Labor Day weekend marks the unoffical end of summer. For many, it's a last chance to enjoy a weekend on the water on a boat. Sailing, motoring, paddling, floating or drifting away the day is synonymous with wellbeing, prosperity and social connectedness. It's the stuff of aspirations, dreams and movies. The day we pack up the rig for the winter season brings with it a bit of sadness, relieved in full only the following year on opening day.
The full benefits of time spent near, in, on or under water were insufficiently described (in my opnion) until recently. Blue Mind has elucidated some of the vast value of the human water connection. But we have more work to do to fully understand our "brain on water".
Over 87 million U.S. adults participate in recreational boating, using a boat for (sports) activities such as fishing, diving, water skiing and/or to travel. The total value of recreational boats sold reached over 3.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. Boating is a big deal, it's popular, and if it makes us even a little bit healthier, happier and less stressed...it's also medicine.
Recent research has explored the science behind physical and emotional health and many topics are relevant to, enhanced by or boosted through boating! Vitamin D, fresh air, unplugging and disconnecting from technology, reducing stress, insomnia and depression, social time with friends and family, exercise, blue space, developing a new skill, and connecting to your purpose. It’s not surprising that a survey by the National Marine Manufacturers Association found boaters were significantly happier, healthier, more connected and engaged than non-boaters.
Watch this space in the coming year as we connect the dots, fill in the map, share some cool new science, and tell the new, updated story of you, your brain and a boat.