Head to any lake or beach near you, and you’ll probably see a shop renting out stand up paddle boards. But what exactly is SUPing? Well, aside from being the fastest growing water sport in the world, it’s a fun and rewarding activity. But that’s not all! SUP offers a number of health benefits too, both mental and physical.

In this post, we’ll look at the ways that SUP can be beneficial for your body and mind. It might just make you the next person to pick up a board and a paddle!

It’s great cardio

If you’re standing on the shore watching some SUPers going past, you could be forgiven for thinking that this sport lowers the heart rate. After all, there are few sports that look so chilled out. However, it’s not the case! SUP is great for cardio fitness, and because your body is always on the move, that speeds up your circulation. As well as the very obvious short term health benefits, there are long term ones too. Good cardio fitness reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes in the future!

A workout for the entire core

SUPing uses a lot of muscles that may lie sleeping 90 – 95% of the time. While this can be a challenge at first and you may feel like you’ve been put through a washing machine after a couple of hours, in the long term this hugely benefits your core. Your leg muscles are always being used to keep you stable, while your back, arms, and shoulders will also be required for the majority of your time on the board. Want to get a six-pack? There’s no better way to get that than SUPing!

It is good for losing weight

Is there anything that stand up paddle boarding doesn’t do for your health?! As well as keeping your heart healthy, your joints supple, and your muscles strong, it helps you to lose weight. Even just a session of regular boarding burns twice the number of calories as walking at a speed of 2.5mph. In an hour, you’ll burn somewhere between 300 – 430 calories. Which means you can have that chocolate bar you’re craving! The good news is that SUP yoga (which we’ll go into with more depth later) can burn more than 500 calories in the same time. If you’re planning to get competitive, racing can burn anything from 700 – 1,100 calories per hour. Whichever way you choose to use your stand-up paddle board, you’re going to look great afterwards!

It’s low impact

If you’re prone to injuries or recovering from one, stand up paddle boarding is very gentle (even though it works practically every muscle in your body). You’re unlikely to damage any muscles, and if anything, SUPing will speed up the healing process. The biggest impact will be if you fall off the board – but as long as you fall away from it, there’s little chance you’ll be hurt!

Good for mental health

Paddle boarding isn’t just great for your physical health – it provides a number of mental benefits too. Being outside in nature has been proven to be positive for the mind, reducing stress and anxiety. Coupling being surrounded by nature and water’s therapeutic effects, it’s a great way to destress and disconnect from the troubles of everyday life.

They’re extremely versatile

When it comes to stand up paddle boarding, there are numerous ways which you can do it. One of the most popular is paddle board yoga. With this, you get the best of both worlds. Just think of all the great health benefits on this list, with yoga’s thrown in too! That means you’ll have increased flexibility and may hopefully find your sense of inner peace. The best type of SUP for yoga is an inflatable board, as they are usually quite large and provide enough space to easily change position on your board. SUP yoga is excellent for balance and stability.

Another popular way of using a SUP is for fishing.

You will actually enjoy it

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, it may seem like you have to make a lot of compromises. After a busy day at work, you might only have time for a run or a gym class that does nothing more than burn the calories. But let’s face it, you don’t really enjoy it. That’s not the case with stand up paddle boarding. Just think of how many other sports can be done to stunning backdrops, surrounded by water, and don’t actually feel like a workout while you’re doing it? There are very few. Stand up paddle boarding offers you the chance to look forward to your next workout. No wonder so many people love it!