Rest & Recovery

Sea swims to boost your mood and health

Why swimming in the sea this summer is the perfect tonic for mind and body.

Hippocrates first used the word “thalassotherapy” to describe the healing effects of seawater, the Ancient Greeks appreciated the health benefits of this mineral-rich water and bathed and soaked in seawater-filled pools and hot tubs.

There are a myriad of health benefits, in addition to enhancing your mood, a swim in the sea can help increase your immune system function, improve circulation, hydrate your skin and most importantly promote overall well-being. Some even argue it leads to a longer life.

Well-being

The brave who can swim in it will also benefit from the endorphin boosting properties. Magnesium-rich seawater purportedly can also reduce stress and help induce sleep as well as leading to an increased sense of calm. Perfect for those on the retreat looking to escape daily stress. Seawater used to be used as therapy, rivalled to Prozac in its ability to improve well being. Swimming in warm seawater not only decreases aches and pains but in addition it activates the body’s healing mechanisms to fight conditions such as asthma, arthritis, bronchitis and asthma.

Sardinia sea swimming.jpg

Immune system

Sea water contains vital elements, vitamins, mineral salts, trace elements, amino acids and living microorganisms that can produce anti biotic and anti bacterial effects to help promote a healthy immune system. Even inhaling a sea mist filled with negatively charged ions or molecules that attach to the lungs also boosts your immune system (which is good news for those who feel the cold). Swimming in seawater promotes the opening of pores allowing the absorption of minerals and the expulsion of toxins from the body.

Skin

Your skin’s appearance can also benefit from the magnesium in seawater leading to increased hydration. Perfect for those urbanites who have been exposed to air conditioning and environmental pollution.


Inflammation

So not only a dunk in the sea is perfect post exercise. You have heard of athletes having ice baths, well this reduction in inflammation allows them to recover faster and therefore train harder the next day. The salt water combats inflammation because the magnesium in the salts reduces swelling. On our Cornwall retreats we encourage a daily dunk (even if only waist deep) to allow your largest muscle groups to recover and therefore perform better the following day! Most diseases are correlated with inflammation, so this has a double whammy effect on being good for you!

IMG_20170625_104937.jpg

Circulation

Seawater enhances the circulation in the body. Bathing in seawater also restores all the essential minerals that are depleted by stress, pollution and modern living.

Steady and progressive training

Sometimes it can be hard to train smartly and when motivation and adrenaline kick in there can be a tendency to go for it and push oneself to the max in every workout. Steady and progressive training plans are so important, not only to prevent injury but also to build good fitness foundations and to stay motivated.

There are times when it is opportune to push and times when you need to back off to allow for adequate recovery. It is therefore important to know your body’s limits and respect these.

Rest... 

Is an important part of any fitness program as it allows for muscle growth and repair. When training, especially if you are toning or building muscle, the muscle fibers (myofibrils) tear and break. It is in the rest phase when these tears are repaired and the muscles increase in size. If you don’t have adequate rest days then the muscle fibers never get a chance to repair and your limbs can feel constantly tired and sore, therefore not allowing for productive training sessions. This can also lead to injury as tired limbs mean that exercises aren’t executed in a correct form.

Yoga beach sunset crop.jpg

A common fault also resulting in injury is trying to get quick results. It is very important to build a base, get good at the technique required and then add distance, time, weight or reps to your program. No good things comes fast, be prepared to invest time into your training and build up gradually. If training for strength then start with low weight and high reps then progress to higher weight with lower reps. Injuries can also be prevented by increasing flexibility, so stretching after a workout is very important.

Building a base level of fitness...

Is imperative at the start of any program. Athletes who go straight into speed training HIIT for example won't have aerobic endurance, meaning their fitness will last a few weeks before deteriorating.

Tree pose mountain top.jpeg

Incorporating rest days and low-intensity steady state (LISS) workouts will help keep the motivation and interest in training. Those who push themselves tend to burn out which can result in resentment towards training and then backing off substantially.

Come and join us on a fitness retreat this summer, kicking you back into shape with a systematic and natural approach to training, focusing on your individual goals!