Chasing health, anti-aging, staying young, keeping up with the latest health trends…I find these attributes true for most paddlers. But aside from that nutritious food you consume and those vitamins and minerals you take, do you know what the best supplement when it comes to health and longevity? We are electric beings. And not just because the 80s are making a come-back. To fully grasp where I’m headed with this, it’s time for a mini science lesson. The physical human body is essentially trillions of cells, all of which contain electrons. What is an electron, you say? An electron is a negatively charged particle of an atom. We have tons of atoms, by the way, as does the entire universe. While a negative charge may sound like a negative thing, it’s actually quite positive, so to speak, since it creates negative ions, also a very good thing. Stay with me.
Negative Ions are atoms that have gained one or more extra negatively charged electron. Negative ions are naturally found in nature, such as any body of moving water, ocean surf, waterfalls and mountains. Layman’s term: When you paddle out on any body of water, in the sunlight surrounded by nature, you are getting a megadose of negative ions, which are very healing to the trillions of cells in our body. But that’s not all.
In addition to all this electric fun, our bodies are conductive, meaning, our cells become a conduit for electrical energy when within the realm of water which is also conductive. Water of any kind, conducts electricity better than anything in our universe, and water contains more electrons than most all other aspects of creation. When we put our feet in water, the conductive-ness of water passes energy in the form of electrons to our bodies and therein lies the reason behind why the human body’s natural tendency is to be near water. It’s the reason you feel so relaxed when you simply stand next to body of water. It’s the reason you can nap by the ocean but you can’t nap anywhere else. It’s the reason you find relaxation on your SUP, even though you are burning up lots of energy paddling. It’s the reason you sleep so well after a full day in the sun. And it’s the reason you feel so amazing after a beach vacation (and you thought it was just the Mai-tais).
Photos via: Jodelle Fitzwater / Mandy McMurdo photography
“Stand Up” for your Health
If you haven’t guessed by now, the best supplement for health and longevity is your “SUP”-plement. Still need convincing? Let’s talk sunlight…which as we know is our Vitamin D factory, but it does even more than that. Did you know that sunlight exposure also is responsible for the following:
- Building dopamine (your “motivation and pleasure” brain chemical) through sunlight filtering into our eyes. Lacking motivation to get moving lately? Chances are you need more sunlight without sunglasses so that you can let the sunlight filter in through the dopamine receptors in the eye resulting in higher levels of dopamine circulating in the brain and making you feel unstoppable.
- Builds immunity! Ever wonder why fall and winter are known as “flu season”? Perhaps it’s due to lack of vitamin D from sunlight exposure at that time. Lowered Vitamin D levels when the sun is farthest away, leaves us with lowered immune function where we tend to catch every bug and virus that comes along.
- Lowers risk of CVD (cardiovascular disease) and generally improves cardiovascular health.
- Lowers risk of type 1 diabetes with this study citing that rather than a pill form supplement we need the actual sun (which we can greatly achieve with our “SUP”plement.
- Loves your liver…as well as all your other organs. Your body needs rhythm. No, not Janet Jackson rhythm, but I’m talking circadian rhythm. Every organ in your body has what is referred to as a “body clock”, or a set cycle of light and dark that it relies on to function optimally. Sunlight exposure filters through the eyes and tells the body and the organs “this is day”, and turning down your blue-light on your devices, going for a sunset paddle, and preparing for sleep after the sun goes down tells your organs, “this is night.” As simple as it sounds, this simple rhythm guarantees the organs to do their job of repairing and regenerating and staying sharp for the tasks at hand, such as detoxing chemicals, and regulating stored body fat for energy.
- And here’s the kicker! In this latest study, sunlight exposure is actually found to INHIBIT CANCER RISK WHEN IT COMES TO BASAL CELL CARCINOMA. And yet we’ve all been told to stay out of the sun, yet just like plants who derive energy from the sun, we were made for it too.
Bottom line: SUP is a recipe for lowered disease and enhanced fat loss potential. But wait there’s more that the world’s best SUP-plement offers.
Fresh air! Did you know the benefit of breathing outdoors far exceeds that of breathing indoor air? Check out this article on people with allergies and how the outdoors is actually more beneficial.
Low impact exercise! Stand up paddling is one of the few sports that gives you a total body workout without impact to your joints and is an activity that allows most people to stay incredibly active long into life. What’s the best form of exercise: The one that you are going to do, consistently. If you can stand, you can paddle.
As a SUP enthusiast I could go on an on, yet for the sake of this article already taking your scrolling skills to the next level, I’ll end with this: there are lots of great health products, pills, potions, tonics, and so forth on the market, but by taking your daily or even weekly SUP-plement, you are doing more for your health than anything in a bottle or a package can. Humans were made for nature and sunlight.
My prescription for you: take two SUP sessions and call me in the morning.
Photo via Jodelle Fitzwater