Summer is around the corner. It is definitely time to take a plunge into the ocean.
I've just got back from a beautiful walk with my Spoodle puppy Sydney. To finish off, I took a dip in the ocean. It was simply divine! I left for home feeling invigorated and really alive. What a way to start the day! That is why I thought I'd share this favourite thing with you...
Why an ocean plunge is so good for you.
Achievement - There's no doubt about it, getting in the sea, especially this time of year, can be cool and be challenging. What an achievement to say ‘I got in the sea today!'
Anti-Inflammatory - The cool water temperature is wonderful for joints, muscle pain etc. The cool temperature assists with pain relief and increases circulation which helps give an anti-inflammatory effect. This is why an ocean dip can be so beneficial after a hard training session. Professional footballers are often seen after a big game or tough training session standing or swimming in the ocean; it brings a quicker recovery from the game or training and builds a great team spirit.
Stimulates Lymphatic System - As the cooler temperature increases circulation, add movement in the water and you will have a boost effect on the lymphatic system, improving the immune system and helping to relieve oedema (swelling). Regular ocean swimmers talk about the ‘magic' qualities of the ocean and often say that they don't get as sick as people who don't swim.
Feel-Good Factor - Negative ions in our environment are what make us ‘feel good'. Positive ions add stress to our bodies, whereas negative ions have the opposite effect. The salt ocean water has been found to be a great source of negative ions, so to jump into deep sea water is a great tonic for both our physical and mental self. If you are not convinced of this, simply observe the faces of people before and after a swim you will see the difference for yourself. So try it and feel the ‘magic' of the ocean for yourself!
Fitness/Health - Water training is fantastic for everyone, even if (like me) you are not a great swimmer, an ocean plunge helps you earn your exercise points. I still enjoy water training; my favourite thing is to tread water while having a chat with my best friend, then every now and again we do a ‘marine girl dive'!
- Swimming is great for muscle tone, fitness and to lengthen (stretch) muscles.
- Treading water - great all-around body conditioner.
- Rehabilitation - swimming can be used for recovering from injuries and health problems.
- Cross-discipline training - great to give your body a change, have a good workout with no impact on knees/back etc.
- Swimming encourages great breathing techniques to improve lung capacity.
- Walking in through water is great to strengthen legs and balance.
- Resistance training either simply using the water as resistance or by using some of the ‘aqua equipment' available.
- Great for core strength.
- Excellent way to train together with people of different fitness levels, health concerns and injury issues.
Fun - My favourite thing is to laugh and have fun. Taking a plunge in the ocean really lifts your spirits, makes you smile even if you are on your own or with family and friends. There are so many ways to enjoying the ocean; there is something for everyone:
- Water Polo
- Playing with your kids
- Jumping the waves
- Tread water and chat
- Make your own fun with what you have with you - lilo races, water cricket, tag etc
Nature - Being in the ocean is a great way to appreciate your environment. To be surrounded by the beautiful marine life, and to feel the energy of the waves really brings you to a very ‘present' state. ‘Being in the moment' where things are really put into perspective can be intensely invigorating and motivating. It gives a real sense of freedom.
I am sharing one of my favourite things with you, so this week, why don't you share one of your favourite things with someone.
Written by Bev Carter, Performance Coach