Would you consider yourself an avid outdoor sportsman (or woman) willing to try any sport that comes your way? Or do you find yourself looking for that perfect sport for you, that you can learn to excel in? Paddleboarding is an excellent sport for people looking to learn a little more. Paddleboards are considered more stable than surfboards, so they are easy to learn on. This is usually done standing up, so paddle boarding may be exchanged with stand-up paddleboarding (SUPing). On top of being fun and easy to learn, paddle boarding offers several health benefits.
Let’s Take A Look At How It Can Benefit You
1. Full-Body Workout
Most outdoor sports target some area of your body. Stand-up paddle boarding does not just target one area of your body, it benefits it all. When you are stroking with the paddles, you will find yourself using upper body strength. This motion also engages your abdominals as you tense your muscles to push yourself forward. By balancing on the board, you are targeting your leg muscles and your core body muscles. In addition to all the targeted muscle groups, cardiovascular strength comes into play. You will learn more about the advantages of targeting each of these areas as you continue to read about the health benefits of paddle boarding.
2. Improved Balance
One of the reasons that people choose paddle boarding over surfing is because it is easier to balance. Even so, you will find that balancing on a SUP requires a total body workout. You will need strong core muscles. You will also need to understand how to move your legs and body weight to fit on the board. The good news is that by doing this, you will improve balance in other areas of your life. It can also help you focus better, since you will need to concentrate on which areas of your body to put your weight to properly balance.
3. Strength Training
Most people who start paddle boarding and are not following a full-body workout regimen feel sore the first few times they practice. If you do feel sore, know that it is normal. Have you ever noticed that following any kind of workout, your muscles are sore? Here’s why:
When you workout, you are actually breaking down your muscles. This is especially true for any kind of strength training. This, however, is a good thing. Following a workout, your body starts to heal itself by healing the muscles in the area. To prevent further damage, the muscles are re-built stronger than they were before.
Paddle boarding works in the same way. You will be sore after the first few times, but this is just your muscles adjusting to the new exercise. Do not worry, but know that your body is reacting naturally to the new workout and that you are becoming stronger in the process.
Overall, paddle boarding is considered a low-impact exercise. This means that even though you are getting a great workout, it is easy on your bones, muscles, and joints. For this reason, it may be suggested as a rehabilitation exercise following an injury. Not only will the exercise benefit rehabilitation, being out in the water and swimming can help as well. The two activities will strengthen trouble areas of your body (and everywhere else), with a low risk of injury.
4. Cardio Benefits
If you do any exercise with enough speed or enough exertion, you are going to reap cardiovascular benefits. Like any other muscle of the human body, the heart needs to be strengthened regularly to remain healthy. When you paddle board far enough or fast enough to get your heart pumping harder, you are strengthening the heart muscles.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
One of the great things about engaging the cardiovascular system regularly in workouts is that you can improve its overall health. This can lower high cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as prevent serious problems like heart disease. Some studies have also shown that regular cardiovascular activities can increase your metabolism and stabilize hormone levels in the body.
5. Improved Mental Health
Did you know the answer to getting out of your ‘funk’ could be getting outside and paddleboarding? Outdoor sports like paddle boarding benefit mental health in more ways than one. First, paddle boarding can help get the blood pumping, like running or other exercise does. This releases endorphins and dopamine, which make the body feel better. It also can boost serotonin levels, which can cause depression when the body is deficient.
Additionally, sports like paddle boarding reduce stress. They give a healthy outlet for emotions. By paying attention to the rhythm of the stroke and the sensation of gliding through the water, tension can be eased completely. Finally, getting outside often means getting some sunshine. Sun causes the body to produce Vitamin D, which is an essential vitamin for preventing depression.
6. Increased Endurance
Like many sports, the longer you participate in paddleboarding, the more your endurance will increase. The best thing about improving your endurance is that you will find your stamina increases in other sports as well. Whether you are dashing around the hospital or office, chasing your kids, or trying to get your dance on, you will have the endurance to do it all. Additionally, you can use this endurance to move faster or travel farther on your paddleboard.
7. Variety of Exercises to Choose From
Stand-up paddle boarding has tons of variations, from fast-paced boarding that lets you ride waves and rapids to slower-paced touring. Skilled people may even balance coolers, fishing poles, and gear on their board so they can scuba dive, fish, or even just go out on the lake to have a lunch. Another great sport is SUP yoga, which requires a wide board and good balance. Once you have the hang of yoga, it takes paddleboarding to a whole new level.
One of the benefits of getting into the great outdoors is all the benefits that are offered. When you choose to participate in stand-up paddle boarding, you are also choosing an activity that will benefit your health. Whether you value the health benefits or just want to have a good time, know that you are investing in your health as well as your entertainment when you choose a sport like this.