With the summer months fast approaching, many of us are starting to plan our vacations. Whether you’ve had your flights and accommodation long booked or are scouting around for last-minute deals, a beach vacation is often one of the best things about summer, whether you’re planning to travel with family, friends, or even heading off for some peace, quiet and relaxation on your own. When you’re on vacation, the activities that you take part in are often some of the most memorable parts of your trip. For those taking a beach vacation, water sports and activities are usually on the cards, from snorkeling to surfing. We’ve listed some of the best water-based activities to try for your summer vacation this year.
#1. Paddle Boarding
If you’re new to the world of water sports and want to ease yourself in gently, then paddle boarding is a great choice of activity for your vacation. Stand up paddle boarding is one of the fastest growing water sports worldwide, and you can find boards tailored to all kinds of uses, whether you’re looking to go out long-distance or even practice yoga, Pilates or other kinds of fitness exercises from your board. Take a look at the best beginner stand up paddle boards to get an idea of the best type for you.
One of the most popular water sports in the world, many have said that surfing provides the ultimate full-body workout. Indeed, if you’re looking to burn off all the tasty food that you’ve been sampling on your summer vacation, then surfing is definitely a fun and exciting activity to try. Surfing is a water sport that forces you to engage your whole body, requiring upper body strength to paddle out into the water, and ultimate core strength and balance to ride waves. Get started with a qualified surf instructor who can show you the ropes.
Swimming in the sea will always be one of the most popular summer water activities; many beaches now have designated areas that are safe to swim in. Along with being great for cooling you off after sitting in the beating sun, swimming provides a great way of working out on your vacation; the resistance of the water is great for strength training, whilst picking up the pace means you can also give yourself a great cardio workout at the same time.
If you’re on the lookout for a fast-paced, adrenalin-fueled water sport that you can enjoy with family or friends, then look no further than rafting. Along with being a fun way to see the shore, explore sea caves and even try to spot some dolphins depending on your destination, rafting is also a great way to work out on vacation. With each stroke of the oar, you’ll be building strength in your arms, back and shoulders whilst giving your core a great workout, too.
Many beach destinations have diving schools, where you can find professional dive instructors waiting to take you deep underwater to explore what’s under the surface. If you have never been scuba diving before, then don’t worry – you won’t be taken out far as instructors make sure that first-time divers start off small in a bay or pool, with at least one area shallow enough for you to stand up in. Once you’re a little more experienced, you might want to consider deep water running. This training technique involves going through all the motions of running, but instead of being on the ground, you’ll be suspended in the water with a floatation belt.
Windsurfing is a fairly new water sport; typically, you will be pulled along by a high-speed boat on a board with a sail. Along with being huge fun, windsurfing is an excellent workout idea; balancing on the board requires great core strength, whilst keeping on top of sail direction means you’ll be using almost all your upper body muscles from your lower back to your shoulders. As you get more practice and your technique improves, it can also be an excellent cardiovascular workout. In fact, even beginners who keep falling off can get a great workout from repeatedly getting back out of the water and onto the board.
If you’re looking for a gentler and more relaxing water sport, then sailing could be an ideal choice for you. If you are out on a clear day then sailing will require little work; you can sit back, sunbathe and enjoy the stunning ocean views. On the other hand, those with a little more sailing experience may want to take on choppier wind conditions which require a fair amount of stamina and strength.
Sea kayaking is a calm, scenic water sport that’s available in many beach destinations around the world. Depending on where you are planning to visit, you may even find a beach hotel that has kayaks available for guests to hire. Kayaks can often be hired for either one or two people, making it a great activity to take part in along with friends or family. If you are traveling with children, kayaking is a great sport for little ones to get involved in. And, rowing in your kayak provides a light workout.
Kitesurfing is a wind-based water sport that involves using a kite and a board to move at a high speed across the water. Using a large, parachute kite, the rider is propelled along on a board similar to a wakeboard. Although it’s a form of surfing, no waves are required – flat water locations are hugely popular for kitesurfing purposes. When it comes to kitesurfing for a workout, there are plenty of health and fitness benefits. Kitesurfers must use their whole body to balance on the board, whist holding onto the kite will build strength in your arms, torso and upper body. Even Barack Obama loves it!
What are your favorite water sports to take part in when you take a summer vacation? If you’d like to add to this list, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.