What You Need To Know About SUP Boarding for Health and Fitness

**The following is a guest post contributed by a reader and fellow SUP enthusiast**

“It is health that is real wealth”. – Mahatma Gandhi

Being healthy doesn’t just happen. You have to be intentional about eating well and exercising. This is easier said than done. That is why it’s nice to have an exciting physical activity—like SUP boarding.

Standup paddleboarding is fun, to say the least. But that is not the only reason why people love it. A lot of studies have confirmed that it is one of the best activities for fitness, because it affects the whole body. Besides, SUP boarding has amazing health benefits.

Check out the details below.

SUP and Fitness

An adult should get more than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week. This is according to the U.S Department of Health. Working out doesn’t always mean going to the gym. 

Standup paddleboarding is an outstanding workout. Here is why.

Fit man does some SUP surfing off of a small wave in the ocean

Perfect Intensity

A good physical activity should be challenging. That is what strengthens your body. SUP may not look intense (or feel intense for a habitual paddler) but it is. Attaining and maintaining balance while paddling at the same time is difficult.

At first, you may not be able to paddle for long. But with time, your heart and lung capacity will increase, building your endurance.

Make your SUP sessions more intense by joining races or less intense by slowing down.

Works a Lot of Muscles

Every muscle in your body should be utilized. Some muscles are underused while others are overused. Standup paddleboarding solves this by using all muscle groups. If you do it properly, you could use every muscle from the tiniest to the largest.

It Is Exciting

Putting in 150 minutes of physical activity is not easy. But with SUP, you will always look forward to getting into the water. You can paddle for hours and you will still be reluctant to go home. Additionally, it is an all-year-round activity.

SUP Exercises

Paddling is not the only way to exercise on a SUP. It can get monotonous at times. You may want to incorporate other forms of exercise. 

SUP Yoga

You have definitely heard of this one. Instead of going to a yoga studio, some people prefer doing the poses on a paddleboard. With the right Yoga SUP, there’s hardly anything you can’t do.

Yoga on the ground is simpler and trying it on the water for the first time may seem intimidating. The platform is unstable and moving from one pose to another is quite difficult. But that is what makes it awesome.

Yoga is all about stretching, flexibility, mindfulness and focus. You will be greatly challenged in these areas when you try SUP yoga. However, your skills will be sharpened. You learn to breathe better, become more mindful and your focus improves. There’s no room for absent-mindedness, even for a second.

If you are feeling a little scared, find a SUP yoga class near you.

Two women pose in backbends on their SUPs in a river surrounded by mangroves

SUP Planks

When you can’t seem to get any poses right, try planks. Just like yoga, planks are more challenging when done on a paddleboard.

They strengthen your core and help you adopt a proper paddling technique. Another advantage of SUP planks is that they are not hard on your back.

Other Exercises

You can do a lot more on a SUP board than you think. Additional exercises include burpees, knee hangs, push-ups, crunches and more. A full cardio workout on your paddleboard is possible, with or without paddling.

On top of getting your heart rate up, these exercises help you become a better paddler. It will be easier for you to maintain balance, regardless of how rough the condition is.

SUP and Health

So, what are the amazing SUP health benefits mentioned above?

Improved Mental Wellness

Research shows that being outside in nature makes you feel great about yourself and brightens your mood. These two are mental health indicators. The positive effects are both long- and short-term.

SUP is also an aerobic exercise. It controls the production of cortisol (stress hormone). 

Have you ever noticed that you feel happier after paddleboarding? This is because your body produces happy hormones such as endorphins. They leave you feeling relaxed and free from stress.

Cardiovascular Health

SUP is a fantastic cardio workout.

It lowers your risk of developing conditions such as diabetes or suffering a stroke. As you get older, you become more vulnerable to these diseases. You should strive to remain active if you want to stay healthy. The good thing about SUP is that you can do it despite your age.

Woman in a bikini kneels while paddling an SUP in the ocean

Weight Loss

Everyone wants to be fit. But putting in the work is hard, honestly. Luckily for you, there is SUP.

Paddleboarding is underrated when it comes to weight loss. You can lose up to 1100 calories in one hour of SUP racing. Not many exercises can match this. Even with something as relaxing as SUP yoga, it is possible to burn 500 calories in an hour. This is impressive.

You get to relax, hang out with friends and burn a lot of calories—all at once. Can it get any better?

Injury Rehabilitation

If you ever suffer an injury, take out your SUP instead of binging on Netflix.

Standup paddleboarding, unlike running, is a low impact exercise. This means that it is not hard on your tendons and joints. Not only does it keep you fit, it helps your injuries heal faster. While weight-bearing activities only cause further harm, SUP allows the injured part to gain strength slowly, day by day.

Note: Please confirm with your doctor first so they can advise you more on your spesific injury.

Improved balance

If you have ever tried SUP boarding you must have noticed how much you use your balance on the board. This balance workout is great for stabilizing your ankles, knees, hips and your whole body. This makes your joints stronger as well as overall makes your balance better.

Summing Up

Cancel that gym membership that you never use and get a paddleboard. With a few modifications here and there, you can get all your workout needs on your paddleboard. Put every muscle to use by combining paddling with yoga and other cardio exercises. In addition to being fit, you will be happier and have a healthier heart. You don’t have to be young or lean to enjoy these benefits. All you need is a board. Lastly, interact with fellow paddlers, take in the beautiful sceneries and have fun.

Paddle On!

What You Need To Know About SUP Boarding for Health and Fitness
Article Name
What You Need To Know About SUP Boarding for Health and Fitness
Sunshine and salt water is the perfect prescription for good health! Add in these fun exercises you can do on your SUP and you'll be fit as a fiddle.
Publisher Name
Board and Kayak Life
Publisher Logo

2 thoughts on “What You Need To Know About SUP Boarding for Health and Fitness”

  1. My father was a marathon runner but isn’t able to run anymore because of a knee injury. It has been very tough on him but I’d love for him to try paddleboarding now. This article is super helpful! Thank you!

  2. This is exactly what I needed to read! The gyms are all closed right now and I am so sick of working out at home. SUP seems perfect for a time like this!


Leave a Comment