WHAT SURFING DOES TO YOUR HEALTH
WHY SURFING (AND LEARNING TO SURF) IS ONE OF THE BEST CHOICES FOR A HEALTHY & HAPPY LIFE.
The great thing about surfing is that it’s approachable for people of all ages and all walks of life. Surfing is awesome and a life-changing activity that only requires courage to fly in the ocean. The best part about surfing is that it changes the entire lifestyle by adding thrill and adventure. Below, we highlight certain aspects to show why surfing is the best way to stay in shape.
ALL IN ONE WORKOUT
At first, it’s obvious that surfing is a full-body workout. Your every move on the water requires a combination of physical strength, stamina, and cardio. But don’t worry if you are weak at one thing: it’s not a prior requirement to get started. The only thing that it requires is the energy and motivation inside your heart to glide along the ocean waves.
There is not any specific level of skill and experience to start surfing. Going from paddling to popping up on your surfboard will cardiovascular and upper body strength, and keeping yourself stable on the board will work your legs and core. By following these steps, you are utilizing the entire body while having the time of your life.
Besides physical fitness and impressive anaerobic effects, this sport also brings strength in some other life aspects:
Spending time with nature, enjoying precious moments, and bringing physical strength to use, combinedly to help to reduce strength and anxiety levels. Regular surfing makes you feel similar to morphine. It can produce an ecstatic feel and an optimistic stance on life.
It’s a well-known fact that exercise decreases sleep complaints, especially sleep disorders, and their effects are pretty much similar to sleeping pills. After paddling for a few hours and riding on the water swells, your body is ready for a healing slumber.
INCREASED VITAMIN D
Exposure to the sun along with a healthy workout causes the increased production of Vitamin D inside your body that helps in calcium absorption, improved body structure, and regulation of body functions.
Surfing helps you in developing your focus by putting everything else aside. Your concentration is on your body language to keep yourself on the board, merge your heartbeat with the surf, and fly in the ocean.
Exercising balance in every sphere of life is key to success. Surfing well requires maintaining balance on the board and keep enjoying a healthy and vigorous ride. Your balanced coordination on the board prevents you from serious injuries. Surfing requires a good balance, and keep practising the sport helps you in developing the skill.
Regular surfing strengthens your every day’s fitness and helps you in protecting against common age-related somatic issues like arthritis, tendonitis, and many more.
Many surfers also refer to practice some other exercises, such as pilates and yoga, to improve their core strength, flexibility, and balance and enhance their surfing abilities.
“Core” itself points out the vitality of muscles, including posture to upper-back and lower-back strength.
THE POWER OF PASSION
Perhaps the most impactful benefit of surfing lies in the connection you make to the sport. Your dedication to the sport can give a boost to your overall physical health.
Once a surfer starts feeling less like hard work, the training becomes a piece of enjoyment. Once you are passionate and ambitious for the sport, you try to work out regularly to stay in shape and keep training to become even better.
Connecting to an activity that provides you with a source of enjoyment, along with the workout, makes you feel easier than regular exercise at the gym. A study published in Marketing Letters highlighted that enjoying such activity brings more comfort and relaxation to you.
The reason behind this is that the part of fun diverts your attention from the required effort.
Moreover, it also reduces the tendency to overeat or have extra calories after the training session.
A LIFETIME OF FITNESS
It is not a one-time activity to put yourself in shape. If you are passionate and ambitious about something, you carry it throughout your life and put all your efforts to maintain it. Especially, physical fitness is an ongoing practice that prolongs your shape and strength. Besides physical health, engaging in activity like surfing can also bring a more peaceful mind to you as well.
Even if you don’t surf regularly, the time you spent on the waves has long-lasting effects.
If you feel bored with your workout routine and ready to switch it with a healthy activity?
Surfing might be the best alternative, and one of your favourite hobbies as well.
Balance is a key to surf on the waves. Once you lost your balance, the whole drama is over, and it might cause an injury to you. The best way to learn about balancing is riding as much as you can.
However, mostly the rides aren’t enough long to get yourself trained because all water swells don’t convert into a wave. Performing lunges and squats can strengthen the glutes and leg muscles, which ultimately helps you to maintain your balance on the board.
If you don’t have a balance board, you can achieve it by closing your eyes and standing at one leg for up to 30 seconds and repeating it again and again. Like other skills, it requires your patience and consistency, so don’t lose it.
Another great health benefit of surfing is that (at least for now) it also means you are completely disconnected from digital distractions like phones, computers, TV and social media. When you are out in the water it’s just you, your fellow surfers and the elements for you to enjoy.
At times I have gone out for a 2-hour surf session, barely caught any waves, and still come back feeling happy and fulfilled. Enjoyed a sunrise view, did my paddle exercise and had no distractions on my mind.
SURF FITNESS EXCERSIZES
MAXIMIZE YOUR SURF HEALTH
The following are great examples for people that want to get surf fit before their holiday or to keep doing at home, theses exercises will greatly improve your surf sessions.
CORE: SIDE PLANK WITH REACH THROUGH
The strength of core muscles is responsible to stabilize your torso to help you in balancing, paddling, and rotation through turns.
The side plank can easily strengthen the layers of your obliques, complying with the rotational component. Lay down on your side, bend your knees, and prop up your upper body on your elbow.
Raise off your hips by holding for 8-10 seconds, give a rest for 10 seconds, and do 1-3 sets of 12-15 reps at each side.
LEG STRENGTH: SINGLE LEG SQUATS
Stronger legs help you in maintaining balance and staying on board for a long time. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, single-leg squats will help you in developing the core and leg strength to paddle at your best and keep enjoying for a long time.
Stand on one foot and lift the other one about 5-7 inches off the ground. Align the knee of the standing foot with the middle toe, lowering down by bending your knee at 45 degrees. You should keep your back straight and head aligned with the shoulders.
Hold for 3-5 seconds in the lowest position and do 3 sets of 5-7 reps on each leg. With time and practice, you can increase the depth of the squats to make it challenging.
PRE-SURF WARM-UP: DEEP SQUAT WITH OVERHEAD REACH
Before you start surfing, you need a quick warm-up to give relaxation to your hips and shoulders and set them ready for paddling.
For this purpose, put your feet apart a little wider than the shoulder width. You can slightly turn out your toes to release the tension.
Keep your gaze forward and your torso straight, squat down and touch the ground with both hands for a while, then stand back up. Now, circle your arms and raise them towards the sky.
Repeat this 10-15 times to warm up yourself for the paddling.
SURF PADDLE FITNESS
A surf session is more paddling than surfing on the waves with a ratio of 95% to 5% . If you have not trained your paddling muscles, then your session will be quite short. You can strengthen your paddling muscles with a simple pool workout. This will considerably add to your strength and power.
Spend 5-7 minutes on mixed strokes swimming, such as freestyle stroke, butterfly stroke, breaststroke, backstroke, and sidestroke.
2 x 100 yards at an energetic pace with ease and comfort.
3 x 50 yards at a relatively faster pace than the previous one, following with the set of 10 pushups after every 50-yards.
4 x 50 yards at your maximum power.
Relax for 2 minutes after every set, and rest for 15-20 seconds after every round.
Add some underwater swimming, 3-5 sets. Also, consider swimming at a high pace with all your power for at least one round. When getting near the wall, turn quickly and hold your breath under the water as long as you can. This is the perfect simulation for paddling and duck diving.
Besides breath control, it also mentally prepares for such a situation where someone needs to stay underwater.
To make sure your safety, try to practice it with your friend or a person around. The more important is that you remain calm and relaxed, especially when you need air at the peak.
To sum it up, we think learning to surf is one of the best long terms investments you can make for your mental as well as physical health. The fact that it is great fun and it gives you an incentive to travel to exotic place around the world to surf is an added bonus.
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