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Posted by on Jun 3, 2019 in Technique, Windsurfing News | 0 comments

Windsurfing as exercise

Healthy body, healthy mind.

Exercise does a lot of good for our physical health and it allows us to feel better about ourselves. However, in the modern world, every website claims to have the wonder-routine of squats and push ups, better than everyone else’s. But lets take a look at windsurfing as exercise!

Squats, burpees and push-ups certainly have their benefits, as has pushing it on a machine at the local gym. However, if you’re not a fan of enclosed spaces and sweating it out next to other people, we might have an alternative.

If you’re looking for a healthy full-body workout that can assist with weight loss, increase your strength and coordination and give you that summer body you wanted, windsurfing as exercise might just be the answer. And it’s really fun too!

A women windsurfing and exercising at the gym. Collage.
Gym might not be everyone’s cup of tea…

Weight-loss story…

A recent article on the RYA Inbrief newsletter describes the inspiring story of Ali Yates, an experienced windsurfing instructor. She described how because of her busy lifestyle, she slipped into unhealthy routine of takeaway eating and lack of exercise. When trying to loose weight, she noticed how windsurfing unexpectedly became the centre of her new training routine:

Windsurfing was now giving me something to train for and once again I felt I had a goal and a focus. I had to start practice what I had been preaching to the kids for the past nine years.

Ali Yates for RYA Inbrief

Thanks to the nature of windsurfing, it engages all parts of the body into the training, adding up to approximately 500 calories burnt per hour. However, and here a good news for beginners, getting onto the board and pulling the sail out bumps that number up significantly! The added benefit is the solid upper-body workout, that will add nice biceps and strong shoulders as a bonus to your weight-loss routine!

It’s not all about fat…

The health benefits of windsurfing as exercise reach far beyond just purely burning fat. Maintaining your balance on the board engages a lot of deep core muscles. This activity can create a strong support for the spine, potentially mitigating future back problems.

The raised heartbeat, on the other hand, places windsurfing in the aerobic exercise zone, recommended by the World Health Organisation at a minimum of 150 min per week. Such exercise has the potential to lower your likelihood of, among others: heart decease, diabetes, and… depression!

You, wind, and the open waters…

Moving silently over the water, powered by nothing but the wind has something magical to it. Especially with the setting sun sparkling in the waves. Cruising along with the wind can get one into a meditative-like state and help manage the stress of everyday life. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, over 14% of people use regular exercise as a stress relief method. Whilst for some it might be just an added bonus to their regular exercise sessions, I believe that for many people, windsurfing can become a key element of their body and soul healthy lifestyle.

Sources:
https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/stress/physical-activity-reduces-st
https://www.rya.org.uk/newsevents/e-newsletters/inbrief/Pages/windsurfing-for-weight-loss.aspx
https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/factsheet_adults/en/

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