level of cardiovascular fitness, which will contribute to good heart health whilst promoting weight loss. Swimming against the current also requires lots of upper body strength, making it great for building muscle in the arms and shoulders. Standing up on the board is also a lot more difficult than it looks. Not only does standing up require fantastic balance, but also lots of strength in the legs and core. Surfing regularly will build your endurance (and most probably your street cred).
If you get into surfing then you’re likely to find yourself in the water for hours at a time. With this in mind, make sure you have a high-quality wetsuit and a hot drink waiting for you on the beach. If you're planning on going surfing all year round, you may also want to invest in a towelling robe or waterproof changing robe to help dry you off and keep you warm.
Rowing on the water exercises your entire body, and it certainly beats endless hours of sweating on the rowing machine at your local gym. The physical intensity of rowing makes it a hugely beneficial watersport for improving the health of your heart and lungs. As rowing works all the major muscle groups it will certainly be a swift way to get fit for summer. It is particularly effective in working the legs, core and arms without putting stress on the joints.
Like paddle boarding and kayaking, the mental health benefits of rowing are equally as beneficial as its ability to get you physically fit for summer. The resilience and focus required for rowing are great for clearing the mind and building mental resilience. Joining a local rowing group is a great way to meet new people and keep you motivated in your quest to get fit for summer.