All over the world, an increasing number of people are enjoying the benefits of sailing. There are almost 12 million boats registered for recreational use in the US, and the UK has recently seen a record number of participants in boating activity. Sailing provides a great escape from the pressures of today’s busy lifestyles, and simply spending time outdoors on the open ocean can significantly reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Combining the physical and mental challenge of learning a new skill with the uplifting benefits of fresh air and blue skies, sailing is a great way to unwind and boost your mood.
Avoiding Stress at Sea
Although the thought of relaxing on beautiful blue waters is appealing, you may be nervous about venturing out to sea. This is understandable as sailing can present real dangers. Before you embark on your first outing, it’s essential to ensure that you are aware of safety measures and procedures. Certified life jackets prevent drowning and should be worn at all times even if you’re a strong swimmer and the water is calm. Further training and practice in the use of other safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and distress signals will help to give you peace of mind to fully enjoy all the benefits sailing and the open ocean has to offer.
Buoying Up Your Mood
Studies have shown that sailing helps participants to develop important life skills such as independence and communication which in turn lead to greater self-esteem and a feeling of well being. Happiness is further boosted simply by breathing in sea air as it is packed with negative ions which help to balance levels of serotonin, the chemical that controls our mood. The negative ions also help the body to absorb more oxygen and this has the effect of giving you more energy. When these chemical reactions are combined with the thrill of sailing, they lead to a feeling of exhilaration, refreshing both body and mind.
Soothing Sights and Sounds
Although the practical skills of sailing require considerable focus and concentration sailing on open water can also be very relaxing. Watching wildlife from the boat or simply enjoying the serenity of a beautiful blue sky and ocean can be calming. Even the soft, steady sounds of rushing water and ocean waves are soothing, which is why they are often used to aid relaxation and meditation.
Sailing is a popular way to escape from a busy lifestyle, a physical activity that focuses the mind while at the same time freeing it from stress. By being well-prepared, you can safely enjoy a sailing trip on the open water, and all the health benefits that it brings.