Surfing is one of the top ‘blue health’ activities which draw on the known therapeutic effects of being active in or near water, surfing is a therapy and its benefits for mental health and wellbeing which.Here’s our round up of some of the amazing benefits of surfing, explaining why it is so good for body and mind.
BOOSTS HEART HEALTH
Surfing is an excellent cardiovascular exercise. The workout you get through surfing builds up heart strength through a mixture of paddling, standing on the board and working your core muscles.
IMPROVES MENTAL HEALTH
Nothing clears the mind like time spent learning to surf or improving your surf skills. Surfing requires complete focus and concentration so is a great way to step away from day-to-day life and wipe away the stress. In mindfulness, you learn to develop an awareness of what is going on around you and inside yourself from moment to moment. The concentration and awareness demanded for surfing can be seen as ‘mindfulness in action’ and it’s a great way to meditate.
HELPS COORDINATION AND BALANCE
Learning to surf can be tricky but that’s also one of the things that makes us love it so much. We love falling over. We do it a lot and it makes us smile. But standing up is really what we strive for and we love the sense of improved balance and coordination we get when we’re standing on a board.
This can also lead to an all-round better quality of life as we get older. Falling is a big risk for older people who can get serious or life-threatening complications from broken bones. Maintaining good balance, coordination and muscle strength is important for your health and for enjoying later life and staying independent.
Exercise can help you get a better night’s sleep. The good news for surfers is that regular cardio workouts contribute to better sleep patterns. Doing the exercise in the day rather than close to bedtime also appears beneficial for sleep. The great thing about surfing is it doesn’t feel like exercise so you can get all the benefits of a good workout that will help you sleep better by just doing something you enjoy.
As well as building muscle strength in your upper body and legs, the cross-training effect of surfing is a brilliant workout for your core, making it a full body workout. A lot of surf research suggests we use our trapezius, rectus abdominis, latissimus dorsi, obliques, triceps, biceps and deltoids. In other words, a lot of our muscles. Also sea salt water can support your skin health,muscle and joint relaxation, mineral absorption, healthy sleep and reduce stress.
Officially classed as a ‘vigorous’ exercise by health experts, surfing is a great way to burn calories and burns roughly the same amount of calories as football, rock climbing or a session in the gym. It is also low impact, so much better for your knees and hip joints than exercises like running.