surfing health benefits
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The Health Benefits of Surfing

As fun as surfing is, this is still a physical sport. So with that in mind, consistent surfing will improve your mind and body in the long run. Let's discuss all the health benefits of surfing.

health benefits of surfing

Surfing has a lot more to offer than a great tan, adrenaline, and an exhilarating feeling that you are on top of the world. If you are a passionate surfer and have been doing this for a while, you have probably noticed that your lifestyle has changed for the better. 

Surfing is a sport that does wonders for both the body and the soul. 

Have you ever thought about why exactly surfing makes you feel so fulfilled, happy, and at peace with yourself and the world? Well, some might attribute this to the surfer mindset. This is true in some cases, but there is science behind it. 

Surfing Involves a Lot of Effort

In order to become a great surfer, you have to develop both your mind and your body in parallel. The sport challenges you on both fronts, and if you take it seriously, you will reap the benefits for decades to come. 

The obvious thing is that you are going to be a lot fitter than you were before you had a board. 

In order to be able to paddle to the pop up spot and then hold your own on a huge wave, you will need to get your body up to the task. 

Apart from the body, surfing is proven to help combat a slew of mental health diseases, most notably anxiety, depression, and stress.

Physical Benefits

Once you take on surfing, your body will start transforming before your very eyes. But that’s not all. You will start to feel your body differently. Surfing provides riders with a cardio workout even if they can’t be bothered to lift a single weight. 

By increasing your heart rate on a regular basis, you will be able to take in and store more oxygen. This means that your brain and muscles will be supercharged and ready to grow. 

That said, the most important muscle and the focal point is the heart muscle. Surfers are widely renowned for having excellent heart health. This means that illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases, strokes, type two diabetes, and blood pressure will be kept at bay. Surfing and the ocean also do a lot of good for your immune system in general. 

Body Strength

No matter how you slice it, you will become stronger than what you were before you picked up surfing. This doesn’t mean that you will get instantly ripped and develop a toned body. However, you will start to notice that your strength is increasing and that you can take on more than you used to.

Once you start incorporating strength and foundation exercises into your routine, you will start to notice muscle growth and a super-fast metabolism. It’s simple: you will become quicker, stronger, healthier, and, yes, probably tanned. 

By building a strong foundation and developing your muscles, you’ll keep sneaky injuries at bay. You will be more flexible and more balanced in your movements. 


health benefits of surfing

Speaking of balance, you probably know that having balance in life is one of the most important things. Well, through surfing, you’ll be able to access an even higher plane of balance. 

It starts with coordination movements and positioning your body for optimal muscle utilization, but most experienced surfers will tell you that once you get out of your head, the balance becomes a sixth sense of sorts. 

This is because there is really no time to think about how you should position your body and act. When the wave is at full speed, and you are on top of it, it’s best to let the body take over. 

It’s very important not to get frustrated if you’re experiencing poor coordination or lagging on movements in the beginning. It’s natural, so give it time and keep your focus intact.  

It’s a good idea to think this through when you are practicing your balance and then let go and be looser when you are at sea. 

So, why is surfing good for you if it promotes coordination and balance?

Everyday Life

The interesting part is that even if you don’t necessarily spend a lot of time on balance, your body and your brain will adapt to the environment and coordinate on their own. If you stick to surfing, your balance will eventually get to where it needs to be. It’s about the time that you can afford for it to get there.

Managing Weight

Surfing is a calorie-burning machine. This all depends on how taxing the surf is and how dire the weather and environment are. Nevertheless, you can expect to burn over 200 calories per hour, even at the calmest of surfs. 

Take a couple of hours per surf and multiple visits to the ocean during the week, and you are sure to end up about 1.2k calories lighter. 

There’s one thing to note here: don’t make the mistake of cutting your calorie intake when you’re taking up surfing because your body will need time to adjust to the new circumstances. It’s smart to even up your calorie intake a bit when you’re starting out so that your body doesn’t get shocked by the change. 

Vitamin D

If you are surfing in good weather conditions, you will also be getting a ton of vitamin D. This in itself will improve your overall health—everything from your skin, to your immune system, to the shine of your hair. 

This is mainly because vitamin D works in conjunction with the body’s calcium and regulates overall calcium levels. 

Skin and Hair

Forget about all of those expensive skin care products. Surfers are known for having notoriously clean and perfect skin. After all, the masks and shampoos that we’re buying are made from seaweed and mostly come from the sea. 

Why spend money on an exfoliant when you can take care of your skin without even trying? Saltwater clears all of the major toxins that get stuck to our skin. 

Mental Health

The improvements that surfing will deliver to your body will undoubtedly reflect on your mind and spirit. So how come surfing is so spiritual? Is there a certain something that makes surfers take a swing for the bright side of life? 

Well, in the beginning, it was largely attributed to the nice environment and natural riches. However, in time, scientists have actually found a scientific link between surfing and the altering of the brain. Have you ever heard of The Stroke?

The Stroke

The stroke is a phenomenon that surfers experience as a result of their surfing and wave riding ventures. People usually describe it as a wave of positivity that gets them high on life. 

The brain neurotransmitters can’t help but deliver jolts of splendor when you are riding a wave. This causes a sense of euphoria and happiness. 

Veteran surfers are much more likely to steer clear of mental illnesses that come with age because their body is basically flying high on feel-good chemicals during every surfing session. Speaking of which…

Surfing to Combat Depression

Depression is clinically defined as a state where your surroundings do not suit your brain. 

Even though there are a lot of different treatments for combating depression, most people don’t pay attention to their mental state until it gets to the severe stages and starts impacting their day-to-day activities. 

Much like when it comes to weight loss and skin care, surfing is a natural antidepressant. We are mistakenly led to believe that our only salvation from depression lies in pills and the drug industry. 

Well, in essence, the pills that are prescribed and we are taking are actually prompting the body to deliver much of the same chemicals that it exudes during surfing. 

The sinking phenomenon that happens when the brain goes through phases of depression is the same as when the person is literally sinking underwater. 

So, when a surfer successfully rides out a wave, this sends impulses to the brain that are telling it that it’s not sinking and, in turn, gets it out of the sinking state. Amazing doesn’t do it justice. Is there anything that surfing isn’t good for? Stressed out? We’ve got you covered. 

More Health Benefits

Although you might be thinking that seeing a giant wave in front of you might cause you some stress, surfing is actually perfect for relieving stress and unwinding. 

The fact that it takes a lot out of you propels you for a good night’s sleep that will prompt muscle recovery and straighten your immune stem. 

Mix and match that with the dopamine, adrenaline, and melatonin, and you are looking at a clear path to becoming super-charged.

Yes, we get it; surfing is not risk-free and does come with a potential for injuries. However, the good really outweighs the potentially bad here, by a lot. 

Surfing is a holistic approach to living. It impacts us on every level—from the physical, through the mental, and into the spiritual. 

Surfing is a super-drug that will keep almost everything that can cause you hardships, both in the short and the long run, far at bay. 

You will learn to love yourself and your body. You will become stronger on all levels and much more durable. We’d tell you more, but we really shouldn’t be keeping you from diving for your next or first surf session. 

A Few Words Before You Go…

If you want a better life overall, one that comes with stress relief, strong core muscles, great heart health, mental health benefits, great cardiovascular exercise, a ton of vitamin D, and a slew of mental benefits, look no further than catching waves.

Surfing strengthens muscles and improves your balance. You will be spending your days in the fresh air with upper body strength, physical fitness, and strong bones. You will be surprised at what you’ll be able to accomplish and how good it will feel. You can take our word for it. 

Written by
Jeremy Dean
surf coaching