Keep on Moving: Water Sports

by Aurora Gruenberg

“There’s a fun water activity for everyone this summer. Whether you prefer sports that are thrilling, serene, or just plain entertaining, you can’t be disappointed. The important thing is to just get out there and play!” — Aurora Gruenberg for Living Health

Summer is almost gone! And while the days are rapidly speeding towards crisp, autumn mornings, we still have a few weeks of freedom left. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the feel of a newly sharpened pencil on the first day of school as much as anyone, but summer weather is too lovely to be spent cooped up inside. There are so many different outdoor activities that are fun and easy ways to stay fit, but when the temperature rises, there is only one perfect thing to help you keep cool — the water. Whether you live near a beach, lake, river, or just the pool in your backyard, there are plenty of enjoyable pursuits to keep you entertained and cooled down.

If you live near a beach or a large enough lake, you can go water skiing. If you don’t have your own pair of skis, there are plenty of places along public beaches or lakes that will gladly rent them out. Amateur skiers should typically start with a pair of skis that are attached to each other, but those who have been enjoying the sport for a while may be more comfortable with one for each foot. For safety reasons, make sure that you wear a life vest and that the water is free of obstacles or debris. It should also be noted that calmer water is much easier to ski in than that experiencing a lot of turbulence. Otherwise, grab your skis, and hit the water!

Paddle boarding is also fairly popular at the beach. This sport is also better performed in calmer waters, but has a much slower pace than skiing. You can stand, kneel, or lie down on your board, and paddle around as much as you please. Challenge your friends to a race, or just take a leisurely trip up and down the beach. Your arms will get buff, your skin will get tan, and your heart will get lighter.

For those who like a touch of adrenaline, you may be more inclined to parasailing. Beaches are dotted with locations that take novice and expert riders out and guide them into the air. While the gliders can get very high in the air (up to 800 feet!), the launching and landing processes are gentle enough to quell any fears. Most places even offer tandem parasailing, so you can experience flying with a friend or instructor. Parasailing is simultaneously one of the most serene and exhilarating ways to enjoy the summer sun — with the best view!

Folks who live by rivers may most enjoy kayaking or canoeing. Imagine paddling your way down a lazy river on an idyllic, sunny afternoon — your upper torso will get a great workout while you enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Several larger rivers also have white water rafting, for those of you who are sensation-seekers.You and a group of your friends or family can rent a boat, paddles, helmets, and life vests, and go on an adventurous ride through extremely choppy waters. Several locations even offer trip packages that allow you to extend your river experience for a few days to a week. Don’t worry, though — they send a professional rafter with you who knows the trails, so you won’t risk getting lost.

One of the newest trends in aquatic exercise allows little girls to live out their most mystical dream — being a mermaid. While so far there are no locations for those of us who live in the contiguous United States, anyone planning to visit the Philippines or the Hawaiian islands are in luck! Mermaid fitness programs are offered in both of those locations, and the trend seems to be spreading. Patrons of any age and gender can enter one of these magical fitness classes. Students get to wear a single fin over both of their legs and participate in kicking and flipping exercises that aim to strengthen the body’s core. It’s fantasy and fitness all rolled into one!

There’s a fun water activity for everyone this summer. Whether you prefer sports that are thrilling, serene, or just plain entertaining, you can’t be disappointed. The important thing is to just get out there and play!

Originally published at on September 1, 2016. 2016 © Living Health TV and Living Health Magazine

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