Standup paddleboarding, or SUP, is a great outdoor activity that’s fun to do with friends and family. All you need is a paddleboard, a body of water, and your favorite people.
The health benefits go beyond just the physical. SUP engages not only your body but also your mind, for a workout that’s bound to leave you feeling fulfilled!
The rewards are nearly endless with this sport. From core strength building to meditation, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about your body’s needs.
Who doesn’t love feeling accomplished and refreshed?
If you’re ready to start an activity that will improve your mental and physical well-being, check out these five unexpected benefits you can get from standup paddleboarding.
If you’re like me and you need something enjoyable to get you to exercise, SUPing is what you need.
Being out on the water forces you to engage muscles throughout your body to steer yourself. With the right paddle technique, your core is doing most of the work with your arms acting as additional support.
A strong core leads to a leaner body and higher endurance. Standup paddleboarding, unlike many sports, can essentially replace crunch-day for a more exhilarating workout.
Your legs aren’t off the hook! They also break a sweat as you stabilize yourself on an unsteady board.
Toned muscles are beneficial in many ways. From improving your mobility and general well being to prepping your body for other rigorous activities.
The strength you build out on the water makes it a great complimentary sport to swimming and kayaking, among others.
You may not initially notice how much effort you put in, but the next morning… you’ll know…
Ah, feel the buuuurn.
2. Stretch Your Legs
SUPing gets you up out of your seat and on your feet.
While you might know how great it is to maintain an active lifestyle, did you know that it’s also important to reduce the amount of time spent sitting to improve cardio-metabolic and respiratory health?
Getting up (and moving) gets your blood flowing and makes your heart sturdier. A healthy heart is vital to wholesome living and continuing to do the activities we love.
The low-impact nature of standup paddleboarding allows you to focus on the needs of your body. You can use it as a nice muscle rehabilitation exercise to slowly improve their strength.
Many of us also suffer from bad posture when sitting. Low-impact cardio can help strengthen back muscles and get them accustomed to keeping our backs upright.
Unless you decided you wanted to go for a swim mid paddleboarding, I guarantee you’ll be more mindful of your posture when you’re trying to keep from tipping over!
3. Achieve Balance
Do you remember being a kid and competing with siblings and friends to see who can balance longer on one foot like a flamingo?
Well, that becomes increasingly more difficult to do when you’re no longer a spring chicken.
Balancing on a paddleboard makes use of the muscles and joints in your feet and lower legs. I did say this was a full-body workout.
The great balancing act of SUPing fortifies those essential muscles for achieving stability and providing joint support. This is a unique characteristic of this recreational activity.
If you’re a beginner SUPer (that’s right, you’re not just a snack, you’re the whole meal), wearing a life jacket will add a level of comfort as you find your footing. After some practice, and possibly several plops into the water, you’ll learn to find your center.
Sturdy leg and foot muscles are essential in sports such as football and basketball, where ankle support is vital. There’s so much that a strong body is beneficial for and paddleboarding covers all the bases.
The effects of paddleboarding on your ability to keep your body in perfect alignment will be evident the second you get out on the water. Trust me.
4. Increase Your Vitamin D production
Between work, errands, and keeping up with friends and family online it’s easy to forget to get some sunshine.
Paddleboarding gets you outside in the sun and fresh air. Getting a healthy dose of solar rays allows your body to produce the vitamin D we’re lacking from living and working indoors (almost like vampires, yikes).
Vitamin D is crucial for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus needed for sturdy bones. Proper management of vitamins and minerals is also necessary for optimal mental health and performance.
Beautiful scenery, the warmth (and energy!) of the sun, and a peaceful and playful environment work wonders on your mood and drive.
5. Release Your Stress
Another way SUPing aids in mental health is by providing an environment to de-stress.
Taking a paddleboard out for a ride in the middle of the hustle and bustle of your life, allows you to disconnect from worries and re-connect with nature and yourself.
Yoga on a paddleboard is a great activity for honing your inner and outer balance (and by the latter I mean, don’t fall!).
Engaging in an enjoyable and relaxing activity promotes the release of serotonin and endorphins that improve your mood and mental well being. With the added benefit of doing it outdoors, you’re in for a pleasant time!
The Final Paddle
The benefits of standup paddleboarding are many. It’s definitely an activity worth trying out.
The activity itself has positive effects on your body, making it well worth the initial struggles of staying upright and morning-after soreness. The experience as a whole, though, helps improve your mood and allows you to connect with yourself in the great outdoors.
When you become more comfortable with the basics, you can move on to learn some moves and keep pushing your mental and physical limits.
Your mind and body will feel rejuvenated and ready to take on anything and everything post-SUPing!
Guest post by Mark at KayakGuru.