Want to do something good for your health? Taking up a new sport is a great way to do so. But how do you choose which one? Sometimes it’s good to compare the pros and cons of each sport and see which one best suits your needs. Let us help you with a few ideas on stand up paddle boarding. Though it’s becoming increasingly popular year on year, you may need to familiarise yourself with the many physical and mental health benefits you get from SUP.
In this post, we’ll look at how stand up paddle boarding can enhance your health. Hopefully, it’ll encourage you to try out this amazing and fun water sport!
Your balance and stability will improve
One of the things that you’ll notice very quickly during stand up paddle boarding is how much it enhances your balance. That’s because paddle boarding focuses on your core muscles. When you’re paddling, your legs, core, and back will be working overtime to keep you planted on the board. Of course, you might have a few falls at the beginning, but that’s completely normal. Everyone has to start somewhere! Not only is it good for your muscles, but SUP strengthens your ankles and joints – further improving your balance.
You’ll get abs of steel
All that work on your core (it’s the most engaged muscle during SUP) means that you’ll notice another change after just a few sessions. Your abs will become more and more toned – not only from paddling and maintaining your balance but also from twisting and turning your body. There are certainly worse ways to get yourself a six pack!
You will lose weight
Doing exercise doesn’t have to be about getting muscle toned or improving your balance. It can be something as simple as losing weight. And guess what, stand up paddle boarding is great for that too! When it comes to burning calories, it’s twice as effective at going for a walk at a regular pace. And that’s just when you paddle at a gentle pace.
Put a bit more effort in and the sky’s the limit – with racing and touring paddle boarders able to burn more than 1,000 calories each hour… however, it does take quite some time to get to that level.
Another great thing about SUP is that it’s so versatile. So, if you don’t want to paddle, you can burn 500 calories an hour with SUP yoga, and between 700 – 1,000 with SUP surfing.
It’s low impact
We haven’t finished with the physical health benefits of stand up paddle boarding just yet. While you might think after reading all of the muscles it works on, you might be worried that you’re going to be exhausted and aching afterwards. Not true! While you might feel that your muscles are tired after a paddle (which is totally normal and nothing to worry about), that soreness shows that your body strength is improving, as well as your strength and stamina. Thanks to the low impact of paddle boarding, it’s a great way to make a comeback from an injury without putting unnecessary stress on muscles, joints, and ligaments.
You get a cracking cardio workout
When you hear that SUP works all of the muscles, it really works all the muscles! Including the most important one of all, the heart. Because all of your muscles require oxygen as you paddle, your heart is working extra hard to supply them. Therefore, your circulation improves. And this isn’t only good in the short term. The long term benefits of this cardio workout are reduced risk of strokes, diabetes, and heart attacks. Sometimes, it seems that there’s nothing that stand up paddle boarding isn’t beneficial for!
You will get lots of Vitamin D
One thing that people overlook is that paddle boarding is a great way to get some sun. Yes, of course, you can do it in the rain and wind but if you do it regularly, it’s only a matter of time before you get perfect weather. An increased intake of Vitamin D is particularly handy in the 21st century, as so many people have a deficiency from spending too much time indoors! But what does Vitamin D do? Well, it can build calcium and make your bones stronger, as well as making your mind function better. While we’re on the subject of your mind…
It’s great for your mental health
Being out in the sun and surrounded by nature have been proven on many occasions to be great for your mental health. In a world where we are constantly snowed under with stress, SUP is the ideal way to take a break from that – making the most of the therapeutic effects of water. Take your dog paddling as well – it’s also good for his mental health (don’t forget a proper dog life jacket, though). Stand up paddle boarders will often feel something similar to ‘runners high’ and doing this as a weekend activity will see you calm and ready for anything when you’re back at work on Monday morning!