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October 16, 2019

Fun fact: John "Pops" Ah Choy is one of the fathers of standup paddle boarding as you know it today. He also created a chair with suction cups to place on the board when using it to fish.

SUP boarding is one of those activities that you can never get tired of. There is always a new variation to try and enjoy the water. Is there anything, other than lots of fun, to gain from this activity? As a matter of fact there is. Paddleboarding gently works every muscle in your body and boosts your health in several amazing ways.

Here are health benefits that will make you want to SUP more.

Weight Loss

Who doesn’t want to have a healthy weight? Unlike many other exercises, SUP is not brutal. It is something that you will look forward to every day. You don’t have to torture yourself to lose weight. Get on your board, take your paddle and explore the water.

Within one hour, you will have burned about 400 to 600 calories. Factors such as your weight and fitness determine the exact number. Note that this is the number at a moderate pace. As already mentioned, there are numerous SUP variations and you can even come up with your own. The more intense the exercise, the more calories you will burn.  And of course, if you get into SUP racing, calories burned definitely increases.  

Cardiovascular Health

If you are an adult, you need 30 minutes of exercise (children need 60 minutes). It is important to regularly get your cardio workout, raise your heart rate and burn fat.

Consequently, your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases will reduce. Cardio workout also prevents type 2 diabetes and other diseases associated with inactivity.

All this happens while you are paddling leisurely and enjoying beautiful views. That alone is enough to improve circulation. Join SUP races occasionally for something more intense.

Reduces Stress

Your mental health is one of those things that you should always prioritize. Seek peace and happiness every day. The good news is that you don’t have to travel far to find those two. When you are feeling overwhelmed, pick up your SUP board and head out. Just go and enjoy nature. The sun on your skin, soft breeze and breathtaking view will help clear your head.

Furthermore, exercises such as paddleboarding greatly reduce stress levels and boost your energy and mood. You will be feeling relaxed long after you get out of the water. Lower stress levels will translate into better sleep. No more tossing and turning until 3 a.m. Physical exercises also help with depression and anxiety management. Go paddling as often as you can and your mind will thank you.

Injury Rehabilitation

Having an injury can be one of the worst experiences, especially if you are an athlete. You can barely exercise and even if you do, there is the risk of causing further harm. Fortunately, not all exercises are weight-bearing. Paddleboarding, for instance, is low impact and you can trust it not to strain your muscles and joints.

Additionally, it speeds up recovery and injured athletes are advised to try it. Every day when you paddle, the injured part slowly and gradually gains strength and stability. Within no time, you will be able to go on about your routine as usual.

Full Body Workout

A number of physical activities do not work all muscles. Some get more engaged than others. Paddleboarding uses every part in your body including your toes and fingers.

Starting from the top, your neck muscles will be working constantly as you turn to enjoy the scenery all around you. While paddling, the arm and shoulder muscles will be at work to push you forward. The same applies to your back. SUP boarding involves maintaining balance and this is where your core and abdominal muscles come in. Your legs help you remain stable. Not one muscle is left out. 

Enhances Balance

Balance is a major part of paddleboarding. SUP boards are somewhat flat and narrow. Add to that the fact that the water is not a stable surface. Even professionals lose balance and fall into the water sometimes. 

If you are a beginner, you will spend so much more time in the water than on the board. However, as you learn to get back on the SUP board and keep going, you will get better. Your core, legs and entire body will cooperate to help you stay balanced in the unstable situation. This is useful for older people and athletes. 

On top of that, this balance will be transferred to your mind and daily life. It helps you stay focused and juggle all your responsibilities in a healthier and balanced way.

If you want to start out on a stable board, a larger board is often the answer.  However, large hard boards can be heavy, cumbersome and challenging to move around.  Try an inflatable SUP board if you want something lighter, more user friendly, and easy to transport.  

Low Impact Exercise for Everyone

You already know that SUP boarding is a gentle exercise. While everyone should exercise daily, some people have conditions that can limit them. Children and the elderly are also likely to get hurt while doing weight-bearing exercises.

Low impact activities such as paddling offer a way for everyone to stay fit and safe at the same time. Although it works all muscles, movement is minimal.

The entire family can participate. There are paddleboards that are super large and meant to be used by multiple people. You can buy one of these and let your children paddle once in a while as you help and supervise. Most of them are pet-friendly too so you can bring your dog.

 How many physical activities can you actually categorize as fun? Standup paddleboarding is one of a kind. It facilitates weight loss and sometimes you may not even have to try too hard. Show up several days a week and paddle for about two hours. This will give you fantastic results. Other than you getting fit, you will notice a positive effect on your mental health.

Paddling is a good way to exercise while bonding with your loved ones. SUP race with your buddies or explore the water with your spouse and kids. No one is locked out because this exercise does not strain ligaments or the spinal cord. Paddleboards are affordable, more so the inflatable ones. If you live near a water body, there is no reason why you shouldn’t SUP every chance you get.

This article was written by David De Haan, founder of StandUpPaddleBoardsReveiw.com, where he helps beginner and advanced paddle boarders to have fun on the water.  


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