Surfing is still one of the hottest summer sports trends, and has long been a way of life for many outdoor enthusiasts. If you’re also debating finally getting out on the water, then we’ll tip the balance and reveal why board sports are definitely more than just a way to cool off on hot days.
Nothing planned for this summer? Great! It’s time for you to step out of the gym and swap weight plates and weighted vests for surfboards and board shorts. As well as being a lot of fun, water sports will also challenge you both mentally and physically. Read on to find out why you should start surfing this summer:
#1 Surfing is good for you
Few sports expose you to the elements quite like surfing – from the sun and wind on your face to the sea under you. And they also have a really positive effect on your health. Sunlight stimulates your body to produce vitamin D, which is important to make sure your muscles and immune system are working properly, while the salt water makes your skin gorgeous as it gives you a free exfoliation. Another benefit is that all that exercise in the fresh air and exertion out on your board are guaranteed to make you sleep like a baby all night long.
If you want to jump start your vitamin D levels all year round, then take liquid sunshine in the form of our Daily Vitamins, which are designed to support your immune system*.
#2 Surfing uses all the muscles in your body
Surfing involves much more than just waiting for the perfect wave; it takes body control, strength and coordination. This board sport is the perfect combination of strength exercises for you all round, making it the ideal full-body workout.
The varied moves – standing up and keeping your balance on the board, to say nothing of actually paddling – recruit all the muscles in your body.
Standing up and paddling use your core muscles as well as your arm, shoulder, biceps, triceps and upper back muscles.
Your glutes, quads and hamstrings have to work to keep you standing upright, plus your core remains active the whole time;
and you need plenty of stability in your hips to ride the waves perfectly, because they are responsible for your rotary movements on the board.
#3 Surfing counters stress
Trust us – whatever’s on your mind, a day out on the waves will make you forget all your stress and return to shore with new mental strength. Every wave that you ride will wash negative thoughts out of your mind and positively influence your mindset.
And at the end of the day, you’ll have a whole new, fresh outlook on anything that might have upset or angered you earlier.
#4 Surfing expands your horizons
Of course, you can go surfing close to home; after all, you won’t always have enough in your travel budget for big trips. But the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean still boast the best waves and the perfect beach weather.
If you’re adventurous at heart, curious and open-minded, and you aim for the best surf spots in the world, there are also lots of new things for you to discover, from foreign countries to new cultures and people.
And the best thing about it is that you’ll soon get to know like-minded people once you’re there — because your love for surfing will unite you. If you meet other surf enthusiasts who are also looking for the perfect swell, then rewarding conversations and new friendships are almost inevitable.
You’ll be sure to get to know a completely new side to yourself and come back a different person than when you left – and that’s incredibly important for your personal development.
#5 Surfing is like meditation
Think of riding the waves as the equivalent of mindfulness or meditation exercises in everyday life. The only difference is that instead of sitting on a meditation cushion at home or in the studio, you shift your mental wellness program onto your board.
You’re completely on your own when you surf – nothing more than a tiny dot in the big ocean. So you can focus purely on yourself, the moment and the perfect wave in harmony with the rhythm of the sea. Then, when the wave comes rolling in, you concentrate on the right moves on the board. Thinking about anything else is almost impossible – and that helps your mind to switch off, because you are, after all, completely present in the here and now.
#6 Surfing creates new neural pathways
When we learn something new, our gray cells work at full speed. But we generally don’t challenge our brains often enough, especially in adulthood, so learning a new sport is like a refresher course for the mind.
Since surfing is an incredibly intricate sport with complex movements taking place simultaneously in the water and on the board, it’s not just your muscles that need to work properly – you also need coordination, balance, quick responses and flexibility.
That’s quite a lot for your brain to process, which is why it responds by creating lots of new synapses – and that in turn ensures that we stay mentally fit into old age. The result is that you’ll come back from your holiday tanned, relaxed and invigorated – and with a refreshed mind as well. What more could you want from a break?
#7 Surfing connects you to the environment
Anyone who has already swum through floating garbage will be well aware that plastic and other waste in the oceans is one of the biggest environmental problems of our time.
So, if you spend a lot of time on and in the water, you’ll get a better awareness of these problems and you’ll inevitably want to make sure to take care while you’re in your element and keep it clean.
There’s a reason why so many surfers get involved in environmental protection, organize beach clean-ups and support organizations that are committed to protecting the oceans. That’s why surfing also gives you a good sense of the importance of committing to conservation.
* Vitamin D helps to maintain the proper function of muscles and the immune system, to maintain healthy bones, and to regulate the normal absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
We at foodspring use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.