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Surfing For Fitness: What Surfing Does to Your Body
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Surfing For Fitness: What Surfing Does to Your Body

If you’re looking for new ways to get your exercise, perhaps you would like to try something that’s not dependent on a gym. I’m talking about taking your workout outdoors.

There are many health benefits to exercising outdoors. Not only does it strengthen your immune system but it also helps your mental health by taking away stress.

In fact, if you want to have an exercise that builds up your physical and mental well-being, then you should consider working out near the ocean or any body of water. Being near “blue spaces” increases the benefits of physical exercise because water generates negative ions. These negative ions increases our ability to absorb oxygen while improving our concentration.

As a surfer, my personal bias for a great over-all workout would naturally be surfing. Other water sports, like swimming, can also provide a great work-out but there are several reasons why surfing provides the best physical and mental stimulation. Let me tell you why:

It works out the core
It’s great for the heart
It works out the upper body
It shapes your butt
It’s fun and lowers stress
It’s also therapeutic
There’s camaraderie among surfers

Surfing Fitness Works out the Core

Forget getting six-pack abs. You won’t get one just by surfing. The rectus abdominus, which is the piece of muscle that you’re trying to transform into a six-pack beer can, shouldn’t be your primary concern.

That’s because it works together with other important muscles underneath your abdomen. These core muscles are what you should be focusing on.

Core muscles improve your balance and stability. A strong core makes it easier for you to do physical activities. In fact, you need to build a stable core before you can build strength anywhere in your body. A weak core results to bad posture and injuries.

Whenever you’re paddling on your surfboard on your way to catching the wave, you’re exercising your core muscles. That goes the same too for when you’re riding the wave. All that squatting and balancing on the surfboard tones your core muscles, making it stronger so that you can do all those amazing twists and turns on your board.

Surfing Fitness Is Great for the Heart

The best cardiovascular exercise is one that allows your heart rate to speed up just enough to get the best results from your work-out activity. If it’s too low, you won’t get to the stress level that the body needs in order for its cardiovascular and respiratory system to improve. If it’s too high, you won’t be able to last long enough to get the maximum health benefits because you’ll burn out and tire easily.

The American Heart Association recommends maintaining a heart rate between 50 percent and 80 percent to provide cardiovascular benefits. This may vary among individuals, however,because of genes as well as other factors like age, sex or fitness level.

However, not all sports will allow you to keep your heart rate up in the 50%-80% ideal zone for a longer period of time. According to experts, many people find that they can’t swim, bike, or run for a long time while maintaining this heart rate range.

Except for surfing. Surfing is the only sport that doesn’t make your heart rates speed up very high even when you’re constantly paddling to your wave. It allows you to sustain and pace your pulse rate.

Surfing Fitness Works out the Upper Body

When you’re paddling on your surfboard, you’re working out your shoulders and your upper back. The triceps, biceps, deltoids and your core muscles (trapezius, rectus abdominis, latissimus dorsi and obliques) all kick in when you’re reaching towards that bomb of a wave coming towards you.

Later, when you prepare to ride that wave, your pectoralis major along with the rest of your arm muscles, will lift your upper body so that you’re ready to ride your surfboard on the wave.

It’s coordinated muscle work that’s going to give you a fit and proportional body figure.

Surfing Shapes your Butt

Ever wonder why surfers generally have sexy firm butts and toned legs? That’s because all that squatting and balancing on the board works out the quadriceps, gluteus and gastronemius muscles.

Additionally, all those surfing maneuvers you’ve been practising - from roundhouse cutbacks to aerials- are working out your hip muscles which help give you that sexy defined shape to the waistline.

It’s Fun and Lowers Stress

I dare say surfing is more fun than swimming. It’s awesome to feel the wind in your face and the board beneath your feet as you ride a wave down to the shore. Throw in the warmth of the sun and the saltiness of the sea spray and it gives you a sense of communing with nature.

This dopamine rush is what gives you the euphoria that chases away your stress. It’s what makes you stoked even after you’ve ridden down that big Kahuna of a wave.

It’s Therapeutic

It’s for this same reason that therapists are increasingly using surfing as a therapeutic remedy for people struggling with post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). The Navy, in fact, has been exploring the feasibility of this sport to treat military personnel affected with PTSD.

Surfing as therapy works on two levels: physical and mental. It’s a good cardiovascular activity and it also boosts up their mental well-being. It builds up their resilience and allows them to experience intense positive emotions which is triggered by their proximity to the ocean

There’s Camaraderie in this Sport

Surfers, by nature, are gregarious fellows. No matter how different a personality each surfer may be, there’s always a sense of fellowship among them whenever they get into the ocean. Despite what others may say, you’re not competing with other surfers; you’re competing with yourself. Your surfer bros are there to offer you encouragement.

There’s also a benefit from all this natural camaraderie. Research has shown that it’s better to work out with company than being alone. When you’re with a fun loving group of surfers, you’ll enjoy surfing even more.

It goes without saying that in order to get the maximum health benefits from surfing, you also need to use the proper surfing equipment.

For far too long, surfing equipment has been made from raw materials which are dangerous to the environment. From surfing boards to neoprene wetsuits, all these are made from petrochemicals which use far too much energy and contribute to global warming.

Here at Wave Tribe, we produce surfing gear that is not only high-quality but also eco-friendly.

From organic surf waxes to hemp-based surfboard travel bags, we make sure that the products we feature are made from organic and sustainable resources.

This allows us to cut down our carbon footprint without harming the marine ecosystem.

Call it responsible surfing. The Wave Tribe surfer is one who enjoys getting stoked by the waves without worrying about endangering the lives of their fellow creatures that they share the ocean with.

To check out our products, visit our site. You can also watch out videos on our YouTube channel.

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