Stand up paddleboarding is taking the world by storm. One of the most fashionable sports in the world right now, it might be because it’s the perfect escape from the train crash of a year that is 2020. However, it could be for a number of other reasons too! It’s true that many people take up stand up paddleboarding for its many health benefits, both physical and mental.
In this post, we’ll be exploring those health benefits of stand up paddleboarding. If you’re thinking about taking up a new sport or workout regime, you might get a pleasant surprise at just how much SUP can do for you.
SUP will improve your balance and stability
First of all, stand up paddleboarding is an amazing full-body workout. From your head to your toes, everything will be called into action at some point. However, the area of your body that benefits most from stand up paddleboarding is your core.
While paddling, you’ll be twisting and turning a lot, with your core being at the centre of everything. Your abdominal and back muscles will be working overtime and this will see the strengthening of your core.
Not only will you feel the results, but you’ll see them too. Paddleboarders often develop ‘abs of steel’. And if all that muscle work isn’t enough, SUP is great for your ligaments and joints too. All of these together improve your overall balance and flexibility.
SUP will make you lose weight
While getting your muscles toned is a great side effect of stand up paddleboarding, many people’s initial motivation to take up a new type of workout is to lose weight. Thankfully, SUP can help with that. You’re likely to burn twice as many calories when doing regular paddling as you would when going for a walk at a leisurely pace.
Another benefit of SUP is its versatility – you don’t just have to stick to simple paddling. SUP yoga can burn between 500 – 600 calories per hour, which is only 100 less than an average Crossfit workout. SUP surfing is even more strenuous, burning anywhere between 700 – 1,000.
You’ll see results in no time!
SUP is a great cardio
It really is true that SUP works all of the muscles in your body. And we mean all of them! As all of them are supplied with oxygen, that means your heart is working hard. What a way to improve your circulation! Short term, this will leave you feeling good, but in the long term, it’s even better. Good heart health means that you’ll be less at risk of a number of unpleasant health conditions – strokes and heart attacks just to name a couple.
If you want an even better cardio workout, take a look at SUP yoga. Yogic breathing improves your circulation even more than regular stand up paddleboarding, leaving you feeling amazing afterwards.
SUP is a low impact
You’d think that a sport with so many health benefits would leave you with some price to pay. Would it be an acceptable trade-off to be aching all over after losing weight and working out your muscles? That’s not something you have to find out with SUP. While you’ll no doubt have some pains after a really intense session or when working muscles that are often underused when you start off, you won’t notice that soreness at all after a while.
Like swimming, stand up paddleboarding is a low impact sport. Though your muscles, joints, and ligaments are engaged throughout, there is no extra stress put on them. If you’re an athlete coming back from injury SUP is a wonderful way to recover.
Remember that if you do feel any pains after SUP, it’s just proof that your muscles are building!
SUP will see you get more Vitamin D
If you’ve ever seen people doing stand up paddle boarding either in person or social media, you can’t help notice but there’s something all paddlers have in common. They’re doing it outside! Though you could try doing SUP indoors if you really wanted to, one of the big benefits is that you’re getting out and taking in Vitamin D – which can be in short supply if you work in an office or spend a lot of time indoors. Vitamin D offers you calcium to strengthen your bones and help your mind function better.
There’s no argument that it’s good for you to spend time outside, but do make sure to have adequate sun protection. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a sunhat are a good start.
SUP reduces stress and improves your mental health
A lot of this post has so far focused on the physical health benefits of stand up paddleboarding. Because there are so many! However, one of the big reasons SUP is so popular is for its obvious mental health benefits too.
First of all, you’re outside. Whether it’s on the clear, flat water of a beach or in the gentle waves of your nearest beach, it doesn’t matter. Water has a therapeutic effect, and so much as looking at the ocean can lower your stress levels!
Not only that, it is enough of a mental and physical challenge that SUP releases the brain’s happy chemicals – endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. Meaning that paddlers experience something similar to runners’ high.
In an age where mental health is more important than ever, there are few workouts that will look after yours better.