During the winter months I don’t get to surf but want to stay fit. What are the best things I can do to stay in shape for surfing?
— Michelle, Long Island, NY
Anything that keeps you healthy will help keep you in surfing shape. Consider a cardio routine three to four times a week and add in some weight training that targets your arms and chest. Push-ups, the bench press, and assisted pull-ups are all good exercises for the summer surfer girl. One of the best things you can do for yourself during the cold winter months is remember to stretch and stay flexible. An easy way to work in all of the above is through yoga. The strength, flexibility and mental clarity that yoga brings you will definitely carry over to your surfing. All those downward dogs and chatarungas will help keep your arms toned and in shape for future paddles out. If you can’t find a class in your area that is convenient for you consider Peggy Hall’s “Yoga for Surfers” videos. These DVDs are targeted to the surfer and incorporate strength and balance moves (this Betty particularly likes Volume II). Pilates classes which focus on core strength are great for surfers, too. Do whatever you can to stay fit — whether it’s walk your dog, spend time on the treadmill or take on a yoga class. Staying active will also keep your spirits high. Plus, looking forward to warm water and fun summer waves will keep you motivated all winter long.
Enjoy the ride,