As winter approaches, the weather is becoming less and less conducive to surfing. Unless you’re able to travel year-round, you’ll probably be looking at spending the next few months away from the surf. But just because you can’t catch waves doesn’t mean that you have to lose out on all of the conditioning work that you’ve done to get fit this season.

Staying fit in the surfing off-season requires a little creativity and some persistence, but it’s a goal that you can definitely achieve. If you invest the time in keeping yourself fit through the winter, you’ll be ready to get back into surfing again as soon as the weather allows for it in the spring.

Focus on Your General Wellness

Surfing isn’t just fun, it’s also great exercise — and staying fit offers important benefits in promoting wellness as you age. To keep yourself healthy when you’re not able to surf, focus on your general wellness, which includes your physical and mental health.

Surfing creates an opportunity for social interaction and can be a stress-relieving activity, so make sure that you find ways to replace those benefits with other activities in the off-season. Make an effort to stay connected to others, whether you meet up with your surfing friends for dinner or schedule outings with family.

Incorporate some stress management techniques into your daily schedule, too. Consider learning yoga to relieve stress, and be sure that you get enough sleep every night. Find some hobbies (other than surfing) that you enjoy, and make time for them in your daily schedule. Getting plenty of exercise won’t only help to keep you fit, but it can also offer stress relief. If you find that you’re still feeling anxious or stressed despite these techniques, consider talking to a psychologist. A psychologist can help you to learn new ways to reduce and manage the stress in your life.

Find the Right Diet

A low-carb, healthy fat diet keeps you healthy and helps you perform at your best whether your in or out of the ocean. While it may be tempting to stray from your healthy eating in the off-season – especially when the holidays arrive – changing up your diet will make it more difficult to get back into the swing of things once you’re ready to start surfing again. Instead, make your health a priority and stick to healthy, nutritious eating.

Following a low-carb diet doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste or some of your favorite foods, like cereal. In fact, keto cereal exists and can fulfill your craving for crunch without breaking your diet.

Chia is another great addition to your diet. Chia seeds contain plenty of protein, fiber, and Omega-3s, plus they’re easy to incorporate into shakes, yogurt, and other dishes.

With a good diet, you’ll have the energy you need for your daily life, and will be able to keep up with the exercise regimen you design to stay fit. A great diet can also help you to maintain your current weight, so getting back up on your board again will feel natural.

Try New Activities

Cross-training is an effective way to improve your surfing, and it can also help you to stay fit in the off-season. By doing different sorts of exercises, you can improve your strength throughout your body, going beyond the muscles that are developed by surfing. Cross-training makes you a more well-rounded athlete and can contribute to your balance, injury prevention, and overall performance.

When you start developing a cross-training plan, look into some other sports and exercises that you might enjoy. Bowling offers some valuable cross-training benefits, since the added weight of the bowling ball can develop muscle strength in your legs and in your bowling arm. Bowling also contributes to your hand-eye coordination and balance, since you’ll quickly learn how to compensate for the weight of the ball as your body changes position. While bowling isn’t the intense workout that surfing is, it does offer some calorie-burning benefits, too.

You can also incorporate your standard surf workouts into your fitness routine. Swimming pool workouts are particularly valuable, since you can continue to develop your cardio fitness while training yourself for surfing. Don’t forget to practice holding your breath while you’re swimming so you can maintain or even improve your lung strength and capacity.

If you can’t get into a pool, you can modify your on-the-ground workout with exercises designed for surfing. Leg squats and plank exercises develop your core and can also keep you fit and ready to get on your surfboard again. If you really want to up your fitness game. Consult with a professional trainer at a gym to develop a comprehensive fitness program for the off-season.

All of the effort you put into your fitness and health during the off-season can pay off when it’s time to catch some waves again. The fitter you are when you get back on your board, the faster you’ll be able to pick up where you left off this fall.

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