In the worlds of health and fitness, fad activities are a dime a dozen. However, some activities manage to prove their worthiness and become regular cultural pastimes. Stand up paddle boarding, or SUP, has been around for a while. As people have been searching for new ways to stay active, it has risen in popularity. However, it’s not just a fun activity: it’s beneficial for your health. Take a look at these five health benefits of SUP:
1. Improves Balance
Stand up paddle boarding engages all of the body’s stabilizing muscles. As your body twists and turns, your abs and obliques are forced to contract and lengthen. As you continue to move, your glutes, quads, and hamstrings will work overtime to keep you and your board above the water. As you stand barefoot on the board, your foot muscles will work to keep you upright.
2. Improves Heart Health
Senior citizens and people with high blood pressure are often encouraged to participate in low-impact activities. SUP is one of those activities that has the potential to greatly improve the cardiovascular health of those individuals. In order to propel yourself forward, you need to paddle to a steady beat. This constant rate of movement will strengthen the heart without putting any undo stress on the joints.
3. Stress Reduction
Being out in nature tends to have a calming effect on people who lead busy lives. Taking up SUP will allow you to experience that very same peace. As you’re out on the water, you will hear the sounds of birds chirping and bees buzzing. You will get a change to watch the sun glisten on top of the water. You will smell and feel the fresh air as it moves around your body. With each stroke of the paddle, you will feel as though your worries are literally melting into the water.
4. Builds Endurance
Water sports require a different level of endurance than the ones practiced on land. While all sports require the engagement of muscles, SUP calls upon the same muscles for longer periods of time. As the entire body works to maintain its balance, slow-twitch muscle fibers are taking in the oxygen that they need to strengthen themselves. The end result of this process is a body that can engage in physical activity for longer periods of time.
5. Weight Loss
When people think of weight loss, they tend to think about overly-strenuous exercise routines. However, low-impact activities like SUP can be just as effective for people who wish to shed extra pounds. Each movement is like combining a sit-up, squat and row into one super movement. Cross training the body in this fashion will help burn more calories in a shorter period of time. You can easily shed any unwanted pounds without ever breaking a sweat.