As if you needed more reasons to surf this year…
Ok, so maybe surfing isn’t the first thing on your mid-January mind right now. But that doesn’t mean we can’t dream about getting back in the water. I surfed for some time in my early 20s and immediately fell in love with the focus, full body workout and sense of accomplishment that the sport provided me. Many surf-less years passed and I spent more and more time out of the water. But recently I have had an overwhelming urge to get back on the board. Surfing has multiple benefits — physical, emotional and mental — all of which is beckoning me back out on the waves.
Physical Benefits: I think we’re all on the same page here — surfers have bangin’ bodies. Riding the waves is a dynamic cardiovascular exercise, working all major muscle groups in the arms, legs and core. Surfing includes a lot of paddling (please accept my apology for stating the obvious) which is a powerful low-resistant arm- and core-strengthening exercise. Once you’re up on the board, balancing takes a lot of core and leg strength. Alas, a full body exercise! And, surfing can burn over 400 calories per hour, which makes an afternoon out riding the waves a calorie-burning extravaganza.
Emotional Benefits: Any physical exertion delivers endorphins, feel-good, morphine-like chemicals, to your body and releases natural pain and stress fighters. I’m sure you’ve heard of “runner’s high” in which runners are able to find a place of pleasure when running once endorphins are released. Well, surfing is not only releasing endorphins, but catching a wave is also overcoming fear, rightfully giving surfers a strong sense of accomplishment. Surfers also comment on the connection that they have with the water and many studies have shown that being in nature is good for mental and emotional health.
Mental Benefits: To quote one king of surf, Kelly Slater, “it’s all about where your heads at.” To be out on the water, waiting for waves, creates a sense of focus and patience in surfers. The mind releases day-to-day thoughts and stresses and focuses solely on the waves. Can you imagine stressing about the list of errands you need to run while you’re sitting on your board, out in the ocean, eyeing the next set? Yeah, me neither. And how beautiful is that?
+So who is with me and returning to the ocean this year? Hey surfers out there, why do you love the sport?
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