Get Fit And Get A Beach Body With Surfing!
Surfing is one of the oldest sports in history and has been around for thousands of years.
With 40,000 kilometers of coastline and countless surf beaches, the sport is very popular in Australia with people of all ages and abilities.
Now a global industry, worth ten billion dollars, includes more than twenty million surfers in the world.
Surfing has it roots in the Hawaiian culture, but it is now a very important part of the Australian culture and lifestyle as well.
The History Of Surfing
There is no actual record as to when surfing was actually invented, but it has been said that four thousand years ago Peruvians already practised the sport on reed crafts which they also used for fishing.
It wasn’t until 1779 that the first report about surfing was made following the British expedition led by Captain James Cook.
Lieutenant James King who was part of the expedition and partly in charge with writing Cook’s journals published his writings on the Hawaiian Islands where he witnessed the local sport.
Then, surfing was already an ancient Hawaiian tradition and ‘the sport of kings’. The very first Polynesian people who arrived in Hawaii in the fourth century AD had already exceptional knowledge of the ocean.
They used belly boards and perfected the art of standing on a board in Hawaii.
Unfortunately, surfing was deemed inappropriate and was banned by British missionaries after 1821 and nearly died out, with traditional Hawaiian culture, until Mark Twain mentioned surfing in his book called ‘Roughing It’ in 1872.
In 1885, three Hawaiian princes introduced surfing to California as they surfed the San Lorenzo River.
In 1910, Australian surfing was born when Tommy Walker returned from Hawaii with a cheap surf board. He became an expert surfer and even hosted exhibitions in Sydney in 1912.
Surfing became even more popular in Australia after demonstrations in Sydney from the Hawaiian swimmer, Duke Kahanamoku, who had just won a gold medal in the Olympic Games.
At the same time, Hawaiians began to revive surfing only as a sport.
The main destinations for surfing became Hawaii, California and Australia. The sport grew in popularity following the 1959 release of the movie ‘Gidget’ about the life of American surfer Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman which pretty much kick-started the mainstreaming of the surfing culture and lifestyle.
Benefits Of Surfing
Surfing is a great cardiovascular activity and a complete sport. It’s also very challenging as it combines both aerobic and anaerobic exercises.
Aerobic exercise involves your entire body to perform repetitive motions. While your heart rate and breathing increase to improve physical endurance, your body uses oxygen to burn carbohydrates and fat in order to produce energy.
s aerobic exercise helps promote a healthy heart and lungs as well as improving the immune system and stamina, it will increase weight loss and the distribution of oxygen throughout the whole body.
Anaerobic exercise, on the other hand, targets individual muscle groups and does not require oxygen, building lean muscle mass and increasing power and strength.
t can help you strengthen the bones, tendons, ligaments and joints reducing the risk of injury. Combined with a healthy diet, anaerobic exercise can increase levels of good cholesterol. It is also great for weight management as you build endurance, you will keep burning calories even while you rest.
Surfing does not only require endurance and muscular power, but also quickness, balance and flexibility as well.
While paddling works out the upper body, especially the shoulders and back muscles, standing up on the board will require strength in the legs as well as strengthen the core muscles. It demands a lot of balance.
And surfing also has great psychological benefits too. As it creates positive feelings, it will boost your mood as you enjoy the fresh air and the great outdoors.
t is a fantastic stress and tension relief. And it’s so much fun and so intense that you won’t be able to keep track of time.
So you will not only look amazing, but you will feel great too. No wonder surfing has been called the fountain of youth.
How To Get Started With Surfing
Before surfing, you will need to be a strong swimmer. And, surfing is not as easy as it looks. Therefore, you will need to take a few lessons in order to learn the basics and help keep you on your feet as well as becoming aware of the safety aspects and rules.
You will need to buy the proper equipment at your local surfshop where the staff will be more than happy to provide you with all the advice you need.
Firstly, it is advised to wear a wetsuit to keep you in the water long enough. And, most importantly, your board must suit your body and your needs. For beginners, longer boards are easier to stand up on.
To find out a suitable surfing spot, ask the local lifesavers. Be aware that, although the ocean is a relaxing environment, it can also be dangerous.
Rips are strong currents are the cause of most accidents. You must know learn how to spot them and avoid them. And take care in the water at all times.
Please note that you will need to supplement your surfing with stretching, yoga or pilates to lengthen muscles and correct imbalances that can occur from favouring one foot over the other while surfing.
If you want that surfer beach body and would like to improve your health and quality of life, then surfing is definitely for you!
For more information about surfing, how to find a club near you as well as latest news and events you can visit the Surfing Australia website: www.surfingaustralia.com