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The Benefits of Surfing

Surfing is a common aquatic sport that is getting more and more popular around the world. While surfing can be very fun to participate in, it can also provide you with many exercise benefits. Whether you're interested in increasing your strength, balance or flexibility, surfing may be perfect for you. It lets you enjoy exercising outdoors, but being a surfer gives you more significant physical and emotional benefits than just spending time in the sun.

There are several health benefits that come from surfing. You will feel an increase in your strength which comes mostly from paddling your surfboard out into the ocean, and results in the increased muscle mass and strength in your arms, shoulders and chest. High muscle mass is important for a number of reasons. It increases your ability to do your activities of daily living, can help you achieve weight loss goals, and can aid in the treatment and prevention of obesity.

Surfing can also help a lot when it comes to increasing your flexibility. Increased flexibility is important in that it cannot only help to make you a better surfer, but it can also aid in the prevention of injuries both on and off the surfboard. If you have a low degree of flexibility, and reach for something on a high counter, chances are that you will pull a muscle in your back. In contrast, if you have more flexibility, you will be able to reach that top shelf with ease.

Alongside these important benefits, there is the one of improved cardiovascular fitness. Strengthening your cardiovascular system can help improve shortness of breath, fatigue and even prevent heart attacks.

But you will not get only physical benefits from surfing. Mental benefits are also very important. Surfing allows people to forget about their problems, surfers learn patience and attain peace of mind while in the water, because you cannot help but focus on surfing and exclude thoughts about anything else in your life that might be causing stress or anxiety. Surfing makes you feel good. Exercise in general is known to elevate your mood. Surfing can also create positive feelings mentally and actually boost your mood after participating in only 30 minutes of activity in the water.

Unfortunately, there are always downsides. Surfing isn't the perfect form of exercise, however, since it's not completely symmetrical. It helps to supplement your surfing with stretching, Yoga, Pilates, or some other form of cross-training so that your muscles don't become unbalanced. For example, you can't just work out your quads without working out your hamstrings, otherwise you run the risk of injury. At the very least, try to implement a stretching regiment so that your muscles don't become too short.