With some of the best waves in Europe, Ireland has become a haven for surfing in recent years. However, there are far more benefits of surfing than meets the eye. You’ll be able to build fitness, flexibility, improve your mental health, and much more!

Surfing is a fantastic activity to take up at any point in your life. It’s a great way to improve your mental and physical health and it’s hard to beat the rush of taming the Atlantic Ocean. If you needed any more encouragement to suit up, reach for your board and head down to the beach here are our top five benefits of surfing:

1. Physical Fitness

There’s a reason surfers look so good. Even before you catch a wave the constant paddling, working to maintain position, and fighting against the ocean is a great workout. Once you’re on a wave you’ll be working your core and leg muscles to the limit. Over the course of a few hours, you’ll rack up the calories as fast as you rack up the waves. Surfing provides a great combination of cardio and muscle workout that is hard to match on land.

2. Mental Health

A study conducted in 2010 by the California State University found that surfing was an excellent way to improve your mood. Participants who were fighting against depression and stress found that after a few weeks surfing they were generally happier and more relaxed. Surfing offers escapism in spades as well as a huge rush when you finally ride that wave all the way into shore. While in the water surfers are singularly focused on one thing – catching their next wave. It’s the perfect way leave your troubles on dry land.

3. Community

Surfing is a fantastic way to bring people together. As you become a regular at the spot of your choice you’ll soon notice the same faces in the line-up day after day and week after week. These are your brothers and sisters in arms in your fight against the sea. The camaraderie among the surfing community is palpable and more experienced surfers are a great resource for tips and advice on how to improve your own game.

4. Flexibility

It’s safe to say that none of the positions required to get from horizontal to vertical on a surfboard are particularly natural. The twists and turns you’ll need are a great way to improve your flexibility and mobility. Being more supple will help you avoid injury in your other sporting activities.

5. Natural Beauty

Ireland’s 3,200km of coastline is the country at its most beautiful. Wild, rugged, and battered by the North Atlantic it is a reminder of the majesty of Mother Nature. As nice as it is to see from the cliffs and sea paths, surfing lets you get an altogether more intimate perspective.

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By Outsider

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