Here is a Public Service Announcement to my fellow surfers born before 1986: If you want to surf well as you get older, you need to be proactive with your body.
Are you stretching, doing yoga, strength training, or even recovery work after your sessions? Continuing to surf well as you age takes work. It requires being proactive about your body. If you ignore that nagging pain in your shoulder and hope it will magically go away, you’re in for trouble down the road. Here’s a simple way to make sure all your joints are moving well.
The Morning Mobility Movement Meditation is one way to loosen up and get more range of motion into your joints. Better functioning joints equals better surfing.
Simply tune into your body and pay attention – what are you feeling? Focus on breathing and listening to your body. Scan up and down your body to see what’s going on. Take it all in.
This one habit has had the most positive impact on my body and brain over the past two years.
It takes no more than five minutes and it literally changes the rest of my day. The days that I start like this are just amazing. For anyone who struggles with low back pain or general stiffness, these five minutes could very likely change your life.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
The harsh reality is if you’re over 30 and you’ve used your body in any physical way over the course of your life, all without being proactive and stretching, recovering with soft tissue work or addressing any nagging pain, then it’s likely that many of your joints don’t move well. When joints don’t move well, the body doesn’t function well.
This becomes problematic when you want to push hard and charge the surf. The body compensates when joints don’t move well and you have extremely tight muscles. Surfing well requires healthy joints that have full range of motion.
When muscles become overworked, tension builds, imbalances are created and nagging pain is the norm. At the very least, even if you get lucky enough to avoid injury and can handle some muscle pain, your performance will suffer greatly. Paddling will weaken, pop-ups slow down and you miss sections that your early adult self would have flown through.
Don’t let your body hold you back from surfing your best.
If you want to move your body well, be pain-free, bulletproof your body from injury, and perform your best, here are two reasons you should check out this 5-minute routine.
1) Strong, Supple, Durable Body
All I can say is that if you want a strong, supple, pain-free body, then you need to work at it.
Personally, neglecting flexibility for many years put me in a position in my early 30’s where I was tighter than a tin man. I could barely touch my toes. My hips were super stiff. My shoulders didn’t move that well. My feet and ankles had poor range of motion.
This has allowed me to make so much progress with my flexibility and mobility. I feel lighter on my feet, my joints hurt less, and my low back pain is gone. I’m able to do the things I love with my body that I wasn’t able to do before. My Active Passions are full of life right now because I start my mornings off right.
I’m still using the heck out of my body and plan to for the foreseeable future. So what you want to do with your body?
2) A Small Morning Win = Success For Rest Of The Day
It’s not only that your body will feel good with a morning mobility movement meditation, but more importantly it’s the psychological win you get by doing something deliberate first thing. It’s the little momentum that you get from the simple act of accomplishment.
This small win first thing in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. It tells your subconscious brain, I’m in control here. It’s the same reason I’m an avid bed maker these days.
Life is not happening to you. You’re not living in some reactive mode where you are constantly pulled in 10 different directions. You’re telling your brain that you’re making shit happen and you’re taking a proactive step in the direction of better health. This is a huge difference. Think about it for a second. You are in control. Of course, shit will happen, people will be shitty to you, things wont go your way, but always always always – by doing your morning routine you’ll at least have some positive part of your day already in the books.
Editor’s Note: Learn more about the author’s own total body fitness program specifically designed for surfers here.