In this article, we discuss ten ways a stand up paddle boarding (SUP) can help improve your health – long-term!
There are three things the average person struggles with. These include wealth, relationships, and health. Issues in these three categories are so prominent that marketer’s often refer to them as “evergreen” markets.
Meaning, most people suffer (or at least are unsatisfied) with one, two, or all three categories. And there is always a new big idea ready to provide a solution.
While we might not be able to help you with your wealth or relationships, we can definitely provide some assistance with your health.
It’s no secret that much of the population lives a sedentary lifestyle. This is due to our society being built around convenience. We no longer have to grow our own food, travel far distances by foot, or even leave our homes to grocery shop if we so choose.
While most of these conveniences are great and make our lives easier, they can also be detrimental to our health. To remedy this problem, we need to make sure to receive proper exercise on a daily basis. Without it, our health suffers.
The best way to make sure you receive adequate exercise is to do it in a way that’s fun. And in a way that will leave you wanting to keep doing it.
As a SUP company, our recommendation is to grab a new iSUP and get on the water. The fun you’ll have paddling around new locations in your area or around the world will leave you feeling excited to get back out there.
But to understand why SUP might be the answer to your daily exercise, we’ve detailed ten ways stand up paddle boarding can improve your health and wellness. And why you need to get on the water to experience it yourself!
Let’s get into it…
SUP is a low-impact activity. But what exactly does that mean? According to ASFA (American Sports and Fitness Association), low-impact activities are ones that, “are easier on your body — and more specifically on your joints.”
Think about your ankles, knees, shoulders, and hips. As opposed to running on the pavement where most of these joints are affected, SUP provides the perfect platform that allows you to exercise on a daily basis without harming your joints over the long term. This makes SUP safe for everyone of all ages. Young and old. And a great way to improve your health in the long term.
Full Body Workout
SUP provides a full-body workout. When you stand on a board, you’re working your arms, hinging at your hips, burning your core through each stroke, and activating your balance receptors in your feet. Whatever movement you decide to do on a board, you’re inevitably using your entire body to propel yourself through the water.
If you want to do one exercise that works your entire body, SUP is it!
Good for Your Cardio Health
Cardiovascular health is defined by the health of your heart. To improve it you need to undergo exercise that causes your heart rate to rise and decline in succession. The longer your body can undergo exercise with an elevated heart rate, the healthier your heart will be. It is a muscle after all. The longer the paddle, the more benefits (and effects) you will experience!
This is important because people with healthy cardiovascular systems develop fewer cases of coronary heart disease. One of the biggest issues people experience in the United States today.
Good for Your Core
As we’ve already mentioned, with each paddle stroke, your core is activated. Through each pull back to your board with your paddle in the water, your abdominal muscles are strengthened.
In addition, your core muscles are your stabilizing muscles. Meaning, they keep you balanced on uneven surfaces (more on that next). By balancing on your SUP, you are naturally strengthening your core without even trying!
Good for Your Balance
Did you know that one of the main indicators of health in the elderly population is how well they can balance? It’s true! Through testing balance, researchers receive a good indication of muscular development and health in the elderly population.
You might be thinking, “I’m not elderly, how does this apply to me?” Well, the earlier you start training to balance the better you will be able to do so when you end up in advanced age. And in turn, the healthier you will be.
Also, balance training is a great way to keep your brain young. Your feet and core are full of balance receptors. On a daily basis, most people don’t train these muscles when walking or sitting. But when you do, it fires the receptors in these muscle groups and the corresponding synapses in your brain. By training balance, you are training your brain to stay healthy, sharp, and young.
So, what’s a great way to train your balance? On a SUP, of course! By standing on an uneven surface of the water, your balance receptors have no choice but to fire.
In a high-stress world, as we live in today, it’s important to find effective ways to reduce your stress. One of the best ways is to unplug from the unnatural world and get back to the natural. While standing on a SUP in the middle of the ocean, lake, river, or bay, you have no choice but to leave your worries behind and experience the calm of paddling on the water.
Combine the setting with the exercise you receive while paddling and your stress melts away.
Connect With Nature
While we live in a stressful world, we also live in an unnatural one. For most people, it’s not unusual to touch grass with their feet for weeks at a time! This change from our ancestral way of living has a negative effect on our moods and health.
Did you know, a scientific article published in 2015 concluded, “Accumulating experiences and research on earthing, or grounding, point to the emergence of a simple, natural, and accessible health strategy against chronic inflammation, warranting the serious attention of clinicians and researchers.”
That’s right. Simply standing on natural surfaces like the grass, dirt, or even on the beach, reduces inflammation throughout your entire body.
And what better way to experience a reconnection with nature than being immersed in it on your SUP? We can’t think of any.
Get Some Sun
Along with never touching natural surfaces with our feet, most people don’t receive adequate amounts of sunshine to produce Vitamin D. In fact, 42% of people in the United States are Vitamin D deficient! And that’s from a study done in 2018. There’s a great chance that number is even higher now.
Why is this a problem? Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for our immune systems. Something we all need to boost these days.
So, what are you supposed to do? Get out in the sun of course! Grab your board, get on the water, and lay under the sun for a while. Your body, your mood, and your health will naturally improve.
Note: Make sure you don’t stay in the sun too long at once! There is a healthy balance here that everyone needs to find. Too much sun can result in a painful sunburn. Always know your limits and wear sun protection when needed.
Get Involved with the Community
One of the coolest aspects of SUP is the large community of paddlers that reside within it. There are now entire races, events, social clubs, and excursions paddlers from around the world participate in. And the best part? The community is always open to new members. Once you have your own board, you’re already a member!
Plug yourself into the community to meet new friends, go on adventures, and have fun. Your health and your social life will improve.
Our last point has to do with the activity of SUP in general. When most people consider paddle boarding, they picture a leisurely paddle near their hometown.
But did you know…
You can also try SUP yoga, SUP surfing, SUP whitewater river paddling, SUP fishing, excursions, adventure travel, SUP racing, and more?! The variety with which you can enjoy time on the water is endless. So much so, that we guarantee you’ll never get bored as you might with other activities.
SUP is a lifetime activity of progression. And there are endless variations for you to try.
As you can see, SUP is a great gateway to a healthier lifestyle. Even though we listed 10 ways it can improve your health and wellness, there are plenty of additional ways it can improve your life. It’s not just for exercise. It’s a way to live a more epic life.
Ready to climb on a new Atoll iSUP and start your journey? Check out our boards and discover a whole new way to enjoy your world and your life!
I cannot agree with these anymore. Having paddled for over 3 years I’ve seen myself improving in the areas mention here. Keep SUPing and keep enjoying. Felix.