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The Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Windsurfing

GreenWaterSportsLLC 171998 Health Benefits Windsurfing Infographic1

It’s obvious that there are countless advantages of exercising at the gym, but not everyone prefers this method for improving their health. Water sports, such as windsurfing, provide the surfer benefits to their physical and mental health just as exercising in a gym does—the only difference is you’re spending time outdoors working out instead of inside. Keep reading below so you don’t miss out on the fantastic benefits of windsurfing.

What Is Windsurfing?

Windsurfing looks exactly like regular surfing, except you use a sail and wind to propel yourself through the water. The individual on the board will use the wind to help guide their board through the water. Don’t let your inexperience in this sport intimidate you; beginners may find that after a few practice sessions, this water sport can be great for exercise and a ton of fun!
Aside from the fact that this sport is enjoyable, there are several other health benefits you can take advantage of. Now that you understand the sport, let’s take a look at the specific benefits you can reap from windsurfing.

Vitamin D

The majority of people in the United States have a vitamin D deficiency, but sufficient levels can help regulate your mood and decrease the risk of depression. Often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D can be absorbed through the skin while spending time outdoors on a sunny day. If you’re windsurfing, you’re spending a ton of time under the sun, soaking up vitamin D. Please note, you must apply and reapply sunscreen while you’re out there to prevent sunburn. Sunshine has many benefits, but it can also be harmful without the proper protection.

Decrease Stress Levels

One way to combat your levels of stress is to exercise. While going to the gym is a perfect solution, not everyone finds spending time exercising indoors adequate for them. When this is the case, windsurfing is an excellent option because you get to spend time exercising outdoors, surrounded by nature. Your stress levels will significantly decrease the more you go windsurfing.

More Mindfulness

Spending time in a body of water will force you to be more aware of your surroundings and mindful of where you are. In a way, this sport allows you to forget your stress and concentrate solely on the task at hand. Windsurfing can be seen as a form of meditation because you’re spending time by yourself in nature.

Increase Core Strength

A significant component of windsurfing is being able to balance on the board. To keep yourself upright, you must depend on your core muscles. Generally, when you windsurf, you’re using your entire body to maneuver around the water, which will, in turn, strengthen your core, improve posture, and decrease lower back pain.

Boost Heart Health

The combination of paddling and standing can provide you with cardiovascular exercise. The more active you are in the sport, the better you can enhance your heart health. Because you’re using multiple muscle groups while you’re out on the water, you’ll really get your heart pumping to deliver oxygen and blood to these muscles.

Better Cardiovascular Endurance

In order to work your muscles properly, you will need a sufficient supply of oxygen in your blood. You’re never stagnant while windsurfing because you’re constantly using your muscles to help you surf through the water. This type of exercise effectively increases your heart rate, which will improve your cardiovascular endurance and allow you to participate in the sport a lot longer.

Improve Sleep Quality

Any type of exercise is known to improve the quality of your sleep at night. Wearing yourself out or overexerting yourself in any sport won’t necessarily improve sleep just because you pushed yourself to exercise harder. Because windsurfing includes so much cardio and requires high endurance, it can help you improve your sleeping patterns.

Enhance Balance & Coordination

Enhancing and improving balance and coordination when you’re younger can play a role in helping with these skills as you grow older. Because a windsurf SUP board can be wobbly on the water, it forces you to engage the correct muscles to help you not fall off the board, thus improving balance. Directing the sail or paddling will also enhance your coordination.

Full-Body Workout

A major physical and mental health benefit to windsurfing is the fact that it gives you a full-body workout. As we stated above, you will engage a lot of muscle groups, which is excellent for exercising your entire body. Your legs need to keep you on the board, your back and arms need to turn the sail, and your core helps you balance. You’re working all of these muscle groups without even realizing you’re exercising!

Burn More Calories

While burning calories is not necessarily as important as working different muscle groups, it’s still a benefit because it lowers the risk for cardiovascular disease and protects you from conditions such as diabetes. The better your skills are in this sport, the longer you can stay on the water and burn more calories. Windsurfing is a low-impact, vigorous exercise, and you can burn the same number of calories as you would rock climbing or weight lifting.

Exfoliate Skin & Hair

Typically, individuals windsurf on a body of salt water. Freshwater windsurfing is also viable, but the ocean’s salt can help naturally exfoliate your skin and hair. The minerals in the water can help you detoxify your skin of any pollutants. This isn’t the most critical benefit of windsurfing, but it’s a bonus!

The longer you engage with this sport, the more benefits you’ll receive. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner; most people learn the sport relatively quickly. Remember, practice makes perfect! If you despise going to the gym but want to keep your body moving, consider taking up windsurfing.

The advantages of this water sport are undeniable. Browse through our selection of windsurf boards at Green Water Sports. What are you waiting for? Get out on that water so you can reap the benefits of this sport!

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.