Healthy Habits for Surfing and Work
Cultivating healthy habits at work and in the surf can help you get the most out of work and play. Whilst establishing them can be a drag, working towards small changes everyday can build into significant change for the better over time.
Up and at ‘em
As we head into autumn and the mornings get darker it can be hard to get up and go for that early dawn surf. However, many health experts suggest exercise in the morning before taking a seat at your desk is not only good for your body (and your surf skills), but helps to keep you alert at work thanks to a helpful boost of endorphins and stoke. Just the feeling of knowing you’ve done something awesome for yourself, can put you in the right frame of mind to kick goals at work all day.
Eat the frog
Don’t be confused, we’re not actually suggesting you eat your little green garden goblins, but this saying can be handy when you’re feeling stuck. Procrastination can kill any project or goal and even your surf session. If you’re sitting at your desk trying to avoid a big fat difficult thing on the to do list, the best way to get the day moving is to do that task first. Brian Tracey, author of worldwide bestseller ‘The Psychology of Achievement’, suggests you don’t look at these frogs for too long. Take immediate action instead and if you have more than one frog on the list, eat the ugliest first. Like any skill, when you practice, it gets easier and gradually you’ll become more productive and find work more fulfilling as a consequence.
The same goes for your surf sessions. If the waves aren’t perfect, rather than sitting looking at those messy, windblown lumps, grab your board, jump in and get practicing anyway. You’re sure to learn something new and feel the benefits of your practice the next time the surf is pumping and perfect.
Be clear in your intentions and set goals
Many people use the surf as a way to unwind so setting hardcore goals can be counterproductive. But knowing your intentions can help to make sure you get the most from your session. If you’re trying a new manoeuvre, look up some tips, break down the steps and practice them in the surf. If you’re there to have fun and chill out, notice if your competitive streak rears it’s head when old mate drops in on you for the second time.
Likewise at work, know what your performance indicators are and what’s expected of you and make sure you’re working towards those goals every day. If you work for yourself you have the unique opportunity to set these markers for yourself. What does success look like for you and your business? This focus not only helps you achieve your goals but can help you be a little more self aware and perhaps notice when your actions aren’t in line with your intentions. This gives you the chance to check in with yourself and live your life on purpose.
Eating a healthy breakfast and a balanced diet is a no brainer. It’s the difference between crashing at 11am and staying bright eyed and bushy tailed until 6pm, as well as paving the way to health and happiness. If eating a nutritious diet isn’t your forte, start by making small changes and build them up. Four coffees a day? Swap a couple out for a green tea instead. Chips and a soda for afternoon tea? Try a piece of fruit, a handful of almonds and some cool water for a change. Just by making these small adjustments you’ll begin to notice your energy levels increase and your middle shrink.
Before a surf a banana is the perfect snack on the way to the beach and some awesome avo on toast can help you refuel after. Surprisingly we often need less food than we think, so be mindful of how much you put on your plate.
If the surf is flat, rather than revert to netflix and chill, get some cross training in. Surfing is a mixture of anaerobic activity (short bursts of high intensity exercise where the muscles function without oxygen) and aerobic activity (sustained low intensity exercise where the muscles function with oxygen), so mix it up. Go for a run but alternate between sprinting and walking to mimic how your heart works during a surf.
Try some yoga (a pro surfer fave) to help you stay balanced on your board. You might begin to find you can pull that move you couldn’t before or that your sessions are just more fun because you’re fitter.
At work, look for opportunities to train in complimentary disciplines that might inform what you do and enhance your skill set. If you work in marketing, could you take a course in writing or social media to broaden your horizons? If you’re a personal trainer, could you grab a certificate in massage to help your clients look after their sore muscles. Having a broad skill set and offering your employer or clients more bang for their buck is a great way to stay one step ahead of the competition.
If you google dehydration the statistics are pretty damning. Just being a tiny bit dehydrated can impact productivity, mood and healthy bodily functions significantly. According to the National Institute of Health, dehydration can contribute to fatigue, decreased kidney function, reduced heart and blood vessel function and irritability. It makes sense then to get your daily intake of clean water down your neck. Experts recommend at least 2 litres a day and bumping that up after exercise or during hot weather.
No effort is ever wasted
Although people have a lot of bad things to say about hindsight, we can also use it to our advantage. How many times have you looked back on a few bad situations and realised it was all leading to something great? If that’s ever happened to you, or even just to someone you know, then it’s not too far fetched to suggest that in fact these difficult times are just preparing us for something great.
If you’re having trouble at work, maybe you’re learning a key skill for a future dream job. If you had a bad surf session, inevitably you will have learnt about what not to do in future, ensuring you have an awesome session next time. If you’re in the middle of tough times as we speak, give yourself a break and remind yourself often that no effort is ever wasted.
We’d love to know about your healthy habits. What keeps you happy and healthy?
Posted by: Sarah Price, on February 28, 2016
Christine Deveney - TapaReef Owner & Creator
Russell Ord - Surf Photographer
Richard Kotch - Surf Photographer
Mick McComas - Red Island Travel Owner
Brian McDonald - Matanivusi Beach Eco Resort Owner
Alena Ehrenbold - Surf Film Director & Freesurfer
Mitch Revs - Artist
Philippa Anderson - WQS Surfer
Brett Levingston - Surf Guide, Lifeguard, Mad Huey
Jonas Claesson - Surf Artist aka Jonas Draws