Fitness From Surfing – Try Stand Up Paddle for Full Body, Core and Balance

Standup Paddle Boarding and its Fitness Benefits

Standup paddle (SUP) boarding is a relatively new yet a fast growing water sport. As one can decipher from its name, the sport of standup paddle boarding is a cross between the most popular water activities, that is, surfing and canoeing. Using a high surf-like board and paddles, the standup paddlers are able to garner a better view of the surroundings. The sport owes its origin to Hawaii, the home of almost all surfboard sports. The natives of Hawaii used the stand up paddle surfboards as a way to surf but it slowly became a sport when surfing instructors found the paddle boards to be a better way to manage their students. The boards gave them a better viewpoint with increased visibility of the surroundings.

The basics of SUP boarding

The standup paddle boarding comprises of paddle boards on which the user stands. The board is similar to that of a surfing board, but slightly broader. The other important part of standup paddle surfing is the paddle. Used as in canoeing, the paddle can help in keeping the balance of the standup surfer. The paddle can also be used to catch the towing waves.

Learning to paddle board is not difficult and beginners need not be intimidated by it as a preliminary session of training of one hour is enough to get one going aboard the boards. However, it is important that beginners take a lesson prior to attempting to surf or do Yoga.

Getting started in SUP requires one to shop for the required gear. However, it is not necessary to initially invest a large sum in purchasing new and costly gear. One can learn and enjoy by renting the gear. High quality gear can be purchased once one becomes proficient in handling the waves.

SUP fitness and Yoga

The best part about standup paddle boarding is that it can be donned in various forms such as on flat water surfaces such as lakes, on beaches and to surf waves. Therefore, it provides enjoyment for all categories of individuals with varied levels of skills in water based activities. While many might not realize but standup paddle boarding has several benefits, providing fitness being the most important of them.

SUP or standup paddle yoga offers a complete workout thus fits very well into the fitness regime of an individual. The entire body of the individual aboard a paddle board is at work and therefore, the SUP provides a complete body workout right from the toes to the inflatable paddle board nose. Firstly, the leg and feet muscles get strengthened as they have to hold on to the board. The gesture of balancing on the sup board tones the thighs, calves and the gluteus. The core muscles are fully involved during the entire process of paddle surfing making it strong and toned. In addition, the upper body too benefits from the paddling gesture and greater power is generated from the upper back, arms and the oblique muscles. Therefore, the advantages of a complete core workout are obtained when one does sup yoga.

Better co-ordination and balancing are other benefits that stand up paddle offers. It makes a person more confident both when in water and when out of water. Calories burnt by men when paddle surfing for an hour are between 800 to 1,000 calories on an average while women can burn 500 to 700 calories in an hour. Comparing this to running on the elliptical machine or the treadmill, the number of calories burnt amount to 500 to 700 for men and 400 to 600 calories for women.

The reason why paddle surfing is becoming popular is its fitness aspect. People are fast realizing the health benefits of this form of exercise or water sport, which provides them great levels of fitness without their knowing it