Benefits of SUP or Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Benefits of SUP or Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) has skyrocketed in popularity in the last decade. This is an activity that brings friends and families together. Whatever your fitness level, you can likely participate. While this is really fun, the health benefits of paddle boarding are tremendous. Let’s explore 8 of the positive aspects of SUP.

1. Improves Balance and Builds Your Core

It takes a good deal of balance to stand up on a board that is floating on water. Good balance requires core strength and stability. While you are standing on the board and maneuvering it over the water, you are building your core muscles and improving balance. This will carry over into all other activities.

2. Provides a Full Body Workout

Pretty much every muscle in your body is engaged while you are stand up paddle boarding. Your legs and core are engaged to help with stability. Your arms, shoulders, and back are manipulating the paddle though the water. Your neck, head, and eyes are working hard to navigate the path of travel. All of these get a super workout when you are on waterways that are moving, such as the ocean or a river.

3. Increases Endurance and Overall Strength

Once you have mastered balancing on the standup paddle board, you start increasing endurance with the constant motion of the paddle. As your endurance increases, you will start to notice that you can paddle longer and go further distances. You are also building lean muscle mass and strong bones, resulting in improved overall strength. You will know your muscles are getting stronger if you feel a little soreness and fatigue after a morning spent on the paddle board. That’s a good thing.

4. Enhances Cardiovascular Health

Stand up paddle boarding is often promoted as a low-impact sport. This is true because there is no running on pavement or lifting of heavy weights. However, it is quite the cardio workout because you are in constant motion. One of the biggest benefits of paddle boarding is the support it gives your heart and blood vessels by increasing oxygen levels and heart rate.

5. Gets You Outside

Exercising in nature is good on so many levels. Fresh air and sunshine are excellent for your body and mind. Exposure to the sun offers a boost in vitamin D levels. Oxygen improves muscle and organ function. The soothing water can calm your spirit and clear a busy mind.

6. Reduces Stress

Exercise, in general, has been shown to reduce stress levels and improve overall mood. Paddle boarding, in particular, is a remarkably stress reducing activity. Handling the board requires a great deal of attention. Your entire body is engaged, including your brain. Daily worries and unfinished tasks melt away temporarily. It is so healthy to unplug from work and technology from time-to-time to relax and elevate your mood.

7. Can Help with Weight Loss

Perhaps one of the most desirable benefits of paddle boarding is that it can assist with weight loss. While you are exercising, increasing strength, and building lean muscle mass, you are also burning body fat. As your energy and metabolism increase, weight tends to decrease. Regular stand up paddle boarding, in conjunction with a healthy diet that is lower in sugar and saturated fats, can greatly assist with reaching your weight loss goals.

8. It’s Fun

Let’s be clear, this is a fun thing to do, especially with companions. This is an activity that people of all ages can participate in. You can make a day of it with friends and family. Paddle board in the morning, have a picnic lunch on the shoreline, then go for a swim in the ocean, lake, or river. This is a really fun way to decompress and share some laughs, especially if you fall off a couple of times. While you are having fun, you are also improving your health on many levels.

Final Thoughts

Stand up paddle boarding is an excellent activity to improve many aspects of your health. If you haven’t tried it yet, head to a local SUP shop and rent a board for an hour or so to see if you like it. You may be surprised at your own abilities. You will also reap the rewards and benefits that are outlined here. Enjoy.

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