For many Yucatecans, life at the beach only exists between March and September—the rest of the year it’s too cold! However, in Yucatán, we have the extraordinary pleasure of enjoying the beautiful beaches of fine sand and water that ranges from clear green to turquoise green (when we don’t have a cold front or “Norte”). During the winter, the people who most enjoy our beaches are the foreigners or snowbirds, who don’t think temperatures of 25ºC are freezing, as most Yucatecans do.
Nevertheless, even during our winter months, any day in the sun is better at the beach. If you are looking to keep active, a sea breeze can be your best friend, not just for walking on the beach (a very enjoyable way to exercise in the open air) but also for practicing a sport in the water. We guarantee you that enjoying the sea in all its splendor will add years to your life and life to your days each and every day. People of all ages and nationalities will certainly agree with this.
The options for water sports are unlimited here in Yucatán. However, today I will talk about three—three that are competitive but also recreational, low impact, and ideal for people of all ages. Even if you are 60 years young or more, these are excellent for maintaining muscle mass, keep your body in motion, take away stress, and fill you up with mental energy.
Kayak, Canadian canoeing, and stand-up paddle
Adriana Valderrama, an athlete and technical coordinator of the International Rowing and Canoeing Area in Progreso, shares with us that more and more people of all ages, including many older adults, are leaning towards recreational kayaks, Canadian canoeing (similar to a kayak but of a different size and the number of crew. This last sport can be practicing sitting, kneeling, or standing up on a board similar to a surfboard.
“In competitive categories, we are seeing more and more people who are 65 plus years of age who are competing in kayaks and with incredible results. These three sports have become recreational for older adults because of the multiple benefits that they bring to the body and mind,” she explained.
Adriana also told us that these water sports have the virtues of strengthening muscles, joints, and bones through low-impact exercise that is also very complete for the entire body.
“When you practice these sports, you are also working on your respiration, increasing your resistance, toning your abdominal muscles, legs, and arms, which in the end helps with maintaining your weight,” she said.
Sports and mental health: water sports
Another added benefits of kayaking, Canadian canoeing, and stand-up paddle, is being in direct contact with nature, which besides training your body; produces an incredibly positive mindset for your emotions and mental health.
“On the emotional level these water sports and being in contact with nature, help the mind to relax, help control stress and even allow one to think with more clarity in an incredible environment,” said Adriana.
Do you want to practice one of these sports or get to know more about them but you don’t have the equipment? We have several options on places you can visit to rent and even take classes to start.
Pista Internacional de Remo y Canotaje
Carr. Mérida-Progreso Km 34
Tel. 55 7170 4749
Kayac Adventure Chelem
Tel. 999 505 1106
FB: Kayac Adventure Chelem
Kakao Kayaks Chelem
Tel. 999 269 2563
FB: Kakao Kayaks Chelem
Compas Sailing, Yucalpetén
Tel. 999 193 0091
Editorial by Cecilia García Olivieri
Writer and reporter
Photography by Yucatán Today and Cassie Pearse for use in Yucatán Today.
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