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Surfing on the West Coast

by Amberleigh Woods
(Portland, Oregon, US)

Learning to surf

The first time I went surfing was in Tofino, and it was for three hours long with just my friend and an instructor. It started out with pop-up practice on the beach, but quickly moved into the water.

During the few hours in the water, I don't ever remember thinking I was "working out" or being too tired to continue, because I was having such a great time in the water.

Whole body workout

The next day, my ENTIRE body was sore, but in a good way. I worked so many different parts of my body and it made me realize that not only is surfing fun and enjoyable, but provides a great workout.

It has a cardio aspect with all the fierce paddling necessary to catch a wave. The push-up aspect when popping up on a board is great for toning arms and the chest, and crouching on the board trying to stay balanced works your lower half.

I was tired, but I was having so much fun it was hard to notice. Surfing is not easy. It was difficult to time when to pop-up in a wave, and determine when and how fast to paddle.

Fun and rewarding

I continue to surf, and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting, fun and challenging new work out.

Some advice I would give would be to stay positive and keep an open mind because it is difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is very rewarding and a great workout!

Note from Dr. Dan

This is a great solution for someone that says, "I don't like to exercise." It's not exercise, it's time to play.

Remember when you were a kid? You didn't think about exercise. You were just running around, exploring and having fun, just because it was fun and you were full of life.

So, bring back some "life" into your life. Find something fun to do. Ride your bike. Go swimming. Take your dog for a walk.

There's some activity that would be right for you. So get up, get out and do it.

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