I just finished reading an article in the November issue of "Outside" magazine and it turns out that all the time I've spent dipping oars in and out of the waters of the San Francisco Bay has done more for me than just put blisters on my hands and muscles in my back.
The article, "Take Two Hours of Pine Forest And Call Me in the Morning," cites research that proves that time spent in the great outdoors can lower blood pressure, fight off depression, beat stress, and even prevent cancer. (Don't you love it when major research money is spent proving something you already sort of know?)
What's more, the article went on to say that while just being exposed to nature improves your mood, being near water magnifies the effect. How cool is that? The more blue you surround yourself with, the less blue you feel.
It makes sense really. I can head out on the water with some nasty problem doing a jig in my head or day's to-do list on an endless loop, and the next thing I know I'm matching my stroke to the swells (or chop), breathing to the rhythms of the boat, and thinking about nothing else but the next stroke. Heart rate up, stress down. It's magic.
So, here's to time spent on the water and lots of it.