When setting health and fitness goals, paddle boarding may not come to mind as an effective exercise method, but you’ll be surprised at its huge health benefits.
Anybody can participate in stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), whatever age or ability, and in 2013 it was reported that it had the most first-time participants out of all outdoor sporting activities in the whole of the United States.
If you’re curious about paddle boarding but want to know more about how it’s good for you, read below to learn about 6 amazing fitness benefits of the water sport.
- It Improves Your Balance
Paddle boarding requires you to stand upright on the board while it’s on the water. Having a strong core is essential in maintaining your balance so that you don’t fall off the board and make a splash. After a short time, your core strength will have increased tenfold, making it easier to stand on paddle board and, more importantly, improve your body’s overall strength and posture.
- It Gives You A Full Body Workout
Because of the balance required to successfully paddle board, your body gets a full workout, from your core to your arms and legs. It may not seem overly strenuous because you are not targeting a single muscle group, but an hour riding waves and navigating the sea’s erratic currents while keeping your balance gives every muscle group in your body a nice workout. Keep paddle boarding regularly, and you’ll start to see and feel your body strengthening.
- It’s a Great Cardio Workout
You don’t have to be on a treadmill for 20 minutes to get a good cardio workout, paddle boarding is just as good a sport to increase your heart rate. For a tougher cardio blast, put some speed behind your paddling, or even enlist some friends and get competitive.
What’s more, participating in sports that offer a great cardio workout such as running, aerobics and paddle boarding have been reported to decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks and strokes.
- It Increases Your Endurance Levels
Though paddle boarding may be considered a more low-impact than high-impact sport (which is good if you’re recovering from injury or your joints are tight), you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can increase your endurance. Before long, your muscles will become accustomed to the exercise and you will able to stand upright on the board for longer, which is incredibly rewarding and can translate into other sports.
- It’s Good For Your Mental Health
Probably one of the most valuable benefits of paddle boarding, like many other outdoor activities, is that operating in a natural environment, away from the bustle of the city or the humdrum of a gym, can help to relieve stress and increase mindfulness. Many people find being out on the ocean and being able to connect with nature very relaxing and calming, and being out in the sunshine gives an added dose of Vitamin D, which only aids joy and inspiration.
- It’s Fun!
If paddle boarding is anything, it’s fun. So, even if you aren’t so hyped about the fitness benefits of taking up the water sport, you can be sure that you will find it exhilarating. Plus, learning a new skill is good for the mind and soul.
If paddle boarding is something that you are in to or think it could be for you, you can get a professional inflatable paddle board online or in a specialized store. From the widely-adored Tower Adventure boards, to the less pricey Vilano Navigator boards, there is a board for everyone, young and old, and even those with a dog in tow (yes, really). Though you may find yourself forking out for a high-quality board, the exercise itself is free and the benefits are endless, so what are you waiting for?