04 May Watersports and Negative Ions
Kitesurfing and surfing are much more than just sports. They demand quit a bit (or a lot…) of knowledge regarding the weather, the choice of spot and gear, as well as staying fit. We are sure that your ultimate goal is to be stoked at every session, right?
Well, researchers have found that negative ions, found in the atmosphere around turbulent water, trigger this incredible feeling.
Let us explain you more about the effects of those ions and water sports.
What is an ion?
An ion is an atom or a molecule that has lost or gained an electron through various atmospheric forces or environmental influences. Those atoms are constantly around us. The balance of positive and negative charges affects our sensations and perceptions. They even affect our health, physical well-being and work efficiency, as well as emotional and mental states.
What are positive IONS?
Positively charged ions have a negative effect on our physical and mental health. In nature, positive ions are formed with high winds, dust, humidity and pollution. In our daily lives, we are constantly surrounded by positive ions. From the electronic appliances, the air conditioning, the fluorescent lights, and the busy and polluted city roads. After being exposed to positive ions for a long time, we will feel tired, irritated, depressed and even anxious.
What are negative IONS?
Several studies have shown the beneficial effect of negative ions on body and mind (Baron et al., 1985, Terman and Terman, 1995). They have proven that negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to our brains and strength our immune system. Higher vigilance, mental stamina or decrease somnolence are only some of the benefits.
In addition, negative ions in the bloodstream accelerate the delivery of oxygen to our cells and tissues. These ions are found where air molecules are constantly breaking apart, due to sunlight, radiation, moving air, or turbulent water. For example: in oceans, forests, close to waterfalls, snowy mountains, and even in your shower!
So what about water sports?
Any water sports practice is a good way to increase the production of negative ions and reduce the exposure of positive ones.
Many organizations around the word, like The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation in California, are using “Surf Therapy” to treat people with depression, schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder (a type of winter depression) as well as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Other examples are how The Wave Project in the UK, is helping young people reduce their anxiety. Waves for Change in South Africa, has even developed an award winning program that fuses elements of cognitive behavior and humanistic therapy. Combined with surfing, it improves the general and emotional well-being of victims of violence and abuse.
The knowledge acquired on the ions has allowed those organizations to be very successful.
Negative ions have a positive effect on our mood by triggering the release of endorphins and serotonin in our system– the “happy hormones” – They also increase our blood flow and oxygen circulation through our bodies. Then our metabolism will positively influence our physical and mental performance.
So after your kitesurf or surf session, you feel excited, positive, full of energy and only thinking about the next session!
In a word: STOKED!
So, thank you Ions!
Well now just grab your board and get in the water or the mountain powder! We try to spend as much of our time as possible in the ocean! And yes, we are happy people 🙂
Maybe the world would be a better place if everybody could grab a board and get in the water, don’t you think? 😉
If you want to know more about how to get stoked, check our kitesurfing and surfing destinations HERE!