Standup paddle boarding is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world and for good reason. Not only is it extremely fun and a great beach activity, it’s also an incredible workout! Here are 7 reasons why Standup paddle boarding is the perfect workout!
1. Improves balance
This is probably the most obvious fitness-benefit of SUP. Whether you are in calm lake waters or surfing ocean waves, you will need good balance to stay afloat on a paddle board. When paddle boarding, your body is continuously challenged to maintain proper balance. Personally, I found that evan after one SUP session my balance improved drastically. Better balance will not only make your next SUP session more enjoyable (and keep you from falling into the water), but it is also key component to a higher fitness level.
2. It works your core (without doing sit-ups)
It’s true, you can improve your core strength when standup paddle boarding, without doing a single sit-up! This is because your core is constantly at work while trying to stabilize your body’s balance. This type of core stabilization also works your abdominal and lower-back muscles in a different way than crunches do, providing a more well-balanced (no pun intended) workout for your core.
3. It’s a strength workout for your WHOLE body
Nearly every muscle group is used when standup paddle boarding. Your back, arms, and shoulders are used in every stroke of the paddle and your leg muscles and core are being exercised when maintaining balance. The degree of intensity and amount of strength required depends namely on water conditions. For example, paddle boarding on a windy ocean is sufficiently harder and requires a lot more strength than leisurely paddle boarding on a calm lake. You can also control the intensity with how fast and long you paddle.
4. Improves endurance
Let’s face it, no one paddle boards for only ten minutes. If you’re going to SUP, then you’re doing it for thirty minutes at the very least. This means that your body is in a state of constant (and fun) exercise for upwards of half an hour, which improves both your endurance and cardio. And like anything, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes, allowing your body to become fatigued less easily.
5. Feel the burn
This one is pretty self-explanatory, as any form of exercise will burn calories. You’ll be surprised at how many calories you can burn with even a leisurely SUP session! According to SUP World Mag, one hour of casual SUP can burn 305 – 430 calories, while an hour of intense SUP racing or surfing can burn upwards of 1,000 calories! Not a bad way to replace the treadmill.
6. Workout while working out!
The great thing about standup paddle boarding is that you can do another exercise while you’re on the board. SUP yoga, for example, has become very popular as it requires extra balance and strength (and also provides a better view) than a normal yoga workout. I have also done a number of strength exercises while paddle boarding, including push-ups, sit-ups, and squats. Additionally, there are many balance and mobility drills you can perform on top of a paddle board.[/caption]
7. It doesn’t feel like you’re working out!
This is perhaps my favorite reason of them all, you get a great workout while not even realizing it! Chasing friends around on your board, going on a scenic coastal tour like I did at Sporades SUP, or just soaking in the sun and enjoying the water, all provide a great distraction as your body is getting a full workout.
This guest-post was written by Justin, a blogger from California. His hunger for adventure, and well hunger in general has taken him around the world where he writes about food and travel. For more blog posts check out www.GetStuffedBlog.com