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Paddle boarding isn’t only a really fun activity, but it’s actually a great way to burn calories too. Push yourself hard enough, and you can expect to burn around 305-340 calories per hour.
All the while, you’ll be out in the open water and taking part in something that doesn’t feel anywhere near as mundane as running or cycling!
This number isn’t set in stone, though. The most important thing to keep in mind is that there are many factors that influence the number of calories you’ll lose when paddle boarding. These include the following:
- Exercise Intensity
- Current Bodyweight
- Current Body Fat Percentage
It is worth noting that you need to be at a certain skill level before you can expect to burn this many calories per hour by paddle boarding. If you’re new to the sport and you’re still finding your balance, you will burn far fewer calories.
If you want to really get the most out of your paddling boarding session and burn as many calories as possible in the process, the first thing you need to do is make sure your technique is on point.
Paddle using a full-body stroke, twisting your core and turning your shoulders with force. This twisting technique is essential if you want to burn the maximum number of calories through paddle boarding. Twist moderately or with minimal effort, and you simply won’t burn as many calories.
This technique will engage your legs, arms, back, and your core, giving you a total body workout while burning the maximum amount of calories. In fact, when you do this, nearly every single muscle in your body will be activated while you paddle and simultaneously try to stay on your board.
You might be wondering how the calorie burn you get from paddle boarding compares to other exercises. Again, it all depends on the intensity of your workout. However, to give you a better idea of it, here’s a list of how many calories you’ll burn per hour on average doing the following exercises:
- Running: 650
- Cycling: 483
- Swimming: 840
How many calories does sup burn?
Using estimates based on the average body weight, we can take a look at how many calories different SUP techniques will burn.
- SUP Racing: If you’re SUP racing, you can expect to burn a huge amount of calories. This is often in the region of 713 – 1125 per hour. The reason for this is because it’s such an intensive form of paddle boarding. The entire time your heart rate will be close to its maximum and, as such, your calorie burn will be higher. Remember, however, that you shouldn’t try SUP racing if you’re brand new to paddle boarding. Take the time to perfect your technique before you attempt something quite so intensive!
- SUP Surfing: This is one of the best exercises out there for weight loss. An hour of SUP surfing will burn between 623 – 735 calories. This might be even higher if you’re taking on particularly large waves.
- SUP Touring: SUP touring seems almost leisurely compared to racing and surfing, but it still requires a great deal of skill and balance. Expect to burn between 615 – 708 calories per hour. This is a great exercise if you’re looking to burn loads of calories, but you don’t want something too intensive.
- SUP Yoga: Talking of low intensity exercise, SUP yoga is another great way to burn some calories without sending your heart rate soaring. It is slightly deceptive though, as the balance it takes to stay on your board and execute the correct yoga positions can burn between 416 – 540 calories per hour. This is more than what you’d burn during a usual yoga session and the reason for this is simply because it’s more challenging.
- Recreational SUP: This is the most popular form of SUP and its appeal comes from the fact that it’s done when the water is calm. As such, it doesn’t take as much of an effort to stay upright on your paddle board. As with all exercise, the less intense it is, the lower your calorie burn will be. With recreational SUP, you can expect to burn between 305 – 430 calories per hour.
As you can see, the number of calories you’ll burn will ultimately depend on the intensity of the exercise you’re doing. However, it’s important that you don’t let calorie burn become the total goal of your paddle boarding experience.
Paddle boarding is fun and, the better you get at it through practice and patience, the more calories you’ll burn without even realizing it.
If you’re brand new to paddle boarding, we’d recommend finding an instructor or enlisting the help of an experienced friend who will be able to help you work on your technique.
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I’m an Colorado native, who learned to surf in the Pacific Northwest, and SW Canada. I live inland near the mountains now, and love to get out on my SUP. It’s weird, but I love windy, choppy days as no-one is out and I like the challenge.