Windsurfing is the popular water sport enjoyed by both amateurs and professionals. Windsurfing is great fun, but it’s challenging physically, particularly in strong winds. And to achieve the experience you want, you need to be strong and fit. Windsurfing fitness comprises more than just sailing itself, it should be combined with other forms of land-based exercise for maximum benefit; including cycling, rowing, swimming, gym or cross-training. As a high-adrenaline, quasi “extreme sport”, windsurfing provides many fitness benefits as well as the excitement factor. Let’s look at a few of the benefits of a windsurfing fitness regime on the water!
Here are our favourite benefits of a windsurfing fitness regime:
Mental benefits: Nothing like being in the water in the sun on a beautiful, warm day! As mentioned in the article we wrote here, people benefit immensely from outdoor activities, not the gym. If you go out in the sun on a sunny day, you will also absorb vitamin D, which is known to combat depression. Just make sure you use plenty of sunscreen.
Strengthen your core: Windsurfing works with your core muscles while you balance yourself on the board. You use your whole body to maneuver and control your sailboat, so you work with your arms, back and legs as you sail. Continuously adjusting the balance to match your core ensures that it is always on and working!
Cardiovascular benefits: The body is made up of many muscle groups and to use them, it is necessary to ensure that they are constantly supplied with oxygen and nutrients through the flow of air. For this reason, large muscle groups, such as the back and legs, need the heart to balance faster when used more intensively. Windsurfing is an incredible cardiovascular exercise because it requires several large muscle groups in your body.
Increased cardiovascular endurance: The more you windsurf, the better your heart resistance becomes, because you’re always active when you do this sport. Because your heart supplies blood to all these muscle groups, this is a serious workout for your heart. Best of all, as your cardiovascular fitness increases, you can windsurf for a longer period of time!
Even beginners will have an excellent workout: As a beginner, you’ll probably spend most of your time learning to stand on a windsurfboard. This includes using your leg muscles to balance the board, and using your shoulders, forearms, and back to control the strength of your sails. Beginners can spend half their time in the water, but this is all part of the training. Falling off the board means you are constantly pulling yourself out of the water, which works on your hands and increases your caloric output.
Burn ALOT calories: The top windsurfers who spend lots of time on the water can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour, while more casual windsurfing can burn about 500 calories an hour. Windsurfing doesn’t really feel like excercise thanks to the enjoyment factor and the adrenaline pump.
Doesn’t feel like exercise: Blasting over 30 knots on your gear is so exciting that you barely know that what you’re doing is exercise. That means you’re more likely to hold on to it for longer and burn more calories than at the gym as windsurfing is such a dynamic and radical sport, even in lighter winds.
As you can see windsurfing has many fitness and health benefits!