Are you trying to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle?
It’s hard, isn’t it?
After a busy day at work, it can be extremely difficult to muster up the energy and discipline to hit the gym or attend that yoga class you signed up for.
The modern world can be very stressful and draining, even as we’re increasingly stuck behind a screen, our lifestyle becoming more sedentary with every passing year.
These problems have been further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made it quite risky to gather at an indoor gymnasium or yoga studio for regular exercise sessions.
This is why, in recent months, people have been gravitating towards outdoor sports and activities. After all, social distancing is easier when you’re not stuck inside a closed space with a bunch of other people. These factors have led to increased awareness about the many health benefits of stand-up paddleboarding and other low-impact, outdoor activities.
Stand-up paddleboarding or SUP started out as a way for Hawaiian surf instructors to move around in the water as they attended to their students. However, over time, it became a sport in its own right, and has since gained a lot of popularity around the world. Millions of people have tried SUP since its inception in the 1940s.
5 Reasons Why SUP Is Healthy for You
Even before the pandemic, one of the reasons for the growing popularity of SUP was that it provided numerous health benefits. We will discuss some of the major health benefits of stand-up paddleboarding in this article.
1. Excellent Cardio Workout
The cardiovascular benefits of stand-up paddleboarding have been corroborated by researchers and paddleboarders alike. Trying to maintain your balance while moving on the water can provide an intense workout, especially if you’re navigating large waves or fast currents. SUP racing is another innovative way to add some excitement to the sport, while enhancing its health benefits.
Not only does paddleboarding enhance your heart rate, it also helps speed up circulation by ensuring that your body is in constant motion. Thus, you can significantly improve your cardio fitness by making stand-up paddleboarding a regular part of your life. Regular SUP practice will also help decrease the risk of health issues like heart attack, diabetes, obesity, and stroke.
2. Full-Body Workout
Stand-up paddleboarding is perhaps the only recreational activity that fully engages every major muscle group in the body. To begin with, maintaining your balance while standing upright on an unstable surface (i.e. the water) requires you to utilize the small muscles in your feet and lower legs. Furthermore, constant paddling makes use of the muscles in your arms, back, and shoulders.
Physical therapists and personal trainers recommend SUP to those who want to build their abs and abdominal muscles. This is because SUP is an excellent workout for the core muscles of the body. Your core and abdominal muscles need to work overtime to keep you steady on the board, especially when the water is rough and choppy. As a result, you can get a full-body workout while enjoying a leisurely paddle at your local lake or beach.
3. Burning Calories
One of the biggest reasons for the popularity of SUP is that it can help you burn a lot of calories with relatively little effort. For instance, an hour of recreational paddleboarding on calm waters will help you burn around 350 calories. This is much more than you would burn if you spent that hour on a leisurely walk. SUP yoga, another relatively undemanding activity, burns about 500 calories per hour.
SUP racing is perhaps the most strenuous variant of paddleboarding. During an hour-long SUP race, you can burn as many as 1,000 calories. The amount of calories you burn during an SUP session will depend on how much time you spent on it, as well as the conditions of the wind and the water. By paddling against the wind on rough waters, you’d burn more calories than if the water was calm and the wind favorable.
4. Stress Reduction
Life can sometimes be hectic and stressful, and everybody gets overwhelmed from time to time. However, too much stress can cause serious damage to your physical and mental health. This is where stress-relieving activities such as stand-up paddleboarding can prove greatly beneficial for your health and wellbeing.
The combination of fresh air, social interaction, and light exercise that SUP offers can effectively combat feelings of stress, anxiety, and isolation. Most people report a feeling of emotional and physical wellbeing after a paddleboarding session, likely caused by an increase in the production of serotonin and endorphins in the brain.
5. Low-Impact Exercise
While strenuous exercise or sporting activities might improve your fitness levels, they can also cause injuries to your joints, tendons, and ligaments. If you want to stay fit and healthy without risking muscular injury, then stand-up paddleboarding is the perfect workout for you. It is a gentle and leisurely sport that only requires good balance and some light paddling.
Even if you lose your balance, you will simply fall into the water and can climb back onto your board in no time. The water will absorb most of the impact and will prevent any serious injury to your tendons or ligaments. So if you’re recovering from a recent injury and don’t want to risk further damage by running, lifting weights, and engaging in other high-impact sporting activities, then SUP might be the best solution for you.
To take advantage of the above-mentioned health benefits, you must purchase a high-quality paddleboard (and related gear) from a trusted brand or manufacturer. The right SUP gear will augment the inherent health benefits of the sport while keeping you safe and comfortable in the water.
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