The mental health benefits of surfing are endless because of how intimately connected to water you are. Water is a proven treatment for everything which doesn’t feel good from stress and disease to trauma and addiction. Surfing pulls you out into the elements. Your feet are in water. Your hands are in water. Looking out to the lineup, all you see is water. There is a quite serenity in the isolation of being out in the water which saturates more than your wetsuit. Surfing changes your chemistry in brain and body, relaxing you, and giving you the stoke of a lifetime.
Surfing is an insane work out
You might think surfing is just standing up on a board…until you stand up on a board for the first time. Surfing requires full activation of nearly every muscle in your body. To get into a wave, you have to paddle. Paddling is an excruciating upper body and core workout. You have to use your shoulders, arms, and back in their entirety. Additionally, to avoid treacherous injury, you need to engage your core and lift your chest off the board while you paddle. Once you catch that wave, your core has to help you suck your legs underneath you and pop up. Your leg muscles help you stand solid on the board while every other muscle helps you stay balanced.
Cruising down nature’s roller coaster ride will get your heart pumping as will everything else about surfing. Surfing is an invigorating cardiovascular workout. Surfing isn’t surfing without catching a wave- though just paddling out and spending time in the lineup is important. To catch those hungered after waves, you have to match the speed of the wave with your paddling and know exactly when to pop up. For even the most seasoned surfer, paddling can get exhausting. All the hard work pays off in heart health, overall wellness, and riding your way down that glorious line.
Surfing needs out of water training
Learning how to surf is relatively easy, especially if you are athletically inclined. If you don’t have your sights set on the outside and you’re satisfied with the white water, you won’t need to advance your surfing much. The pursuit of the “perfect wave” is a lifelong chase. In order to get that professional surfer timing, drop in, and ride down the line of a face wave, you need to surf more. In order to sustain surfing more, you have to train.
Surf training is a total body workout because surfing is a total body workout. Muscle strengthening, strength training, endurance and resistance training, core exercises, and everything balance are helpful with surf training. Cross-training is recommended for surfers who want to progress their abilities in and out of the water. Surfers find yoga extremely helpful for their body as well as their mind.
Surfing is a master’s class in meditation
Surfing is unlike any other sport because of the element of surrender required for becoming one with the ocean. The ocean does whatever it wants to do. Even if you study every single part of a wave’s anatomy, from the contour of a wave to the swell to the wind, a wave can change its mind. Each wave is different and unique, reminding us that so is every moment in life. Moments may look the same, yet all of them are different. We have to be present and adaptable to all of them. Surfing forces you to be in a state of hyper-presence. To have the best experience possible on a wave or in the water, you have to be focused and paying attention. Much like meditation, you are forced to be present and think about what you’re doing, especially when you’re on a wave. It is very difficult to be distracted on a wave because you have just one thing to focus on. Without a meditative like focus, you are just about guaranteed to wipe out, fall, and get tossed around in the water- which isn’t always a bad thing, but can lead to serious injury. Additionally, you can injure others in the water. Surfing requires adaptability and agility, quickly thinking on your feet and navigating what the ocean brings your way. These adaptations can be taken out of the water and back on shore.
Surfing makes you a powerhouse
Balance in health, balance in mind, and balance in spirit, surfing turns you into a worldly warrior of the ocean. Be prepared for stamina and endurance unlike any you have known. You will have core strength and upper body strengths like you’ve never imagined. The zen you get from being out in the ocean, competing against only yourself and mother nature, will benefit you for a lifetime. Surfing fine tunes every nuance of who you are as a man and magnifies it, turning you into a shredded powerhouse, in and out of the water.
Recovery for men needs to be mind, body, and spirit. At Tree House Recovery we are building men from the ground up with sustainable changes to create a sustainable recovery. Call us today for information on our treatment programs and how we can help you find freedom from addiction: (855) 202-2138