The Restorative Power of Water: The Stand up Paddleboard Lifestyle for Mind and Body
Water is incredibly restorative for our mental and physical well being. Find out how you can benefit from it when paddling your stand up paddle board.
The popularity of stand up paddle boarding (SUP) has surged in recent years, as people of all ages and abilities are discovering the physical and emotional benefits that come from being out on the water. Paddle boarding is a fantastic way to immerse oneself in nature and truly appreciate the restorative qualities of water. In this article, we'll explore the therapeutic aspects of water when paddle boarding on various types of boards, including inflatable and solid paddle boards.
The Calming Influence of Water while on a Stand up Paddle Board
When you're out on your stand up paddle board, whether it's an all around stand up paddle board, a touring board, or even an inflatable paddle board, the soothing effects of water are immediately evident. Water possesses a unique capacity to calm both the mind and body, which can be especially beneficial for those new to paddle boarding or for individuals dealing with stress.
Paddling Paddle Boards for Physical Health
Paddle boarding offers numerous health advantages, including enhanced cardiovascular fitness, core strength, and balance. Paddle boards come with different weight capacity limits, ensuring that most people, even those carrying extra weight, can find a suitable board. Beginner paddlers can start on a novice-friendly board, while experienced paddlers might prefer a board specifically designed for flat water or small waves.
SUP for Mental Well-Being
The mental health benefits of paddle boarding are just as significant as the physical ones. Being out on the water allows you to disconnect from daily stressors, providing a unique form of moving meditation. The rhythmic motion of paddling, combined with the serene environment, can help reduce anxiety and improve overall mental health.
Finding the Perfect Rigid or Inflatable Paddle Boards
When selecting a stand up paddle board, it's important to consider factors such as board length, storage options, and whether to choose an inflatable or solid board. Beginners might prefer an inflatable board due to its convenience and easy storage, while more experienced paddlers may opt for a touring board or even a tandem paddling option. A shorter board may be better for maneuverability, while a longer board will offer improved stability and speed.
Investing in Quality SUP Equipment
High-quality stand up SUP gear can significantly enhance your experience on the water. An adjustable shaft made from aluminum or a lightweight carbon fiber paddle, paired with a fiberglass or nylon blade, will make paddling more efficient and enjoyable. A comfortable deck pad, removable fins, and a kayak seat or kayak conversion kit can also improve overall comfort and satisfaction while out on the water.
Connecting with Nature Through SUP
One of the best ways to fully appreciate the restorative power of water is to explore nature through stand up paddle boarding. Overnight trips and day trips on your paddle board allow you to access secluded spots that are otherwise difficult to reach. Paddle boarding also provides opportunities to observe wildlife up close and develop a unique connection with the natural world.
The Social Side of Paddle Boarding
Paddle boarding is not just a solitary pursuit; it can also be a fantastic way to bond with friends and family. Group paddle boarding sessions or organized events can help you meet new people and share the restorative power of water with others who are passionate about the sport.
The Healing Powers of Ions While Paddling
Spending time paddling in the ocean or near rushing water can expose you to the healing powers of negative ions. These ions are known for their ability to increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, resulting in higher alertness, reduced stress, and an overall sense of well-being. Furthermore, negative ions can help balance serotonin levels in the body, which can lead to improved mood and a more positive outlook.
When paddle boarding in the ocean or close to waterfalls and rapids, you are immersed in an environment rich in negative ions. This exposure not only contributes to the overall healing power of water but also offers additional benefits for both physical and emotional health. Incorporating paddle boarding sessions near these natural sources of negative ions can elevate your experience and further enhance the therapeutic effects of being on the water.
Prioritizing Safety While Paddle Boarding
To fully enjoy the restorative power of water on your paddle board, it's crucial to prioritize safety. Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while paddle boarding, and consider using a leash to keep your board close at all times. Check weather and water conditions before heading out, and always inform someone of your plans. New paddlers should consider taking lessons or joining a group to gain experience and confidence on the water.
SUP Yoga: Combining the Benefits of Yoga and Paddle Boarding
For those looking to merge the restorative power of water with the physical and mental benefits of yoga, SUP yoga offers a unique and challenging experience. Performing yoga poses on a paddle board not only enhances balance and core strength but also provides a peaceful setting for meditation and mindfulness practice. SUP yoga classes are available at many locations, or you can try it on your own with a suitable paddle board and a bit of creativity.
Stand up paddle boarding is a remarkable way to experience the restorative power of water while enjoying physical activity, mental relaxation, and a connection with nature. With a variety of paddle boards and SUP gear available to suit every individual's needs, it's never been easier to get out on the water and reap the benefits of this popular and growing sport.