This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, which comes at an unprecedented time for us all. As we remain stuck in our homes, under different pressures, missing support networks, family, friends and the activities that are often our release from day-to-day stresses, we continue to be available for our members and trainers as much as we can.

Our free Friday webinars have been a lockdown constant over the last two months, and have provided our community with an inspirational and uplifting hour at the end of each week. Last Friday, Cal Major talked us through her ‘Feel Good Stories From Solo Expeditions’ which focused on the acts of kindness she’d encountered from strangers during her expeditions, just when she needed them the most.

Cal’s webinar reminded us of all the wonderful benefits that paddlesports have on our wellbeing. From busting bad moods to helping improve more serious issues such as depression and anxiety, paddling is great for your mental health.

Here are just some of the ways that paddling can help:

A natural soother

It has been scientifically proven that exercising on water can reduce depression and anger. Water is incredibly calming, and not only can it eliminate anguish, it can also help improve confidence. Paddling on water is a form of ‘moving-meditation’. Witnessing wildlife in their natural habits and looking out on the world from a different perspective are all components of a typical paddle, and also play their part in boosting your mood and reconnecting with nature.

Endless adventure

Unlike the gym or a daily running circuit, paddling can take you absolutely anywhere and no two paddles are ever the same. The UK is home to endless waterways, canals, rivers, lakes and beautiful coastline, so you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to exploring. If you’ve mastered the basics but would like to take your adventures further, then you could look at a guided SUP adventure holiday which comes with the company of others to expand your social circles, and share in all of the fun with like-minded individuals.

Achieving your goals

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Self esteem can be improved through goal setting, and there is no better place to do this, than on the water. From trying out different techniques, equipment, disciplines and paddle routes, you will never get tired of the endless variation that comes from the sport. If your goal is to have fun, then it will certainly tick that box too!

So why not make it your mission to pick up a paddle (when it is safe to do so) and start experiencing the benefits of paddlesports for yourself?

WSA offers UK-wide courses across all disciplines of paddlesport, and our team of friendly, knowledgeable and experienced trainers are always on hand to help with questions you may have prior to booking. So if you need any advice on how to get started, drop us a line on email or through any of our social media networks.