SUP Benefits to Stamina and Cardiovascular Health
Stand Up Paddle Boarding is, undoubtedly, one of the fastest growing sports in the World at present and – with the phenomenal health benefits of SUP – this comes as no surprise.
In terms of the purely physical benefits, SUP is a whole-body workout.
Increased cardiovascular endurance and stamina hold benefits in everyday life- everything from chasing the kids around on the weekend to walking up the 3 flights of stairs at work will feel a whole lot easier.
Any aerobic activity- like Stand Up Paddle Boarding- improves the hearts ability to circulate oxygenated blood and the body’s ability to use oxygen more efficiently.
If you’re not convinced you can easily test this- walk a mile and time yourself. Get on your board 3 times a week for the next month and conduct the same test again- you’ll almost certainly have seen a dramatic improvement.
Paddle Boarding is Great for Your Core Strength
Yes, your arms, shoulders and legs are going to be doing their share of the work when you’re paddling, but the real hard work comes from the mid-section. With the surface of the water ever-changing around you, the core muscles- including your abdominals, obliques and back- will be engaged to improve balance and increase endurance.
Research has shown that athletes with higher core stability have a lower risk of injury (and these injury-reducing benefits stand for us, mere mortals, too).
Stand up paddle boarding is low impact
One of the greatest perks of SUP is that it is a sport open and available to almost everyone. Its low impact nature means that there is little stress on joints, ligaments and tendons- making it the perfect choice for, for example, those wanting to build strength following injury.
Burn Lots of Calories with SUP
Stand Up Paddle Boarding burns a cool 500+ calories per hour- right up there with hitting the cross trainer or rowing machine and, let’s face it, where would you rather be? In a sweaty gym or outside on the open water?
It’ll also increase your metabolic rate- helping shift fat long after you step off the board and maintaining a healthy weight carries benefits of it’s own.
Those who can keep their BMI steadily within the ‘normal’ range have a decreased risk of developing some forms of cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis and can expect to live longer (an average 7 years longer according to a collaborative study between the US Brigham and Women’s Hospital and National Cancer Institute).
Be Relaxed and Stress-Free with SUP
According to the American Psychological Association’s 2014 ‘Stress in America’ study, over half of the 28,000 participants reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress. As chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in the body- increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes, raising blood pressure, causing insomnia and fertility issues (to name just a few of the most widely known problems)- it is essential for individuals to find ways to manage their stress levels.
As anyone who has ever picked up that paddle and taken to the water will tell you, the workout is (for most, at least) just an added bonus. The biggest boost comes from the feeling of calm you can achieve from just being on the water.
Salt Water Benefits
And if your SUP location of choice is a rough day on the open sea and your balance fails you? There are health benefits to be found here too.
The Oxford-based Medical Journal- Skin Research and Technology- reports that you can enjoy a boost to your immune system, improved circulation and increased elasticity and hydration of the skin from even the shortest of periods spent in salt water.
Best of all? You set the pace. Up the ante and increase your cardiovascular output by taking your paddling up a notch or switch locations from still water to sea. The health benefits are enormous and the greatest perk of all is that- unless you really want it to- stand up paddle boarding rarely feels like a workout. And surely, these are the best workouts of all.