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Maybe you’ve been sitting on the couch munching cookies to get through the COVID-19 crisis and your waistline has suffered the consequences. Maybe you’re a fitness fanatic who likes to keep trim and are looking for your next big challenge. Maybe you’re just someone who loves life out on the water and are looking for the next best way to move your body and make waves.
There are any number of reasons why you might be looking to burn calories while paddleboarding.
The big question is – how?
Sure, any activity burns calories, and a physically taxing one like paddleboarding even more so. That said, there are things you can do to burn even more calories while paddling, especially when it comes to the type of paddle session you employ.
With that in mind, let’s consider a few of the different types of paddle sessions and styles, how they can impact how many calories you’ll burn, and recommend a few extra paddleboards along the way.
Why Burn Calories with Paddleboarding?
First, let’s take a moment to be a bit introspect and ask ourselves – why? What about paddleboarding makes it a great way to burn calories?
The most obvious is that it provides a good workout, and that’s definitely true, but you might not realize just how big of a calorie-burner it can be. That’s because it isn’t all about paddling with paddleboarding. After all, you have to stand and balance on the board as well, and that takes a great deal of strength and can, thus, burn a good deal of calories as well.
But maybe paddling just isn’t your thing. Maybe that seems like too much stress and you already have too much of that during the week. If so, be at peace and let all your problems float away – because there’s nothing more soothing, cathartic, and calorie-burning than yoga on a paddleboard! Stretching and posing on a paddleboard has the added workout challenge of having to balance on something that’s floating and the added benefit of allowing you to commune with beauty while you do it.
After all, whether you’re a gym rat that’s used to putting in hours on the treadmill and weight machine or someone who wrinkles their nose at such a sweaty fetid swamped with “fitness-braggers,” a breath of fresh air can do you good!
So, let’s take a closer look at the various methods of burning calories with paddleboarding and see how they compare to one another.
If you’re just looking to have some fun out on the water, you can burn a fair few calories while doing it. This is the most common type of standup paddle boarding SUP. All you have to do is paddle at your own pace, and go with the flow (or, if you want a bit more of a workout, against it).
Leisurely paddling can burn anywhere from 305 to 430 calories. That’s more calories than you’ll burn by simply walking around the block around a few times, and it’s certainly more than you’ll burn by simply sitting on the couch.
What’s more, this allows you the freedom to cater these recreational jaunts to your own tastes. Maybe you’d just like to paddle along and relax, and maybe you’d like to race some paddleboarding friends. Whatever your tastes, there are few better ways to spend a summer day than on the water burning a few hundred calories
Maybe you aren’t just looking to float and paddle in your local lake, but paddle across vast swaths of water. If so, rest assured, you can burn a fair few calories while doing so.
How many? This is obviously hard to quantify given the fact that we’re dealing with an unquantifiable distance here, “long-distance.” Does that mean a few hundred feet? A few miles? Several miles? The length of an entire river?
Whatever the distance of your journey rest assured – you’ll be burning calories all the way. As noted in the aforementioned part, you can expect to burn a few hundred calories every hour you spend working out on a paddleboard in one form or another. Given the long-distance nature of these journeys and how much more strenuous they tend to be than simply “going with the flow,” you might be able to burn even more than the 300 to 400 calories mentioned above.
However, everyone is different. So if you’re a real calorie counter, you’ll want to calculate it all out in advance. Then again, if you’re the calorie counting type, you’ll probably already be inclined to do so anyway. To help you calculate your calories burned paddleboarding, online calculators such as these can prove helpful.
Let’s say you aren’t interested in simply paddling along but want to go “Surfin’ USA” Beach Boys-style (with more than an assist from Chuck Berry). If so, you’ll once again want to know how many calories you can count on this burning.
One of the benefits of this is that you can get an even greater full-body workout than traditional paddling. While comparing the strenuousness of paddling versus surfing isn’t as easy as, say, comparing the musical stylings of Chuck Berry and the Beach Boys, you can expect to burn a bit more doing the latter. By some estimates, you may be able to burn as much as 623 to 735 calories – a little less than double of what you can expect to burn per hour when paddling.
Of course, the bigger and rougher the waves, the greater the strain, and thus the more potential calories you may burn in the course of your workout.
Still, you’ll want to exercise some common sense here, and not chase waves you’re not ready to tackle. Better to ride the waves that you can than to wipe out.
Another great way to burn calories is just by racing others. Nothing burns calories like competition, and working against friends or competitors as well as the waves can help you really feel the burn. There isn’t an official way to measure this one, but it’s a fun thought to keep in mind in case you begin to find your enthusiasm in solo paddling beginning to ebb away.
Whether you’re “so good at yoga” or anything but, practicing some poses aboard your paddleboard can be a great way to clear your head, calm yourself, enjoy the beauty of nature and, oh yes, burn a fair few calories along the way.
Just how many? It depends on the strenuousness of the poses and your yoga routine, of course, but a bit more than 400 to 500 calories per hour would be a fair estimate.
A Couple Boards to Consider
All of this can help you lose weight, if that’s your goal. How much will, again, depend on any number of factors and should be calculated individually for each person, but what’s special about SUP, as evidenced above, is just how many choices are available to you in terms of how to burn calories and fat.
Finally, now that we have a better idea about how and why we burn calories while paddleboarding, let’s wrap this up with a few neat paddleboard suggestions.
For example, if you’re really committed to burning calories and fat, speed is the name of the game. The faster you go, the more your body tends to have to work. There are a few ways to go faster, namely by paddling more rigorously (of course) and picking boats made of materials that glide across the ocean faster. Having fins on the bottom of your paddleboat can also be a big help here.
The Goplus Expedition Inflatable Stand up Paddle Board SUP for Professional Racing, therefore, does just what it says – gives you a race-worthy paddleboard that can inflate and go fast. It also works well with yoga. The material from which it is made is a durable non-slip type of PVC plastic with a reinforced core, all of which makes it sturdy and helps it cut across the water with great speed once you get going. Even better, it deflates fast as well, allowing for quick and easy transportation.
Another good choice is the Thurso Expedition Touring Inflatable Stand up Paddle Board. It’s a bit more expensive, but can handle both surfing as well as touring (aka long-distance paddling), allowing you to get a great workout and really start burning those calories. It, too, features a PVC build along with three removable fins, all of which help contribute to its speediness on the water.
Paddleboarding is that rare activity that allows you to calm your nerves while burning calories at the same time. Depending on what approach you take, you could really start to melt away your waistline, and even if you don’t care about that and are happy with your body (as we should all be), it can be a fantastic way to get the blood pumping and the heart racing. No matter the type of paddleboard or paddleboarding approach you choose, it’s a great and exercise-friendly time on the water.
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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.