The Surprising Health Benefits Of Surfing


We’re gearin’ up here for the East Coast Surfing Championship next week so I thought it’d be the perfect to tell all you Rock Heads about why surfing it’s not just good for looking cool. You may have noticed that surfers don’t seem to age, well, that’s not just from all the good karma. Surfing provides aerobic, anaerobic, and physiological benefits! Gyms are even offering surfing-based exercise class!

If you’ve ever watched surfers, you’ll notice that most of their time is not spent riding waves but paddling out to them. I’ve talked before how swimming is one the best exercises you can do. Surfing keeps your heart rate up during this full body workout – aka those aerobic benefits! The average person will burn between 200 to 400 calories a hour surfing – out on the water the time will fly by! And just like swimming, you’ll build strength in your muscles. Paddling will build your arms, shoulders, and core. Going from flat on the board to standing will work your body just like a burpee. Once you’re standing, you’ll use your core for balance and your legs will stay active.

Surfing has great mental benefits too. Surfing is done outside in nature, which itself has many health benefits. Many people find surfing is a great stress reliever; once out on the water, they feel that the movement of the ocean waves helps as a release from our everyday thoughts. Much like yoga, surfing keeps the mind focused completely in the present moment which helps surfers to achieve what some describe as a zen-like meditative state. Doctoral student Ryan Pittsinger presented a study in 2010 at the American Psychological Association that showed that 30 minutes of surfing showed a dramatic increase in positive feeling and reduction in negative feelings and emotions. The Wounded Warrior Program even used surfing to help veterans as therapy in their recovery.

Even if you aren’t near the ocean, you can still reap some of the benefits of surfing. You may have seen SURFSET Fitness on the ABC-TV show Shark Tank. If you’ve haven’t, here’s the 411. Founder and CEO Mark Hartwick created it due to his desire to find a way to take his love of surfing indoors. This indoor surfing/paddle-boarding class has been getting lots of media attention recently. You’ll get a full body workout using a strapped-down SURFSET surf board. These boards mimic the water and force your back and abs to constantly work in order to maintain your balance. These classes are popping up all around the country, so check out your local gym!

I don’t have any surfboards here at the Cave(yet!), but if you’re headed to the beach you might want to take goggles to see below the waves or Body GloveĀ  water shoes to protect your tootsies! Plus they’re from Rock Bottom, so you know you’ll have some dough left over for ice cream!

Keep your eyes out for exclusive reports and pics next week from ECSC right here at the Rock!

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