Paddleboarding is a popular water sport that requires participants to use their arms while they either lie, kneel or stand on the paddleboard. In doing so, the board will then be propelled into a forward motion.
Stand-up paddleboarding is a newer and popular variation of the sport. Participants use a propel to move through the water as they stand on the board.
There are several reasons why both variations of paddleboarding are so popular. While many engage in this sport as a fun activity during vacations, others enjoy the numerous health benefits that are associated with it.
In response to the question ‘’is paddleboard good for exercise?’’, yes it is. In fact, it is deemed to provide an excellent workout. We have delved into the reasons behind this below.
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Enhances Core Strength
Stand-up paddleboarding in particular will increase your core strength. While you are predominantly using your arms to move the board, the position that you adopt is great for your core.
Each time the paddle is moved to either side of the board, you are utilizing your abdominal muscles to maintain your balance. Essentially, this motion is very similar to a workout that requires you to do Russian twists.
Although it may be more of a gentle workout, it still provides many rewards. Aside from this, it can also help to strengthen your arm and leg muscles.
It’s a calorie burner
Paddleboarding is great for burning calories. Even those who are casually paddleboarding can burn between 300 to 400 calories in as little as an hour. This amounts to approximately double the calories that you would burn when embarking on a moderately paced walk.
Of course, applying more effort will allow you to burn more calories, so it depends on whether you are paddleboarding as a casual and fun activity or you are paddleboarding specifically for the health benefits.
Paddleboarding at a moderate speed will allow you to burn up to 700 calories in an hour. To do so, you will need to paddleboard constantly for this time without taking breaks.
Increased all body strength
Not only is stand-up paddleboarding great for your core, but it also provides a great all body workout. This is because it engages many muscles requiring them to cooperate with one another to enable you to move through the water.
Of course, your arms, back, shoulders, knees, and quads will each be worked in different ways. While your arms and shoulders are primarily responsible for moving the paddle, your legs and quads must provide you with the stability needed to remain balanced on the board.
Ultimately, all of your muscles must work together to ensure that you are properly supported.
As mentioned, paddleboarding isn’t as intense as you may suspect, so unlike where you would feel the ache when attempting a complete body workout in the gym, paddleboarding provides a more gentle way of accessing your exercise.
Paddleboarding is an effective workout that doesn’t require the participants to engage in intense physical activity or movements. For example, other activities such as running can be quite exerting and you may often feel like you begin to tire and ache sooner.
Paddleboarding, however, allows you to preserve your energy as you remain affixed in one position on the board. It also puts you at less risk of getting injured because you aren’t constantly moving.
While paddleboarding can complement your standard training schedule, it can also be enjoyed by those who struggle with other types of physically demanding activities.
Because it is a low impact exercise, it is more of an enjoyable activity that allows you to take in the great outdoors without constantly focusing on the fact that you are exercising.
Strengthened Joint Stability
Stand-up paddleboarding requires participants to stand up for the duration of time that they are engaging in the activity. Doing so helps to activate smaller muscles in the body too.
For example, there are smaller muscles in your feet and legs that help to enhance your stability because activities on the water present a greater risk of you losing your balance.
However, the way that each of your smaller muscles engages with your body's larger muscles ensures that you remain stably positioned for the time that you are using the board.
An Effective Cardio Workout
A Cardio workout refers to one that increases your heart rate without tiring you out to the point where you feel as though you need to take regular breaks to stop and rest.
As such, paddleboarding provides an excellent way of getting your cardio workout in. This is because you can alter the intensity of your workout depending on what it is that you want to achieve.
To enjoy a slightly tougher workout you can paddleboard at a faster pace and you can also challenge yourself by racing against other friends who are paddleboarding.
Another way of enhancing your workout for the greatest benefits is to introduce HIIT-style elements to your paddleboarding session. In doing so, you will increase your heart rate without having to get off your paddleboard at any point.
Helps To Reduce Stress
Not only does paddleboarding provide a great way of exercising but it is an effective stress reliever too.
As an activity that takes you out on the water, you can appreciate the nature that surrounds you and this can help to release feelings of calmness.
You also aren’t going to be exerting yourself as you exercise so you aren’t likely to feel as tired afterward as you perhaps would after participating in various other forms of exercise.
As you can see, there are many reasons why paddleboarding is deemed to be a great form of exercise.
Both normal paddleboarding and stand-up paddleboarding require the participants to engage their muscles and doing so provides the body with a full workout whilst targeting your core too.
For those looking for a relaxing and gentle but effective way of exercising, paddleboarding provides a great option.
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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.