Health and Fitness
When taken up as a form of exercise, water skiing is a HIT (High Intensity Interval Training) activity with relatively low impact on joints, compared to, say, jogging, football, etc. It is both anaerobic and aerobic, requiring only very short bursts of activity twice or three times a week to gain the health benefits of aerobic fitness, improved glucose tolerance, and increased muscle strength. These forms of exercise are becoming increasingly popular for busy people who struggle to fit exercise into their schedule, despite wanting to avoid being a burden to the NHS. For women, particularly, water skiing is helpful in fighting osteoporosis in later years due to what is effectively load-bearing and resistance exercise, pulling against the boat and the G-force, known to slow down loss of bone density.
Many children and young people who don’t enjoy contact sports such as football or rugby have been able to give their confidence a boost by making good progress at water skiing which can be enjoyed at its own pace and independently of others.
Social and Family
The ski club concept also offers the opportunity to watch, compete and socialise with other skiers. It’s unusual as a family sport with children as young as 4 trying their first pair of skis on the same lake as seasoned skiers well into their 70s and beyond. It’s particularly heart-warming to see groups of teenagers and young adults outdoors, all focused on encouraging each other in preference to sitting on a PS3 in their bedroom or smoking and drinking alcohol on street corners.
While the sport is undoubtedly more enjoyable in the warmer weather, more and more people now skiing all year around within UK clubs, thanks to the improved design of winter wetsuits. As with open-water swimming, exercising with the elements during colder temperatures is known to increase the immune system and prevent colds and flu.
As a form of exercise, there probably isn’t any other sport which offers such an investment in health for just 15 minutes 2 or 3 times a week.