Dragon boating and mental health...
Why Dragon Boating is good for your mental health…
We all know that certain things have a positive impact on our mental and physical health. Of all the lessons of the Covid-19 Pandemic one thing I think we have all learned to value more is how getting outside and doing exercise is beneficial for not just our physical, but also our mental #wellbeing.
I don’t want to sound obsessive or heartless when I say this, but at some of the toughest points in my life I found paddling to be a marvellous therapy and form of escape from all that is going on in my life. After personal bereavement, separation, and job losses, I have found solace in #paddling.
Even now, as happy as I am in my life, I find there is nothing quite like getting into the boat, as a paddler or helm after a hard days work and letting all the troubles of the world drift away. Not only are we, at #Pershore, lucky enough (in my humble opinion) to have one of the most beautiful settings in the country for a paddle (certainly in comparison to other teams in England – sorry guys, but it’s true!), but my brain is concentrated on my team, the rate, my technique, and this drives all other thoughts from my head. This is all without mentioning the known benefits of endorphin releasing exercise. This is the ‘happy hormone’ we experience when we #exercise.
Of course, another major benefit of dragon boating is that it is outdoors. When we get out into nature, our body releases even more endorphins than when we exercise indoors. Essentially, exercising outdoors can make us feel calmer and more in control. In fact, a study at Stanford University, showed that walking outdoors can reduce your risk of depression, it is no massive leap in this case, to deduce that any form of outdoor exercise can help alleviate stress. Being exposed to natural light also releases melatonin into our bodies, and this can help us to sleep better. We are all quickly learning about the issues associated with staring at our phones in the small hours before we go to sleep! Of course, Vitamin D is also obtained from sunlight and as we must all know by now, is beneficial to our bodies.
In addition to all these benefits, it must not be forgotten that Dragon Boating is also a team sport. Working out with others doesn’t just make us more likely to come back. Studies have found that group exercise also helps to reduce stress and brings additional physical results. From personal experience, dedication to your team can definitely make you more likely to do additional training and, most importantly, keep turning up!
All these factors surely point to one thing – Dragon Boating will make you feel better!
If you don’t believe me, give it a go and tell me otherwise!