While surfing originated in Hawaii, it’s increasingly become a common activity in any community bordering the ocean. Part of its popularity stems from its physical health benefits; however, it benefits your mind too. Read on to learn about all the great things that surfing brings forth!
1. Improves Cardiovascular Health
Surfing is an extremely taxing physical activity because you require core strength to even position yourself to ride a wave. Therefore, regular surfing is extremely beneficial for cardiovascular health, meaning surfers are less likely to contract heart diseases like stroke.
Since surfing is a physical activity, it increases the blood flow rate through your body, so your muscles will be more oxygenized. For perspective, oxygen is vital for proper muscle health, among other things.
2. It Helps Coordination and Balance
According to a study done by Australia’s South cross-university, prolonged surfers tend to have great coordination and balance even in old age. As you may know, surfing requires you to balance on the surfboard to ride the waves. With time, your body and muscle memory acclimatize to subconsciously maintaining great posture and coordination.
Good balance and coordination are beneficial to adults in several ways. First, you will reduce the risk of injury as your body will be more coordinated even when absent-minded. Also, you will have quicker reaction times in times of emergency as all your muscles are used to coordinating.
3. Improves Your Mental Health
Doing something you enjoy, in this case, surfing triggers your body to release happy hormones. By happy hormones, I mean dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. For that reason, you will always feel high after surfing and perceive that all your fears and worries have been alleviated.
Even though surfing is a physical activity, happy hormones will send signals to your brain to help you relax. Therefore, you will be relaxed instead of tired after a surfing session.
4. Helps Build a Community
Life gets lonely sometimes, especially if you can’t seem to make friends. Sadly, prolonged involuntary solitude has adverse effects on your mental health and can even result in depression. Joining a surfing group is one of the most effortless ways to surround yourself with like-minded people. Not only will you have the time of your life, but you will also make meaningful connections that could turn into lifelong friendships.
Also, joining a surfing community will make it easier for you to learn the sport as the more experienced people will teach you all the tips and tricks to make your journey more enjoyable.
5. Improves Your Immune System
According to recent studies, immersing yourself in cold water, aka Cold therapy, greatly improves your immune system. Therefore, contrary to the popular opinion that surfing in cold ocean water will make you sick, it could be doing you good.
Cold therapy is beneficial in numerous ways, mainly because it is anti-inflammatory. Therefore, if you have sore muscles or injuries, surfing will help improve your blood circulation to the problematic areas relieving you of the pain. Secondly, cold water tends to up your metabolism. That said, surfing is a great place to start if you are trying to lose weight and going to the gym is not your portion.
6. Improves Focus and Concentration Levels
Our mind is like a muscle; the more you train it to do something, the better it will come in performing said task. So, considering surfing requires you to be laser-focused and fully concentrate on the wave’s position and direction, you will translate the said focusing skills into your everyday life.
However, you can only acquire the skills mentioned earlier if you surf for prolonged periods, as it takes time to alter your brain chemistry.
Surfing is by no means easy. You will need to practice for days to master the basics. Therefore, one thing that surfers have in common is motivation and discipline. Considering how challenging it is, one tends to experience immense self-gratification whenever one learns a new surf trick or makes little progress.
Also, sometimes getting your body to move can be hard. Therefore, you tend to feel better about yourself whenever you perform physical exercises like surfing.
8. It helps Improve Physical Fitness
Surfing is one of the best exercises to get a full-body workout. To ride a wave, you must engage several muscles, such as shoulders, knees, arms, legs, etc. Considering that the process will keep repeating itself the more you try to ride the waves, you tend to become more physically fit the more you surf.
After clear observation, you will notice that surfers tend to have well-toned bodies. While you don’t get to choose which muscles get toned and which don’t while surfing, chances are, you will end up with a dream body.
9. It helps Improve Physical Fitness
Studies show that about 80% of the ocean is unexplored, which shows you how vast the ocean is. Keeping that in mind, you will need to overcome your fear of the unknown to swim deep into the water where the waves are surf worthy.
It’s safe to say that surfers possess one quality trait as they go about their everyday life; fearlessness. This is because they witness firsthand every time they surf that sometimes taking risks brings beneficial results.
10. Stress Reliever
It’s common knowledge that the ocean possesses healing properties. While there are no scientific facts to back it, you will instantly feel better when surrounded by or interacting with a large body of water.
Coupled with the fact that surfing releases feel-good hormones, you are bound to be relieved of any stress while you surf, as you will need your brain to let go of any initial thoughts and focus on the task at hand.
It’s easy to see why surfing is quite popular, especially in island communities. Not only is it great for your physical health, but you also reap immense benefits for the mind. The above article contains some of the main benefits surfers get from the activity.