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Surfing: The Healthy Addiction

Updated on November 15, 2017

Close your eyes and picture a surfer. You are probably picturing a man with no shirt on who has a decent figure, a tan and, of course, long hair. Now open your eyes and answer this question. Was he smiling? The answer is most definitely going to be yes, and there is a reason behind that which many people don't know.

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Surfing is a sport that keeps you engaged 100% of the time. If surfers are not riding a wave they are either paddling back out into the lineup (where surfers wait for waves) or scanning the horizon for incoming waves. Every part of the body is used. When surfers paddle they are exercising their arm muscles, once they catch a wave they use their arms again to pop up, their legs to stand and to pump the board, and their core to balance. Even their brain is being exercised, they have to constantly keep an eye out for waves coming at them, and once they lock on to one they have to calculate where on the wave they should paddle for, when to start paddling and when to pop up. So not only are surfers getting a great physical workout, but their brain is being exercised as well.

Since surfers have to concentrate on everything going on around them like waves coming through, their own movement and their interactions with the surfers around them, it can be a great exercise in focus and stress relief. Because of all these things going on around them, surfers are not often thinking about problems that they have outside of the water, like if they just went through a bad breakup or are having financial issues. Surfing provides a great escape from the stressful and fast-paced world that we live in.

Surfers have also mentioned that their time in the ocean has taught them the valuable virtue of patience. The slim downtime that surfers have while out in the ocean waiting for sets of waves to come through, they let loose thoughts that they haven't had time to settle in their heads.

The Mental Aspect

Since surfers have to concentrate on everything going on around them like waves coming through, their own movement and their interactions with the surfers around them, it can be a great exercise in focus and stress relief. Because of all these things going on around them, surfers are not often thinking about problems that they have outside of the water, like if they just went through a bad breakup or are having financial issues. Surfing provides a great escape from the stressful and fast paced world that we live in.

Surfers have also mentioned that their time in the ocean has taught them the valuable virtue of patience. In the the slim downtime that surfers have while out in the ocean waiting for sets of waves to come through, they let loose thoughts that they haven't had time to settle in their heads, making themselves feel much more relaxed.

The Healthy Addiction

All of these factors of surfing come together to make it a sport that is irresistible to anyone who has experienced it before, and an addiction that actually benefits your health. And one of the best things about surfing that many people fail to mention is that anyone can do it. 4 year-olds all the way up to 80 year-olds can take part in it because you can take it at any pace you want. You don't have to jump into 40-foot waves at Jaws on your first day, you can just take out a board and paddle around your beach for while, the health benefits are still there. From a surfers point of view, I only have one regret and that would be that I didn't start earlier, which is saying something because I started surfing when I was 11 years-old.

So the next time you are near the beach and have some spare time, why not grab a board, paddle around, and maybe even catch a few waves? Once you get that one magical ride, you will be hooked, and you will become part of the great community where we can all proudly say that we are all healthily addicted to surfing.

© 2017 Alex Ferris

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