8 Health Benefits of Sailing

by Oliver Boyers

Whether you love sailing for its relaxing qualities or the thrill of speeding over the water there are many hidden health benefits that are worth considering. Simply getting out into nature can do wonders for your mental and emotional health while the physical demands on your body can be fantastic for your fitness. Let’s look at eight key benefits you will experience when sailing.

Cardiovascular Health

By sailing you increase your oxygen intake, which helps your blood flow and general health. What better place to inhale clean crisp air than sailing over the sea? The salt air, which is also high in potassium, is great for our lungs. Sailing is a fantastic cardiovascular-based workout with similar benefits to a high-intensity interval training. It’s great for your heart and blood pressure while reducing the risk of obesity and many other diseases.

Mental Health

Sailing can be a great relief from the daily stress and pressure of life. The process of sailing can be quite meditative so it helps to relax your mind therefore improving your mental and emotional health.

Mental & Physical Agility

The requirements of sailing such as tugging and lifting have been shown to enhance your multi-tasking skills. Sailing has also been shown to improve your attentiveness, which is a basic requirement out on the water.

Improved Teamwork

When sailing it’s important to work as a team through good communication and collaborative skills. Good organizational skills are required when sailing and these skills can also be adapted into your daily life as a digital nomad. This in turn will help you achieve work-life balance since it gives you an improved ability to work with others.

Reduced Anxiety

The soothing sounds of waves and water moving as you sail can have a positive impact on your mental health. Some research suggests that the sound of waves in water can have an effect on your brainwaves creating a state of deep relaxation. While this is not yet scientifically proven most of us would have experienced the calming effects of being out in nature, particularly when water is involved. It soothes our minds, which helps reduce anxiety and depression.


When you’re out sailing, you’re out in the sun. Getting a healthy amount of sun on our skin helps our body secrete endorphins. Endorphins are natural chemicals in our bodies that make us feel less stressed and more relaxed. The right amount of sun can also be great for many skin conditions such as psoriasis. Just a small amount of sunlight can be powerful so please don’t overdo it and risk damage to your skin or skin cancer.

Increased Vitality

When sailing you’ll experience a healthy workout in some ways similar to what you might experience in a gym. You’ll work out your upper body; your back and shoulders while you tug the vessel and will improve your stamina and general health. For many of us who enjoy sailing, will also take the time to enjoy swimming. Swimming also has some amazing benefits on our health when combined with sailing. By swimming, you move your body into positions you otherwise wouldn’t which can help blood-flow and heart health. The fresh blood flow means more oxygen in our body and more oxygen to our brains, which also improves our vitality.

Improved Sleep

Exercise, in general, helps us to sleep however exercise out on the water can have an even greater effect. The health sea air is filled with negative ions, which help us absorb more oxygen. Negative ions have also been shown to help our stress levels by balancing our serotonin levels. Serotonin has an important role in helping us sleep since it synthesizes melatonin.

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