Here's How Surfing Can Help You Lose Weight, Get Fit, and Improve Mental Health
We're expert surf travellers and we love helping you. BookSurfCamps.com is the largest surf travel website with 2196 unique listings in 244 destinations around the world.
Discover Surf Camps now
If the ritualistic walk or drive to the gym to melt off those excess pounds and get fit and toned is starting to wear on you, then it’s probably time you took up surfing. The beach is no longer just a playground for fun-seekers and holiday lovers. It has become a top destination for people seeking to address their weight issues, fitness concerns, and psychological challenges.
All around the world, plenty of people have become fit and healthier after taking up surfing. In short, it’s impossible to be out of shape or overweight once you start surfing – something that is not always the case with many weight loss diets and workout programs today.
Surfing is as fun and effective as a weight loss workout
Right off the bat, surfing is incredibly fun. Spending time on the beach, challenging the waves, and getting an adrenaline rush brought on by challenging the waves makes it an exciting sport, so much so that many find it addictive
That is actually a good thing, especially if you are looking for a way to lose weight that is much more fascinating and different than running on a treadmill or lifting weights. So, if you live close to the beach, you don’t have to spend long and tedious hours in the gym – just dust off your surfboard and hit the waves.
A sure path to health
“One of the best things about a surfing workout is that you will lose a lot of excess weight while also having the time of your life,” says fitness expert Beatrice of Bestiews.com. “In fact, surfing is so effective at burning calories that you will inevitably end up losing weight once you decide to become a surfer.”
Some people still hold on to the outdated notion that losing weight without spending long hours in the gym is just wishful thinking. Today, we know better – you can have fun and still lose weight. Surfing is a perfect example of how this can happen!
Riding the waves on your surfboard will give you a very effective full body workout. As a bonus, due to all the fun the sport brings with it, you will not even notice the effort it takes to get healthier.
The whole body benefits from surfing, including the mind
Generally speaking, your arms, legs, upper back, lower back, trapezoids, chest, and abs will get a workout once you take up surfing. That is how the lean surfers you see walking on the beach, board tucked under their arms, get their defined and toned physiques. The sport has lots of psychological benefits as well, as you will find out soon.
Body parts that get a good workout from surfing
1. Your arms
Surfing involves lots of paddling, which can really work the arms. Surfers have to paddle constantly as they seek out waves or even rectify their positions.
2. Your legs
In order to get up and ride the waves, you have to do a quick and effective push up so that you don’t miss out on a chance you waited on for hours. Your thighs, glutes and calf muscles get an intense workout when maneuvering the board.
3. Your core and the rest of your body
Once you are on the board, your body will have to deliver its best performance to keep you balanced and moving forward. That is why surfing will always give your entire body a good workout. Your core stabilizes your entire body, even when simply sitting on the board waiting for the next wave, not to mention aiding your balance while standing.
The demanding and varied physical maneuvers surfers require result in a stronger core and a toned body. You will even gain some muscle mass as you lose weight. Therefore, at the end of the day, you will have a stronger and leaner body, the sort typically associated with swimmers.
Health benefits of surfing
1. Promotes weight loss by burning calories
Surfing really burns calories. Just an hour of surfing burns about 250 calories. This means that four hours should result in having burned about 1,000 calories.
Some people are able to dedicate up to six hours to surfing every day. So, you can imagine how many calories they can lose in a day, while also having a good time. It’s definitely much more than the calories you can lose when following an effective weight loss programs, like Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig. And the cost? A new surfboard can be purchased for around $500, which is much less than the cost of thre months on the Nutrisystem diet, even after the $220-off discount voucher.
In a typical gym, it would take an incredible amount of willpower, as well as mental and physical exertion, to burn off that many calories. But with surfing, it is fun all the way. There are even instances of people losing about 500 calories through an hour of surfing. However, this has been observed when surfing in cold water.
2. Surfing promotes healthier eating
Another advantage to having a huge commitment to surfing is that you will have less time to eat unhealthy foods. Instead, a lot of your time will be spent hunting for good waves you can ride.
In fact, when you get so passionate about this water-based sport, you will naturally find yourself becoming a little more picky about your meals in an attempt to improve your surfing performance. Naturally, this will mean eating healthier.
3. Surfing improves mental health
Surfing helps you improve your mental health as well. Actually, a study conducted at the California State University established that surfing helped make stressed, angry, and anxious people calmer and happier.
This was attributed to the fact that surfing gets you close to nature, which tends to have this amazing psychological effect. Not surprisingly, the all-around benefits of surfing have rightly earned it the name of “ocean therapy.”
4. It improves physical endurance
Surfing is also great if you want to build endurance, which is why beginners often find themselves losing their breath once they get in the water. But with practice, their physical endurance increases substantially.
In fact, to avoid getting winded, it is recommended that beginners do a few workouts and stretches to build their stamina in preparation for the aerobic demands of surfing. Obviously, these workouts add to the health benefits of surfing. Some surfers even choose to go running every once in a while to improve their aerobic fitness.
As mentioned earlier, before getting a perfect chance to stand up on your board and ride a wave, you might have to do quite a bit of paddling. If you are out of shape, this can leave you out of breath.
Are the weight loss and fitness benefits of surfing real?
You are probably wondering where is the research claiming that surfing can result in weight loss and better fitness. If this question has crossed your mind, then put your concerns to rest. Research has shown time and again just how reliable surfing is as a weight loss workout.
As we speak, doctors are recommending surfing to overweight people all the time. And the simple reason for this is that surfing works. As a matter of fact, the truth of this fact is evident when you look at the hundreds of thousands of trim surfers all around the world.
Some people will even swear that they have never seen an out-of-shape surfer. And that is not to say that you have to be fit to get into surfing; on the contrary, the physical profile comes with the sport.
In other words, simply making the choice to become a surfer will force your body to adapt to the demands of the sport by shedding the excess weight and building strength and endurance.
Are you ready to reap the wonderful benefits of surfing for your body, mind, and soul? Go on a surf and yoga camp and begin paving the way to becoming the best version of yourself!