What surfing does to your body and mind?

Surfing may look like it’s nothing more than standing on a board and trying to ride the waves, but in fact, it’s so much more. For example, do you know how many calories you burn while surfing? And did you ever wonder which muscles are trained when you are surfing? In this article, we will tell you all the benefits that surfing has.

Let’s start with the physical aspect. Water sports, in general, are known as great full-body exercises, and surfing is no exception. Imagine, you’re paddling out into the sea to catch a wave. At that moment, you already use a lot of muscles. For you to know, you will train at that moment your biceps, triceps, deltoids; the trapezius, rectus abdominis, latissimus dorsi, and obliques.. Still, following me? All those muscles are in your upper body, but don’t forget: once you stand on the board, you also train the muscles in your legs. These include the quadriceps, gluteals, and gastrocnemius. What most people forget is that the muscles in your hips are very important during surfing because they will be called to work when you want to complete carves, bottom-turns, cutbacks, and aerials. In the last two decades, professional surfers added work-out and training sessions to their routines. They discovered that surfing is easier when you train the muscles you use during surfing. Also, after surfing, they do most of the time a so-called ‘cooling down’ in which they stretch their muscles one more time to provide themselves from myalgia.

A fact is that with an activity like surfing you will lose weight, which might be a big benefit for a lot of people. The fun thing is that while surfing the hour tends to go very fast, and before you know you’re standing on your board for a few hours already! Remember that the average person during surfing loses 400 calories per hour. It’s a fun way to keep your body in shape!

But not looking at the physical benefits of surfing: what does it to your mind? You can’t deny that surfing doesn’t feel good. The time slows down when you’re searching for that perfect wave, and while you’re riding it, you don’t really think about all the things you still have to do like school or work. Your stress level is very low, and the rest of the world just vanishes. Not only makes it you feel relaxed, but it also makes you happy. Every time you get the chance to catch a new, good wave, you are rewarded accordingly. How? With a rush of neurochemicals that make you feel like you’re in euphoria, and you experience a happy feeling. By stimulating these chemicals in the brain, you unconsciously help new blood vessels to grow, and brain cells got the opportunity to survive. This improves your sleep, mood, and reduces your stress and anxiety.

So what chemicals that are being released are we exactly talking about?

First of all: adrenaline.

This hormone triggers the fight-or-flight response, and it helps you deal with stressful situations.

Second: Serotonin.

This is the ‘happy chemical,’ and this hormone is responsible for our mood. Low levels of this serotonin chemical are associated with stress and anxiety. Higher levels of serotonin reduce stress and increase your overall confidence.

Third chemical: Endorphins.

These chemicals are the ones that kill the pain naturally and masking the discomfort of your body. They help you to move on to whatever situation you are.

Last but not least: Dopamine.

This chemical is known for the addiction it gives you and the feeling that you want more of it. Dopamine is released in incredibly high amounts as the result of an unexpected success, like catching your first wave.

Back in the days, doctors used to send their patients to the beach because it was a place that had a naturally soothing effect on the brain, and doctors nowadays still do.

So whatever what’s on your mind right now, if you feel like you need a few hours of relaxing time, don’t wait any longer. Come to Odysseys Surf School to take a surf lesson and experience by yourself how free you will feel when you’re riding the waves.

Sources used for this article:

Surfertoday

Pacificsurf

Surfthegreats