Stand up paddle boarding is a more relaxed version of surfing. Some even call it stand up paddle surfing as opposed to its more common name. If you’re unfamiliar with what stand up paddle boarding is; its an activity in which the rider stands on a floating board, similar to a surf board, but balances while propelling his or her self with a paddle. Its becoming increasing popular among beach and lake goers, as its fun, exciting or relaxing depending on the environment, and gives you an excellent workout. Lets take a look at the health benefits that stand up paddle boarding can give you.
Low Impact Exercise
Since stand up paddle boarding requires that you be standing and balancing for the majority of your session, it is an excellent low impact workout. Its not very likely that you will do any damage to the tendons or ligaments of your joints while engaged in the activity, since you are often gliding over the soft water without abrupt changes in elevation that would result in stress of impact. Even when the waves get a little choppy, the board still tends to glide and softly bounce up and down with little raw impact.
It is well known that being around bodies of water can be soothing to the mind, but being in the water can be soothing to the body as well. The sounds of gliding through the water coupled with paddle boarding’s unique sense of walking upon the water can be an excellent source of stress relief. You may also find yourself maintaining a rhythm as your paddle strokes the water’s surface, which adds to the therapeutic benefits of paddle boarding.
Work Out The Entire Body
While paddle boarding, you will find yourself using nearly ever muscle in your body. Your legs will be firm and use different muscles as the board sways from side to side, your back, arms, and shoulders will be used in a gentle, almost rowing motion as you propel yourself through the water. Your abdominal muscles and core are constantly working to keep you balanced and stabilized. This combination of constant, low impact, whole body exercise will result in increased full body strength very quickly without risking damage to the ligaments.
Increase Your Endurance
After learning to paddle board, the act of stroking the water with your paddle and constantly having to adjust your balance will keep you in motion. It may be even more-so for a newbie to paddle boarding, as you may find yourself falling off and having to go for a brief swim and climb back atop the board, adding even more dynamics to the exercise that paddle boarding provides. This means that the more you paddle board, the more endurance you will build. It doesn’t take long to notice the benefits of this increased full body endurance.
Being Outside Can Be Good For You
Coupled with the calming nature of the water, you will also be acquiring more sunlight. As long as you wear sunblock to help keep your skin from burning, you will wind up with numerous health benefits from the increased sunlight. It can have a positive effect on your mental health, as well as increasing your body’s natural vitamin D production.
Since an activity such as paddle boarding keep you in constant motion, it will serve to increase your cardiovascular circulation. This increased circulation, coupled with the overall increased fitness of the body, can lead to a reduced chance of becoming the victim of a heart attack or stroke.
- Cross-Training 101: Stand Up Paddle Boarding; Competitor
- SUP: Benefits of Stand Up Paddle Boarding; Shape
- 5 Health Benefits of Stand Up Paddle Boarding; Just Paddleboard
- Laird Hamilton on Health Benefits of Paddleboarding; Men’s Journal
- How Stand Up Paddle Boarding Benefits Your Health; iRocker SUP