Benefits of Paddleboarding

glide lotus, glide sup, paddle boarding, sup surf, surf girlWhether your idea of paddle boarding is on a perfectly still section of flat water, whitewater, SUP yoga, or catching a few waves before you head to work paddle boarding has many health benefits. Not only is stand-up paddle boarding fun, but it engages your core muscles, leg muscles, and upper body it really can be an entire body workout. Here are my top 5 favorite benefits of paddle boarding.

Number 1. It's a secret workout.

One of the main things I love about paddle boarding is that health benefits sneak up on you! I can honestly say I have never grabbed my paddle boards and headed to the river or lake thinking today I am going to get a great core workout, I get on my board for fun, and the health benefits of stand-up paddle boarding just "happen" when I am out on the water. If I am just cruising around on flat water with friends it is a very low-impact exercise. If I am running a white water river then my leg muscles and upper body get a great workout.

I love the numerous health benefits of stand-up paddle boarding that just sneak up on you while you are out having a good time with friends and family on the water. As you have probably figured out I am not really a traditional workout kind of guy, so if I can improve my cardiovascular health get a full-body workout all while just out on my board having fun. Well, sign me up!

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Number 2. Improve your balance.

This is another one of the sneaky benefits that getting out on a paddle board has on your body. Your balance will improve. No matter how old or young you may be, improving your balance is one of the best things you to do for overall health and quality of life as you do eventually age. The first time you get on a board it will feel relatively unstable and your stabilizer muscles will be going crazy! But after just a few short hours your body will start to adapt and you will notice just how much easier it is to maintain balance on your board. Paddle boarding engages your whole body to keep you stand upright on the board and through this paddle boarding will improve your balance. Another win-win on the old paddle boarding front.

Pro-Tip if you want the easiest paddle board for a beginner, there are a lot of benefits to a wider board.

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Number 3. Cross-training.

Ok I know what you are all thinking, I said above that I am not really a "workout" kind of guy, so what do I know about cross-training? Well, I know I like to ride my mountain bike and I like to eat donuts, so what can help me do both but better? Cross-train on my inflatable sup that's what. We already know some of the sup health benefits but there are a lot more to come!

Let's start with riding my bike, how can stand-up paddle boarding help with that? First, off-balance, anything that can help me stay upright on the bike is good with me. I am mostly a white water sup paddler and I feel like there are similarities between mountain biking and white water sup. In both sports, line choice can make all the difference between having a great day on your bike/sup to a big owie. And as an old dude, I try to avoid owies at all costs! There is a great mental cross over between paddle boarding and mountain biking.

And when it is 8 billion degrees outside you can train hard on your SUP to improve your body's cardiovascular health. Doing SUP sprints is a great interval training that will improve your cardio fitness. And I am not sure if I am like you or not if I lay off cardio for even a week I start to suffer in endurance. So being able to maintain cardio for biking when it is too hot to get on the bike is a huge benefit to me! And let's be honest who wants to spend time on a stationary bike when a stand-up paddle board is a great alternative to maintain and increase your cardiovascular health.

And let's not forget about eating donuts. Donuts are delicious and I have a weakness for them. I love them all, well, not all of them, but most of them. And eating donuts for me leads to gaining weight, gaining weight makes it harder for me to ride up hills, which means I then need to lose weight to be lighter so I don't have to try so hard when riding my bike. It's a delicious but vicious cycle.

Stand-up paddleboarding is a great way for me to lose weight with a very low-impact workout that is fun. In my old age, I suffer from experiencing shin splints and hip pain and paddle boarding helps me l drop some weight, and build up my core strength, rotational muscles, and lower abdominal muscles all without having to resort to strength training.

So yeah, paddle board to gain balance and strength which allows me to bike more, which allows me to eat more donuts. You know I wonder why I am not a personal trainer, hrmm #supbikedonut

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Number 4. Mindfulness.

Mental health is so important to me, and I wrestled with where to put this on the list. And honestly, I think it is probably number 1 on my list but I didn't want all your hard-core fitness studio people to see mindfulness and scroll on by my article. Not saying all meat heads are not mindful, but, you know never mind I said it and I am sticking with it. Suck it scary meat heads who could break me like a twig.

Anyways let me get back on track and talk about the mental benefits of paddle boarding and how it helps with mindfulness, helps relieve stress, and just makes your day-to-day activities better.

Whether you are an experienced practitioner of meditation or just a person who enjoys the stillness and serenity you experience when you are out on the water and in nature paddle boarding is a great stress relief.

It does not matter what type of paddle boarding you are into, surf, fishing, yoga, white water, or touring being out in nature in these blue spaces will improve your mental health and well-being. This article by the Guardian shows that being in blue spaces is the secret to happiness.

There is nothing I love more in this world than being on the water soaking up some vitamin D and feeling the peacefulness and stillness that comes with being on a paddle board.

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Number 5. A sport for everyone.

The mighty stand-up paddleboard, is such useful tool with so many benefits, and something for everyone. No matter what you are into whether it sup surfing, finding hidden fishing spots, yoga to help with rehabilitation injuries, or racing to work off excess pounds there is very few recreational activity that has something for everyone.

I love that no matter what your age or fitness level paddle boarding has something for you! You just need to start paddling and get out on the water and find what type of paddle boarding you love and enjoy all these benefits.

For me personally as a white water paddler, I love that I can get better balance work on my muscle groups and work attempting to get in the best shape of my life all while having fun! And not even know I am working out. When I get done with a day on the river almost every muscle in my body feels like it got a workout, and my leg strength improves, my mental state feels great, what more can you want really? And bonus I was able to do it outside away from a cramped gym.

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What to look for in a paddle board.

Ok you are not convinced you need to take up paddle boarding and want to know what to look for in a board. We have created a guide just for you! At Glide we have boards for every type of paddle boarding, we build boards around a purpose unlike most of the board companies on the market. Most companies will have a single board in multiple colors and tell you it is great for everything you would ever want to do. And while I agree an all-around paddle board like the O2 Retro is a great board to own, especially if you are going to only own one board. It will allow you experience all aspects of paddle boarding without being overly specialized.

That said if you know you are a yogi at heart then it's better to start off with a yoga specific paddle board. Same with if you are an angler, a dedicated fishing board like our O2 Angler just makes sense, having rod holders, extra bungee rigging, and no noisy motor will have you slaying fish in no time.

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If you need any help choosing a paddle board please reach out to us over the phone, chat, or email we would love to talk to you about our boards and find you exactly the right board so you can get all the benefits of paddle boarding for yourself!