How To Keep Surf Fit When You Work In An Office
A majority of people in the Western world work in an office. There are perks to working the 9 – 5 lifestyle, such as a steady income, office banter, coffee breaks, and hopefully engaging in projects that inspire and challenge you, however in terms of keeping surf fit, this type of work offers no saviour. With limited time and access to the ocean, it can be difficult to maintain any type of fitness, especially surf fitness. Below are a few tips and tricks to keep your surf fitness levels up when working in an office.
Sit on an exercise ball
Sitting on an exercise ball at work, instead of the office chair will force you to engage your core and sharpen up your posture. At first it may seem strange, but after a short period of time you become used to it and probably prefer it. These balls are cheap, portable and versatile and can be used to stretch out tired and strained backs from sitting all day. A win win!
Every email, engage your core
Have a go at implementing little challenges throughout the day. For example, for every email you write, try consciously engage your core with effort, and then afterwards relax. It may not seem like much at the time, but that depends on how many emails you write! If it isn’t emails, try assign this to a task in which you do commonly. Keeping a strong core is essential for every surfer. Try and work on this.
Swim before or after work
Swimming has a multitude of benefits for your body. Not only will swimming on a regular basis build up shoulder strength and coordination, but it will drastically improve your lung capacity and breathing technique. I would say that apart from surfing itself, swimming is the next best thing you can do to prepare your body for the ocean. Grab a friend from work and aim to go together. This will increase your motivation and help to keep you accountable. Try making goals to ensure you are continually making gains to your fitness levels and remember, you can always have a nice relaxing spa afterwards! A great afterwork activity for your body and mind.
Set your self the 50 challenge
Many studies prove how exercise raises energy levels and can improve concentration. I am absolutely a firm believer that exercise is just as, if not more uplifting than a strong hot cup of coffee (I love both.) Why not become more mentally efficient by incorporating bouts of exercise through out your day. The 50 challenge works by choosing an area of your body that you want to work on that day, and completing 50 exercises to support that area by the end of the day. For example, if you want to work on your core, every hour or two complete 10 repetitions of an ab related exercise. Do this at 5 different parts of the day and then boom! You have done 50 core exercises. If done everyday you will have done 250 repetitions in the working week to get yourself surf fit. Spreading this out seems far less daunting and therefor much more doable. Remember, keeping a proper and controlled form is essential if you want to see results.
Use your lunch break to briefly increase heart rate
In your lunch break do something briefly that will raise your heart rate. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk the long way to your favourite cafe. Do these things with effort and speed. Those these actions may seem very small and insignificant just remember, if done 5 days a week for months on end, they do add up.
Stretch on the regular
Often when working at a computer our shoulders, back and neck are put under immense strain. Unfortunately, these are the same areas we need to keep relaxed and flexible for optimum surfing. Every hour or so stretch out these areas just for a few minutes. This will not only improve your productivity when working, but should help to keep those areas a lot more fresh and nimble for when you do hit the water. Start by slowly rolling your head in a clockwise then anti clockwise position a few times. Over time incorporate more challenging and diverse stretches.
Overall, when working the 9-5 you may have little opportunity for surfing. If we loose all of our fitness before we even get into the water, we make improving our surfing a lot more difficult as we will be stuck at the basics, everytime. Do yourself a favour and try and incorporate a few of these tips into your routine. The people that are the fittest do not always carry the biggest load, but they are the most consistent! Happy surfing and enjoy your time away from the office when you can.
Ruby @ The Surf Box