Surfing is a cardiovascular sport, it affects the overall health of your heart. According to studies, cardiovascular exercise decreases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, lowers your blood pressure, increases your insulin sensitivity, and decreases your risk of dying from a cardiovascular issue. As long as you don’t overdo it, surfing will help your heart and increase your longevity.
- Surfing Is Excellent For Your Heart Health
Forget dark chocolate and red wine, surfing is a surefire way to build a stronger heart and cardiovascular system.
Surfing helps your heart by improving the way it functions. When you’re out on the waves, your heart rate increases dramatically.
This causes the heart to work harder and more efficiently so it can pump blood through all of your body’s systems faster than usual.
By doing this regularly over time, you can develop stronger cardiac muscles that will improve your overall cardiovascular health as well as reduce your risk for heart disease later in life
- Surfing Burns Calories Like A Furnace
Surfing can help you burn calories in a few different ways.
First, it’s an aerobic exercise: the longer you surf, the more calories you’ll burn. The rigours of paddling and catching lead to burning some serious calories.
If you surf in colder waters you’ll be burning calories indirectly just by being out in the ocean. As the exterior temperature drops, your body needs to burn extra calories just to keep warm and maintain a regular body temperature.
- It Helps You Build Your Core Strength And Muscles
Want to build natural strength without the gym or weights? Surfing could be the perfect way to start building a stronger core and strengthening your muscles.
Surfing strengthens your core by engaging all of the muscles in your torso, including those around your hips and lower back.
When you’re riding a wave, you need to keep your centre of gravity low while keeping your upper body balanced on top of your board.
This requires dynamic movement that reacts to the wave, building a stronger core and fast twitch muscle that will directly improve your surfing ability.
Add this to the resistance of water as you paddle and surfing makes for an intense workout for all of your muscles—especially those in your arms and legs.
You’ll feel yourself getting stronger from head to toe as you learn to build and tone each muscle group effectively while surfing.
Why Is Core Strength So Important For Surfing?
As you start to improve you’ll want to start performing tricks and manoeuvres on the face of the wave. This typically involves rotating your body through a range of positions to do snaps, carves and cutbacks.
Building a strong core and a good level of strength will help you surf faster, more precisely and most importantly, chuck buckets of water on your turns.
- Surfing Improves Your Mood
Not all the health benefits of surfing are physical.
Surfers are known for their laid-back, easygoing personalities. They’re typically relaxed people who don’t get too stressed out during day-to-day life.
That’s purely because surfing is a great way to relieve stress, and when you’re not stressed out, you’ll feel happier.
But how? Most of us get stressed because of the worries and anxieties we encounter in life on a day-to-day basis.
Surfing offers one of the few respites where your brain can focus solely on one thing, finding and catching waves.
Surfing also releases endorphins in your brain, which are responsible for making you feel content, happy and fulfilled.
- It Melts Away Stress
We all get stressed. Even the coolest of cucumbers has a bad day.
But no matter how bad you feel, peeling on your wetsuit on even the stormiest of days can make stress disappear in an instant.
The pure focus involved in catching and riding waves leaves no room for distractions like stress.
In slight contrast to this, there are some occasions (not catching any waves, getting dropped in on etc) when surfing can be a bit more stress-inducing than soothing.
Thankfully these occasions are few and far between and unless you run into a particularly mean surfer you should be all good.
- It Can Help You Get A Better Night’s Sleep
Not the first thing on your mind when it comes to the health benefits of surfing but a great one nonetheless.
Because surfing releases serotonin it helps maintain a healthy sleep cycle.
Serotonin is a chemical that regulates our moods and helps us feel calm, happy, and relaxed helping us get a great night’s sleep.
When your levels of serotonin are low, it can cause stress, anxiety, insomnia and even depression, all of which can make it harder for you to fall asleep without waking up multiple times throughout the night
- It Can Improve Your Flexibility
Part of the beauty of our sport is its levels of progression.
If you want to get better you need to spend time in the water, get stronger, eat well and get flexible.
If you watch the likes of Kelly Slater or any pro surfer you’ll quickly see how they use a combination of strength and amazing flexibility to put their bodies in positions we mere mortals can only dream of.
But with hard work and the addition of some light stretching, Yoga or Pilates, you can quickly increase your flexibility even if you’re not a springy little grom.
- It Builds Your Endurance
Surfing is hard, there’s no denying it.
From the steep learning curve to the potential life-and-death scenarios you could encounter, it can be a slog.
Hard work isn’t a bad thing though, pulling on a wetsuit in a gloomy car park as it rains is a real character builder.
From the mental fortitude required to paddle out in large waves to the literal physical endurance, surfing builds a mindset that seeks to overcome.
This combination of physical and mental strength can help you in all aspects of life and is often overlooked as one of surfing’s greatest benefits.
- Surfing Can Improve Your Posture
Paddling in particular requires perpetual movement with your core engaged at all times (if you’re doing it right).
You’re training all of the muscles that are responsible for aligning your spine, hips and neck, which all add to good posture and a strong core.
- Saltwater Is Great For Your Hair And Skin
Surfing’s also helping out with your beauty regime as well!
Saltwater is a great way to exfoliate your skin and remove dead skin cells. It can help relieve acne and make your complexion look brighter.
Saltwater is also full of minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium that help to keep your hair strong and healthy.