Windsurfing: it prevents chronic diseases | Photo: NeilPryde

Windsurfing can prevent chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. How important is physical activity to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs)?

Henrik Beyer, health promoter and author of "Health & Fitness for Windsurfing", gives us an insight in what research has to say about the importance of physical activity to prevent the leading causes of death in the world.

Chronic disease is the number one cause of death in the world. However, it's possible to reduce the risk of chronic diseases by 80% by eating well, avoiding tobacco use, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active. Windsurfing can play a part in the fight against chronic disease.

"Physical activities that involve both conditioning and strength training aspects have powerful health promoting and disease preventing potential. Windsurfing has a long range of health benefits and being fit for windsurfing can decrease the risk of many chronic diseases", says Beyer.

Windsurfing is a healthy physical activity for many people and the health benefits of physical exercise often surpass those of conventional medication. Physical inactivity causes the death of approximately 3.2 million people every year, and the level of physical activity continue to decrease in many nations.

Physical activity can lower blood pressure, help smokers to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke, improve resting blood sugar levels and lower bad cholesterol levels and it is associated with weight loss. "All these factors play a significant role in preventing Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease as well as cancer," adds Beyer.

"The health benefits of windsurfing should increasingly be raised in efforts to promote windsurfing. Particularly as there are still remnants of preconceptions of windsurfers having an unorthodox lifestyle," concludes the Swedish expert.