Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP) is one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world. With such a rapidly growing number of practitioners around the world, let’s take a look at why it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to enjoy the water and exercise at the same time.
What SUP Does For Your Body
In this study, researchers compared stand-up paddleboarding to canoeing, kayaking, surfing, and dragon boat racing.
They found that elite SUP athletes possess aerobic power similar to elite athletes from these other sports. However, the while others are arm-and-shoulder dominant sports, SUP is a full body work out!
Standup paddleboarding also:
- Builds strength in every part of the body that is involved – arms, shoulders, abdomen, back, and legs. Proper technique uses your whole body at once.
- Burns fat and maintains lower body fat. The study above showed that both elite and recreational paddle-boarders had significantly less body fat than “sedentary” individuals.
- Gives you better posture. Stronger core, better spinal control. Which also means
- You get injured less. Core strength and better spinal control means you’re less likely to get hurt.
- SUPing increases your strength while having little impact on your joints and tendons. Compare this with an exercise like jogging, which can harm your joints over time.
Quote from the study: “The SUP athletes in the previous studies have demonstrated that those who participate in SUP possess high levels of fitness, strength and balance.”
What SUP does for your mind
SUP helps you concentrate and focus. Because:
- We are exposed to excessive positive ions every day from cell phones, power lines, microwaves, and toxic materials. This unbalances us and can make us feel depressed, anxious, and scattered. When you paddleboard, you are naturally in intimate contact with the water and nature. Natural bodies of water produce negative ions (electrically charged molecules). These not only kill airborne bacteria and germs, but also balance your body’s electrical field, leaving you better able to think… or better able to stop thinking.
- SUPing will always happen outside, usually on a sunny day. Vitamin D, released by the rays of the sun touching your skin, is essential for enhancing your brain’s ability to focus and reducing the risk of developing mental impairments.
- In yet another study, they showed that people hugely prefer images with blue water in them, and images with blue and green most of all. The study concluded that being near water has a very positive effect on your well-being.
What SUP does for your emotions
We already talked about the sun and negative ions for mental health. They also:
- Make you feel good. Both sunshine and negative ions release feel-good hormones in your body. You get plenty of both while stand-up paddleboarding.
- Paddle boarding melts your stress. The physical exertion, the swell of the water under your feet, the motion of the board moving forward through the water, the rhythm of your paddle, all help create a feeling of presence and bliss.
- As the negative ions from the water oxygenate your body, your mood naturally improves, as does your quality of sleep and therefore your daily life.
- It’s a proven fact that regular stand up paddle can help people who tend to suffer from depressions!
So there you have it. Paddleboarding makes you stronger, healthier, happier, and clearer.
Not only that, but it can be either a solitary, meditative practice, or a social activity. (Do it with your kids. Their strong, happy immune systems will thank you.)
So come down to Aloha Paddle Club at the end of Calle 6 at Fusion right here in Playa del Carmen and give it a try! We’re here every day from 6 am to 6 pm.
PS: Do you need more reasons why YOU should start doing stand up paddle? Check also this blog post about the amount of calories you burn compared to other sports. The outcome might surprise you!
PS 2: Did you know that we have a special membership system for locals that make it really affordable to practice stand up paddle on a regular basis? Please contact us for more info.