What is SUP?
SUP means ‘Stand up Paddleboard’. The paddler typically stands (or kneels) on the board and propulsion is via a single paddle. It can be done on any body of water including rivers, lakes and seas and is not only a lot of fun, but also has great health benefits.
The Health Benefits of Paddle Boarding
- It improves balance: SUP requires you to stand on the board, which requires a lot of core stability to maintain balance. This also increases your focus and balance in day-to-day activities.
- It provides the paddler with a full body workout: almost every muscle in the body is used at some point during paddleboarding. Leg muscles will be hard at work attempting to stabilize your center of gravity, while the arms, back and shoulders are used to propel the paddleboard in the water. The core, back and abdominal muscles are constantly at work to maintain your balance.
- It is low impact: it is unlikely that you will do damage to the tendons and ligaments of your joints, so it is great if you are experiencing shin splints or knee and hip pain, yet still need a good exercise to do while healing. Because of its low impact nature, paddle boarding 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.
- It reduces stress: water naturally soothes the body and exercise helps to reduce stress. As you glide through the water, you have the sensation of walking on water, and, when you maintain the rhythm of your stroke, stress melts away.
- It increases overall strength: after spending a day out on a paddleboard, you might feel tired and even a little sore, but it is a good soreness that shows you that you have used your muscles and built up your overall body strength.
- It gives you a cardiovascular workout: If you paddle hard, you can get a good cardio workout. If you like, you can race your friends while paddling; this will really get the heart rate up! According to iSupWorld.com, paddle boarding will help you avoid being a victim of heart attacks and strokes. You’ll have improved cardiovascular health and less risk for related diseases.
- It Improves endurance: once you learn how to stand up paddleboard, and you start to increase the distances you paddle, you may notice that your balance is improving and your muscles aren’t getting quite as tired, and your endurance also improves.
- It allows you to connect with nature: Being out on the water is calming, and engaging with nature can have a positive effect on your mental health and attitude. In addition, getting some extra vitamin D from the sun is good for you, providing you don’t get sunburn!
The benefits for practicing yoga boarding
Yoga is already known to be very good for your health, increasing your strength and flexibility. It also reduces stress, tones, and stretches your body and makes you feel amazing. When you combine the yoga practice, with the natural elements of sunshine, water and fresh air, you get the added benefits that nature can provide. If you have a fear of the ocean, water or sea life, this can also help you to break through your fears. You are safe, and they are swimming beneath you. You have the protection of the board to keep you afloat, and when you are in many of the poses, you are looking at the sky, plus you don’t get covered in sand!
Yoga + SUP board = an increased challenge. You no longer have the stillness of the earth, so you are forced to recruit your core muscles. With that, you get a more challenging workout. Additionally, you’ll have to paddle in and out, and that in itself is a great core workout.
For the best paddle board experience, practice if the water is calm. If there are waves, we don’t suggest beginners to go out, but if you have some experience, ride those waves!
Anyone can do it!
Unlike other board sports, it doesn’t really take much technical skill. With time and practice, you will get stronger and better to be able to do more advanced poses. If you can do a yoga pose on land, for the most part, you can eventually learn to do that on the board. It takes you out on the water, but requires much less equipment and training than other board sports. Unlike kite boarding or kayaking, which require more equipment or are big and bulky, a SUP board is not too heavy and is relatively easy to transport.