It’s Time to Get In On the Benefits of Stand Up Paddle Boarding!
Brought to you by Tower Paddle Boards!
Paddle boarding is an amazingly fun way to get out on the water and it’s our favorite form of recreation, but it has a lot more to offer than just having a good time. If you’ve been out on a paddle board, you’ve no doubt experienced some of the benefits of the sport. Take a look at all these great aspects and maybe you’ll be inspired to take it up a notch and get out there even more, or to give it a try if you haven’t.
Paddle Boarding Is a Great Workout
We all know we need more exercise. Sitting at a desk all day leaves us with tight joints and slow metabolisms, so working out is a must, but hitting the gym every day can get pretty dull. Stand up paddle boarding (SUPing) has three outstanding qualities for physical fitness: low impact, full body workout, and cardio/endurance building.
Instead of working isolated muscles, you use your whole body from your head to your toes. Not only are you engaging the muscles, but you also are practicing coordination and balance, which can slowly decline as you age in a sedentary lifestyle. Weight-bearing exercise is vital to bone health, and since you are standing up the entire time, you get that benefit too.
SUPing lets you choose the level of exertion, both by where you choose to go out and how you like to play. You can cruise across a lake or calm bay and only work as hard as you would on a leisurely hike, so you can go for hours and gradually increase your speed and build up stamina. Or you can go to the other extreme and get out in the surf and play hard, getting your heart rate up for whatever interval you want and then backing off between sets.
Stress Reduction Comes with the Ride
Just getting out on the water tends to blow off stress, and the science behind it indicates that it’s the water’s negative ions working their magic, so there’s really something to that. Exercise also reduces stress, and whether you paddle fast and hard or slow and steady, you’ll find yourself feeling more calm and present.
Since you can control how hard you work at it, you can head out after work to release the tensions of the day, or spend a whole day paddle boarding and get the relaxation of a vacation in a short time. Speaking of vacations, you can take a multi-day SUP trip down a river (flat water or rapids, depending on your skill level) and have a full-on vacation that can’t be beat for relaxing and getting in shape.
Perfect Your Poses or Take a Yoga Class
Yoga on a paddle board keeps you in the present in a way that a mat in a classroom can’t, but that doesn’t mean it’s only for the advanced yogi. Practicing basic poses on a paddleboard increases mindfulness and slows things down, allowing you to put your focus where it is supposed to be, on your breath, balance, and the present moment.
More advanced practitioners get the increased demand for balance and often find the core more engaged when on a SUP. And everyone gets the negative-ion boost, not to mention being able to cool off mid-workout if things get too intense, or afterward as the perfect conclusion to a cool down.
Connect Deeply with Nature
Whether you go out on the ocean, a lake or river, or even a pond, SUPing gets you out in nature. Fresh air, sunshine, and water are a fantastic combination, but when you throw in the trees, birds, and things that live in the water, you can really feel part of it all.
Because paddle boarding requires so little gear, it fits in without disturbing the natural surroundings, and you can be almost silent, which results in great opportunities for seeing wildlife. On calm water, you can stop moving and just blend in, and since you are standing up, it’s easy to see all around you.
Fun for the Whole Family—Including Fur Babies
Larger boards can accommodate more than one rider, so you and your significant other can be on a board together, or each paddle with one of the kids. Assuming your fur babies are dogs, SUPing is terrific for spending the day having fun with them.
SUPing is also active enough to be engaging for older kids and teens, so it’s a perfect way to pry them away from the video games and get some quality time together. Throw in the fitness benefits and being out in nature, and you have the perfect family day.
Get Adventurous if That’s Your Thing
We’ve mainly been talking about SUPing in a mellow context, but there are also boards designed to get out in the waves. You can experience the power and speed of surfing on a stand-up paddle board, just like you would on a surfboard.
Running a river on a SUP is thrilling and demanding. You are the captain of your vessel, and it’s all on you to figure out your path and navigate through any rapids you encounter. Of course, whitewater is for experts, but there’s a lot of opportunities to get on rivers in flat water—in fact, it’s usually the same rivers, just depending on the season.
Runoff in the spring is a common source of whitewater, then later in summer and fall, the flow in those rivers slows down and they become easily navigable. Rivers that are impacted by heavy rains can change from day to day, so you just have to check in with local rafting guides or the like to find out what the conditions are like at any given time.
Inflatable Boards Make Travel Easy
These days, it’s challenging enough to travel with a guitar, much less a giant board and a ton of gear. SUPing requires very little equipment, and inflatable boards eliminate the hassles of packing and shipping oversized gear.
If you haven’t tried an inflatable SUP, be sure to check out this video where a couple of the guys went a little nuts demonstrating what it takes to destroy one! There’s a ton of info on the Tower Paddle Boards YouTube Channel too.
If you have any questions about paddle boarding, we’d love to help! Put them in the comments—we love hearing from our readers!