What Are the Health Benefits of Surfing?
Did you know that almost two million people in the United States go surfing at least once a year? Worldwide, around 23 million surfers enjoy riding the waves! Surfing is a popular sport in many areas with easy access to the ocean, such as coastlines and islands.
Are you considering learning to surf or taking up surfing as a hobby? Here are some of the benefits of surfing that help your physical health and your mental well-being.
Improve Cardiovascular Health
Surfing engages your entire body and involves quite a bit of cardio. You spend a lot of time paddling out to catch your next wave, which will get your heart pumping and your blood flowing.
As you learn how to surf, the consistent cardiovascular workout will lower your resting heart rate, as well as your blood pressure. Over time you will notice that it feels easier to complete the cardio portion of surfing.
Some health professionals even classify surfing as vigorous activity, meaning that it is one of the most intense exercises you can partake in. You can have fun while burning tons of calories and increasing your cardiovascular health and endurance.
Strengthen Your Entire Body
Since surfing is a full-body sport, you exercise almost every muscle when you paddle out, stand up on your board, and ride a wave.
The paddling will help to strengthen your chest, core, and shoulder muscles if done correctly. When you push yourself up to stand on your board, you engage your full body as you lift yourself and find balance in quick succession. Your legs and glute muscles get a great workout while you ride your wave while maintaining balance, and manoeuvering your board for direction and tricks!
As you continue learning to surf, you will notice that these actions become easier over time, especially if you start as a beginner. The more you work all of your muscles, the stronger they will become. This means more fun, and less soreness the next day!
Practice Flexibility and Balance
Whether you stick to the small waves or work your way up to big wave surfing, the sport requires both balance and flexibility throughout the activity. Both of these can be applied to many other areas of your life and improve your overall health and well-being.
Balance is necessary in order to both get up on your surfboard and stay on while you ride a wave until the end. You need decent flexibility in order to move swiftly, and as you practice surfing you’ll see your flexibility improve after each session. Be sure to always stretch before surfing as well, to protect your muscles from injury and to warm yourself up for your session.
You can also work on your flexibility and balance through other exercises at home if you want to improve more quickly. For example, doing simple stretches every day, or training your balance on floor balance boards can in turn help your surfing skills in the water!
Increase Vitamin D Intake
Many Americans suffer from lower levels of vitamin D, which can contribute to decreased energy and mood. Luckily, unless you have a medical condition that causes low vitamin D, it’s easy to fix with daily (safe) exposure to sunlight.
When you surf, you are out on the open ocean and usually exposed to sunlight. Doing this consistently will increase your vitamin D levels. However, always be sure to wear a good sunscreen that is waterproof, and reapply frequently to prevent damage. Rashguards and wetsuits also protect you from damaging UV rays while out in the water!
Being out in nature, in the sunshine, is a mood booster in itself! Get outside as often as you can to enjoy the free benefits of the outdoors.
Better Your Immune System
Did you know that taking a dip in cool water can actually help to boost your immune system? Some experts believe that the release of stress hormones can have a positive effect on how your body fights off infection and disease.
Although cool water can have many surfing benefits, you should always make sure to be safe while swimming. If you like to surf year-round or you live somewhere with much colder water, then it might be a good idea to invest in a wetsuit. When wearing a wetsuit, you can still experience the health benefits of surfing in cooler water. However, it will prevent you from getting cold shock or hypothermia that can potentially be fatal!
Check out the awesome selection of full wetsuits for the whole family at Wetsuit Wearhouse to get an idea of what options you have on the market for different cooler water temperatures!
Although there are many physical surfing benefits, there are also great mental health benefits. Active hobbies, like surfing, release endorphins- the chemicals that make you feel happiness and joy.
A physically demanding activity is also a great way to release stress and take time for yourself. Decreased stress can lead to better sleep, healthier eating, happier relationships, and a more positive overall well-being.
Even after you finish your surfing session, you might feel an elevated feeling of happiness, similar to a runner’s high. These benefits could last hours into your day and improve your mood in all other aspects of your daily life.
So Many Benefits of Surfing!
When you hit the waves, you are bound to have a great time while learning to surf, and you’ll be improving your well-being at the same time! With these benefits of surfing, you can improve your physical and mental health with a fun new hobby.
If you need assistance in finding the best apparel or wetsuit for your upcoming surfing adventures, you can also contact us here, so that we can get you properly equipped to enjoy all the awesome benefits of surfing.