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How Owning a SUP is the Perfect Complement to Your Gym Membership

February 4, 2021

In this article we discuss ways owning a SUP is a great way to supplement your gym membership and increase your fitness and well-being.


In life, there are only a few universal ideas that we can all agree on…

Eating healthy is good for your body.

If you spend much of your time chomping down fast food, you’re not likely to have a lean, muscular figure, a clear head, or a happy disposition.

Connecting with nature is good for stress.

The act of unplugging from our devices and going for a walk, hike, swim, or sunbathe always results in a net positive when it comes to your attitude, overall health, and well-being.

Staying active will not only keep you healthy and strong for life.

If you are a person who has felt the rejuvenating qualities of weekly exercise you know how much a little sweat can do for your physical and mental health.

That is why almost 45 million people currently have gym memberships.

And rightfully so. Having a regular schedule at the gym will keep you fit but it will also keep you younger, feeling move alive, and connected to the physical world around you.

If you happen to be one of those 45 million people- good for you!

We’re not here to dissuade you from heading to the gym.

Instead, we want you to consider an alternative that might be just as effective in keeping you young, fit, healthy, happy, and connected to nature, all in one.

What is this magical alternative we speak of?

Well, you’re reading a blog about SUP, so the answer might be painfully obvious- stand up paddling!

Today, we’re going to discuss how owning a SUP might be better than having a gym membership. Let’s get to it!

A lady standing on an Atoll inflatable paddle board
gym membership

Get Outside

The first reason why it might be better than a gym is the most obvious- paddlers get to connect themselves with nature.

The feeling of the sunshine, the wind, the waves, all on your skin is a recipe for beneficial hormone productions and proper amounts of Vitamin D to be produced in your body.

Exercising outside also can lower your blood pressure and reduce stress. There are actually quite a few reasons why taking your workout outside is beneficial for your body. For more information, you can check out this article by Lap Set. They give you 10 reasons in total!

But what we really enjoy is our time on the water. The supreme ease with which we feel when we’re able to paddle on the water while still getting exercise is one to be experienced as much as possible.

So next time you have the choice- take it outside!

Work Every Muscle Group

When you paddle long distances or with undertaking a workout in mind, you begin to realize that almost every major muscle group is getting worked.

Those who have done a SUP race before, or race training, will tell you- if you want a complete full-body workout, spend an hour on a SUP.

From your arms to your legs and of course your core at the center, each paddle stroke helps tone every section of your body.

The paddle stroke itself is ideal for strengthening your triceps, biceps, and shoulders and if you are pulling in the correct manner, your core is actively engaged and part of the push and pull momentum of the stroke as well.

Your legs get strengthened because of the balance you have to put into maintaining a correct standing posture on the board, which is a perfect segway into our next point.

Balance Trainer

As you may (or may not) know, SUP involves constant balance on the water. With each motion you take, your body has to rely on the balance receptors in your brain to keep you upright.

At first glance, this may not seem like such a big deal. However, if you know anything about balance training, then you know how much of a cognitive effect it also has on us.

That means the more balance training you do, the better your brain functions!

Pretty interesting.

Or as Atheltico puts it, “Balancing has been proven to have cognitive benefits. One study showed that when balance training was incorporated into the program of elderly women with complaints of memory problems and confusion, their cognitive function improved significantly.”

Balance training keeps your brain sharp and ultimately young. Why not incorporate it into your exercise regimen outside of your gym membership? We see no reason not to!

Low Impact

First, let’s define what we mean by low impact.

According to, low impact refers to, “those activities or movements that do not involve a significant amount of force being exerted on joints. Usually, both feet, or at least one foot, stay in contact with the ground most of the time, or the whole body is supported.”

To break it down simply, low-impact exercises involve less stress on the joints, especially the knees.

This is exactly what SUP involves!

By standing atop a floating board the water underneath naturally creates a low impact surface. This puts no extra tension on your knees or ankles and will work your muscles but leave you without the low aching pain in the joints that other workout regimens create.

It’s a win-win scenario! And it can be a great way to stay active and healthy even without a gym membership.


Have we convinced you SUP might be a better alternative to working out in a gym? Okay, maybe our intention wasn’t exactly to get rid our your Planet Fitness card. Instead, maybe consider SUP a summertime alternative, or a supplement to your already active lifestyle. Because the benefits far outweigh any of the negatives (if there are any).

Working out should be fun! And on an 11’ Atoll iSUP, you’ll be combining a great workout with a whole lot of fun.

Questions? Comments? Unsure of how to get started? Reach out! Our inbox is always open!

As always, adventure on.

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