Don't you just sometimes wish you had Spiderman's agility or Popeye's biceps? Sure, you realize you need to make an effort to get the body you want. But, it just so happens that you're not on best terms with the gym, and even the thought of going for a run makes your knees hurt. Besides, you have to accomplish this whole fitness thing in your downtime; isn't that when you should be having fun instead of stressing about getting in shape?
All's not lost:
What if there was a full-body exercise that gives you the thrill of every amusement park ride you've ever been on? One you'd have so much fun with that you'd plan every vacation or long weekend around your "workouts"? One that your friends would beg to join you in? One that makes you wake up in the mornings with muscle aches, but leaves you craving more and eager to do it all over again?
All it takes is a board.
Wakeboarding and snowboarding are among the most popular summer and winter pastimes. But what many people don't realize is that each sport also packs a powerful punch in terms of fitness.
1) The Schwarzenegger Effect: Full-Body Conditioning
Probably the best part about both board-based activities is that they engage muscles throughout your entire body, providing a comprehensive workout. Unlike exercises using weights or cardio machines, snow- and wake boarding allow you to develop both your upper body and lower body strength at the same time. Have you ever attempted a wall-sit while lifting free weights? You'd probably give up in less than a minute. So it may be hard to believe that you'll be achieving a similar workout during your wakeboarding or snowboarding session. You're just having too much fun to realize it.
2) The Popeye Effect: Stronger Arms and Legs
Wakeboarding in particular will awaken an upper body strength you probably never knew you had. The sport will require that you flex, hold, and resist muscles in your arms, shoulders and back that you normally don't have to use. Because you are holding on to a single rope as you are pulled along by a speedboat, staying on top of the water will depend greatly on your ability to use these muscles. Of course, these muscles will have to work extra hard when you fall off your board and need to pull yourself out of the water.
Both snowboarding and wake boarding will strengthen your lower body. Your entire movement (and ability to stay upright) depends on how well you can control the muscles in your inner and outer thighs, calves and even your feet and ankles. After a full day of boarding, you may find yourself so sore you can barely walk. Congratulations: Your legs have just had the toning session of their life.
3) The Mata Hari Effect: Stronger Core
Like pilates and belly dancing, wake boarding and snowboarding are considered core-centric exercises. Balancing on a moving board requires that you keep the muscles from your rib-cage to your hips strong and in control. How hard will you be working your abs? Hard enough that serious boarders advise beginners to jump rope, do chin ups, and practice other core-strengthening exercises in the off-season to improve their boarding skills. While these exercises may not bring you the thrill of wakeboarding or snowboarding, at least you know that they'll help you navigate bumps and turns so much better next time around.
4) The Spiderman Effect: Increased Agility and Flexibility
This is especially true for more experienced boarders who perform aerial jumps and turns, but even beginners will be able to notice an increase in the agility of their hands and feet. You will find it easier to weave through crowds and move in time to the music on the dance floor. Boarding requires a full awareness of your body and its movements, and this will subconsciously translate into the grace and poise with which you carry yourself on a daily basis.
5) The Houdini Effect: Better Coordination
As you spend more time on your board, you'll probably find yourself wanting to learn the cool tricks that you see more seasoned boarders performing with ease.
On the waves, these tricks include hand-switches, rotations, and jumps.
On the slopes, you'll find yourself trying out twists, jumps, and turns.
All of these moves develop your hand-eye and foot-eye coordination, allowing you to improve your overall motor skills. These skills can be used in other sports, such as soccer, softball, and tennis. Are you the kid that’s always been picked last for your team? You may be pleasantly surprised to find that you’re no longer dropping the ball.
6) The J.J. Watt Effect: Hormonal High
What is it about boarding that keeps you feeling good, even when you're sore and exhausted?
The answer is largely scientific:
The combination of high speed and vigorous exercise leads to a rush of endorphins, the hormones that are responsible for how happy you feel. Essentially, you are experiencing a natural high that keeps you exhilarated not only throughout your ride, but for some time afterward, too. In addition, because both wakeboarding and snowboarding are outdoor sports, your body is able to soak up the sunshine and produce plenty of serotonin, another feel-good hormone.
Did we also mention that both high-intensity sports improve your blood circulation and oxygen intake? As a result, you'll find yourself feeling energized, refreshed, and eager to do more!
7) The Einstein Effect: Increased Mental Strength
When you're on a board, it's difficult to stop in the middle of the slope or during the middle of a ride. Unlike a run or a training session, once you're committed to a session, you will have to complete it. You may initially feel as if you are being pushed out of your comfort level, and this is what will help you to gain confidence and courage. According to WebMD, "the thrill of shredding the powder is good for your mental health." The same can be said for cutting the waves. You will be able to ride your fears and push yourself beyond your boundaries, both on and off the board.
Ready to get on board? M2Sports carries the latest boards and accessories. There’s no better time than right now to check out our awesome wakeboard selection.