Surf Therapy: Why Surfing Helps the Mind, Body, and Soul

Surfing is a unique because anyone regardless of age, gender or size can learn and enjoy. This sport of surfing (although crazy not an Olympic sport yet!) takes individualism, dedication, and extreme focus; in return the sport acts as a therapy, helping heal or otherwise enhance one’s mind, body, and soul.

The Mind
Surfing is a rigorous activity requiring a sharp, focused mind. When paddling out to just before where the waves break, the surfer’s mind must be singularly focused on finding the best spot to wait for waves and the appropriate direction to orientate oneself as the wave begins to crest. When standing to ride the wave, the surfer clears his or her mind of the daily stresses and worries, he or she must concentrate solely on balancing techniques, thinking not only of the ride itself, but also upon how to exit the wave.

The Body
Surfing results in positive physical therapy. A person’s body must become fit and agile in order to withstand the intense amount of paddling and swimming necessary to take the body and surfboard out into the ocean. This paddling is not only an amazing cardio workout for the entire body, but this exercise also results in great muscle development for both the arm and core muscles. In additions to the superficial benefits, the intensity of surfing encourages the avid surfer to examine his or her daily food consumption. Without a body well-nourished with energy-rich foods, a surfer will find his or herself quick to tire, causing unwanted breaks or ends to surfing days.

The Soul
While surfing’s effects upon the mind and the body can be tested and quantified, its therapeutic effects upon the soul are more qualitative and individual-oriented. Surfing helps the soul with the combination of the positive mental activity and a body’s increased ability to endure the sport’s physical demands. In addition, surfing is an art performed between the individual and nature. When the surfer is inside the wave’s curl, he or she is alone, with only the surrounding ocean and the hundreds of pounds crashing behind the board. The surfer is dependent upon the surrounding nature for swells and ocean breaks, creating a unique interaction where the surfer sees his or herself directly impacted by natural forces. This realization can result in a contented acceptance and security of who the surfer is as person, and a positive relation to the uncontrollable but interrelated forces, be it nature, God, or humanity in general, existing outside one’s body.

The media paints surfing as a sport reserved for young, off-beat youth. However today, people from combat veterans to mid-life crisis victims are flocking to this sport as an increasingly popular therapeutic alternative to indoor gyms and self-help seminars. This is sport where anyone can benefit from its mind, body, and soul therapy. This is active mediation.

This is a guest post from Aspects Holidays, the Cornwall cottages specialist. They have over 300 properties from quaint cottages in St Ives to Falmouth self catering apartments, find out more about their properties at


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