Like many people up and down the country, our team has embraced the love of paddle boarding this year! If you’ve ventured to any coast, river or lake this summer, it’s likely you’ve seen lot’s of people with the same idea!
Aside from it being a fun, family friendly activity, there are some wonderful benefits that aren’t necessarily that obvious that make stand up paddle boarding (SUP) a great activity!
- Balance – Standing on a SUP is no mean feat, particularly if the water isn’t calm or there’s a breeze. It’s a brilliant way to challenge your balance, even if you’re kneeling up. Balance isn’t something we often work at, but is a really important element of fitness, particularly as you get older.
- Strength – Your glutes and your abs will definitely get a workout! You have to use these muscles to stabilise yourself on the board (whether standing or kneeling up) and then the added work f paddling will give your arms a good strength workout. Plus, carrying the board and your kit is a great functional strength activity!
- Flexibility – This is particularly so for beginners. You may start in low kneeling, quickly progressing to kneeling up once you feel confident. The next step is to get on your feet and this takes some flexibility. You’ll also find that with paddling you’ll be rotating your mid back section, a great way to increase rotation, particularly if you spend a lot of time sitting.
- Your foot muscles – Often forgotten, your many small foot muscles play a really important part in balance and leg stability. As you grip onto the board and balance across the water, if you focus in on your feet, you may feel or even see all your little foot muscles working hard. This is a really good exercise and can help prevent many common injuries like plantar fasciitis.
- Mindfulness – It can be a really peaceful activity (once you’ve mastered the basics!). Drifting over the water, taking in the scenery, being in your own space. So, not only is it good for the body but also the mind!
Want to give it a go? Here’s a few local companies that rent out SUPs and offer lessons (and even SUP Yoga!). But if you search online, you’ll find lot’s more about!