the SUP guru

health benefits of stand up paddle boarding

10 Reasons Stand Up Paddle Boarding is so Good For Your Health

We’re not into suggesting a miracle pill or a unique herb to improve your health. Our guru advice is far from the conventional as we tell you to hit the water and paddle your way to good health!

If you’re ready to shed the fat, unleash your grip on stresses, and bring on out the inner Zen in you, then you’re ready to SUP your way to a healthier and fitter you! Welcome to the club SUP guru!

Health Benefits of Stand Up Paddle Boarding

1. Gets You Moving!

The first and foremost beneficial advantage of SUPping is always going to be the fact that you’re moving and active! Being engaged in paddling, getting out on the lake, and moving about to maintain balance is always going to do something good for the body and mind. Even if you don’t understand what’s going on with your body physically, don’t underestimate the health benefits of being active! Plus, it gets your kiddos off the Wii and out to experience real life movement!

2. Reduce Stress

Believe it not, paddling is an excellent stress reliever as it is an adrenaline rush! Taking the SUP out on flat water for a serene and calming hour of stress-free “me time” is a great way to wind down and center yourself.

Studies are also underway to prove the relationship between the brain and “blue-space”. Just as a walk in the woods can be sedating and calming, so can sea air or just being on any water source. It’s good for your well-being!

Away from noise and the hustle and bustle of life’s stresses, add some yoga to the mix. You’ll be able to further bring down stress levels and burn up negative energy as you burn some fat.

Woman doing sup yoga

3. Full Body Workout

It takes the entire body to be able to stay afloat and paddle well. At some point during paddling, you’ll engage each and every muscle in your body. However, you’ll continually be engaging your core, large back muscles, shoulders, arms, legs, and torso. As the entire body works to maintain balance, stabilize a point of gravity, and propel you forward during paddling, your heart rate increases and so does the release of nitric oxide. Blood vessels will open and more oxygen can reach the brain and other important organs in the body.

4. Improves Cardiovascular Health

The more you SUP the more you lower your risk for heart disease. 15 elite SUPpers were profiled and their HDL cholesterol levels were significantly higher than recreational SUPpers and even more so than sedentary individuals. Their triglycerides were also significantly lower. A SUPpers diet and continuous exercise performed while paddling helps to raise the good kind of cholesterol that you want, resulting in a healthier body and healthier heart. So it pays off to not be a couch potato!

5. Weight Loss!

Everyone wants the quick fix to losing weight whether it’s a pill, a 10 day diet program, or an exotic tea. But, what if we told you that all you had to do to lose a few pounds is to do what you think is fun, like SUP? If you can make SUPping a fun habit, you can SUP your fat away!

Studies confirm that both elite and recreational SUPpers have significantly less body fat than couch potatoes. SUPping in and of itself is a form of exercise. But, when you’re having so much fun, you’re not even thinking about it. Your body will be shedding the excess fat while you paddle and surf away!

health benefits of stand up paddle boarding

6. Improves Endurance Levels

Those who SUP competitively have shown to have high levels of aerobic and anaerobic fitness over everyone else, even over athletes in other water sports! Incredible amounts of power and strength are required to paddle competitively and with heart rates at near maximal levels. Endurance levels are lengthened, skeletal posture is improved, and overall heart health is significantly better.

7. Better for Your Back

If surfing used to be your sport of choice or you have back issues that you think would stop you from SUPping, think again! SUPping involves starting from a kneeling position and getting up to a standing position. Unlike surfing where you’re going from a lying position to a pop-up standing position (prone pop-up), this can be extremely hard on your joints and your lower back. Physical therapists for surfers are also suggesting the use of a long-shaft paddle while standing up. Kinda sounds a whole lot like SUPping right? It’s proven – SUPping is better for your back!

8. Good Physical Therapy

While SUPping can be a competitive sport that requires a lot from the body, it can also be gentle enough to help those who have suffered from an injury get exercise without putting too much strain on the muscles and joints. It’s proving to be an extremely effective aid in injury rehabilitation. Furthermore, studies also confirm that any SUPper, novice or pro, can achieve musculoskeletal and psychological improvements by being out in the water!

9. Opportunity for Meditation

SUPping is difficult enough to practically require your full attention leaving little room for daily stresses and other worries to climb on board. Paddling requires mindfulness and awareness of every move that you make while SUPping. Psychologists call this state of mind as “flow” which also happens to be theme for Zen Meditation.

Being in this state of mind can attract a whole lot of health benefits that includes increased focus, improved mood, and better cognitive function. You might also find yourself more creative, empathetic, and your memory will improve!

Since SUPping can help improve cognitive control, science is showing that you’ll also be able to control your emotions. So get on board and SUP your bad zen away!

Woman meditating while on a stand up paddle board

10. Safer than Surfing

While SUPping can cater to some level of waves and surfing, it’s obvious in the larger dimensions of a SUP board that they’re extremely buoyant, thicker, and heavier versus surf boards. While this can mean it may be more dangerous to be hit and injured by a SUP board over a surf board, injuries are less likely to occur if you’re avoiding the waves.

If you’re flat water SUPping, there’s practically zero risk of injury if you are doing it right. But, if you’re heading towards the open sea or the waves, the chances of hurting yourself rise but they’re still significantly less than if you’re surfing in surf stance on a surf board.

Either way, beginner SUPpers should always start out in flat, calm waters and experienced SUPpers should always appropriately determine potential dangers of paddling on the surf, potential harm to other SUPpers, and to themselves.

SUP Your Way into Good Health

Paddling is beyond routine exercise, it’s fun! It’s highly beneficial for the entire body and the mind. You don’t need a scientist to tell you this. You’ll know it for yourself when you get out on the water!

Watch it though, even a small dose of SUPping is highly addictive! Good thing for you, it’s doctor’s orders!