Surf’s Up! Five Reasons Why Surfing Should be your New Year’s Resolution
by Chris Lynch, Co-Founder, Everyday California
The year 2020 is quickly approaching and it’s time to start planning out your New Year’s resolutions. And while self-care, exercising and losing weight are the usual suspects, we recommend you try something new (and fun) that couples ‘getting in shape’ with adventure and the great outdoors.
Here are five reasons surfing should be part of your 2020 New Year’s resolutions:
1. Improve your Mental Health
With mental health being a growing concern in the U.S., surfing provides a natural method to help prevent mental disorders and improve overall moods. Sitting calmly on a board and focusing on your breathing a few times a week can help reduce stress and improve daily productivity. In fact, groups like the International Surf Therapy Organization are working to connect researchers, organizations, and mental health professionals to further research into surfing as a therapy, and it’s picking up significant traction. After seeing success with surf therapy programs, the United States military launched a million-dollar research project to gauge its efficacy.
2. Burn Calories
The Center for Disease Control estimates that three fourths of Americans do not get enough exercise, increasing their risk for serious diseases, including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer. Surfing is a whole-body activity that delivers a high-intensity, low-impact workout. You need to use your core to balance on the board, and as your abdominal muscles strengthen, they will help to support your spine, which can alleviate pain. So, if you’re one of the 80% of Americans who experience lower back pain, surfing can provide you some relief!
3. Sleep Like a Baby
Having trouble sleeping at night? You’re not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 30% of Americans complain of sleep disruption. When surfing, you utilize almost every muscle in your body which means just one surf session can help you fall asleep more quickly and deeply, improving your overall sleep quality.
4. Show Mother Nature Some Love
California has some of the nation’s most scenic coastlines harboring a plethora of amazing marine life, from majestic blue whales to friendly sea lions and playful bottlenose dolphins. Surfing immerses you in the beauty of nature and tends to give you a deep appreciation for the environment and a passion for conservation. Once you start spending a lot of time on the water, there’s a good chance you’ll begin to see someone leaving trash on the beach as an unforgivable sin. So, rather than spending your afternoon binge-watching shows, take to the waves to enjoy a beautiful California sunset as you’ve never seen it before.
5. Shred with a New Community
“I wish I hadn’t wasted all that time surfing,” is a sentence I’ve never heard anyone say. Whether you’re paddling out with a group of friends or going solo, spending time in the water catching some tasty waves is guaranteed to be a good time. You’ll have the opportunity to meet new people, explore locations you never would have known about, and find your place in a community of like-minded individuals.
So, try surfing out. Stick with it for a while and even if ultimately, it’s not for you, you’ll leave the experience with a better understanding of who you are and what you’re capable of, as well a newfound appreciation for the ocean. Or maybe you’re like me and surfing will resonate with something deep within you that you never knew existed, setting you on a path to living a better, more deliberate life.