Paddleboarding is an activity that engages your entire body and mind and it can provide some amazing health benefits. Even if you just go out to paddle for the love of it, here are some of the added benefits you can get
- Whole body strengthening, particularly of the core
- Cardio workout
- Weight loss
- Improved balance
- Useful in rehabilitating injuries
- Stress reduction
We’ll look at each of these benefits in a little more detail
Whole body strengthening-you engage many muscles between balancing on the board, and your actual stroke. Your core plays a huge part in this. Your core consists of your abdominals, hip flexors, hip abductors and adductors, and lumbar spine. The lumbar spine is responsible for posture and stability and it provides the strength needed for dynamic sports. Activities that strengthen your core, train the muscles to work in coordinated ways for performing every day activities and sports injury free. Balancing on the board causes you to constantly make adjustments in the way you distribute your weight between your feet. This engages your core, and so does the reach for your stroke, the actual stroke and the torso rotation that goes along with it.
Paddleboarding also involves many other muscles. The mid back, deltoids (muscles that wrap around the shoulder), triceps (backs of the upper arms) and chest muscles are all engaged at various points in the stroke. These will all become stronger the more you paddle.
Cardio workout-you can adjust the intensity of your adventure depending on what your goals are. Paddleboarding can be like a brisk walk or like an intense run. You set your pace and will get the same relative benefits.
Weight loss-as with any cardio activity that you perform regularly, if you paddleboard regularly, it can aid with weight lose, lowering cholesterol, and lowering blood pressure.
Improves balance-since you are, in fact, balancing on a board-on water, stand up paddleboarding improves your balance. Don’t be discouraged into thinking that you have to have great balance to start standup paddleboarding, you don’t. But whatever level you are at, it will improve with regular paddle sessions.
Useful in rehabilitating injuries-because it is low impact, sup can be a useful tool for people in rehab to gently increase strength without doing any harm. It is very gentle on your muscles and joints.
Stress reduction-like taking a walk in the park, paddleboarding has calming effects on the system. Water naturally soothes the body and exercise has been shown over and over again to reduce stress. Add to all of that the soothing sounds as you glide through the water, the sensation of actually walking on water, and the rhythm of your stroke and stress starts to loosen its grip on you and melts away.
Some other benefits not listed above include:
- It is an activity for virtually everyone who can swim. All ages and levels of fitness can enjoy and benefit from paddleboarding.
- There is a very low barrier to entry. You don’t have to have great balance, be a great athlete or have super strength to paddle and have fun.
- It is versatile. You can surf, paddle flat or open water, paddle in rivers or practice yoga or paddle fitness. And you can paddle anywhere there is water and a way to get to it.
- Paddleboards are easy to handle and transport and there is very little equipment required-paddle, board and life vest (required in many areas)
- It boosts confidence and a sense of achievement. Most people are up and paddling within 15 minutes. So there is an almost immediate sense of gratification. It takes a long time to get good, but only about 15 minutes to start having fun.
- It can be a great social activity. Or you can paddle in solitude. Both are amazing. Because anyone can do it, it’s great for families and friends to do together. Or you can look for groups around your local shop or meetup groups. It is a great way to meet new people. And paddleboarding people tend to be really fun and supportive.
- The biggest benefit-it’s FUN!!! And fun makes everything better.
These are just a few of the amazing rewards you can reap from regular stand up paddleboarding. If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for? It’s all this and more!
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