Stand up paddling (SUP) is a super fun activity, but even more so it is a great way to stay in shape. Kelly Slater, the man who has now won 11 World Titles in professional surfing was recently interviewed by CBS television. In this interview Slater states that he has, “friends who are 90 that still surf every day,” and that he plans on surfing forever. In this post I will focus on the health benefits of SUP so that you too will be live a long, healthy and active life even if you don’t live near the ocean!
What do you think of when you hear the word healthy? Is it hulk-like-muscle, toned lean physique, or the flexibility to touch one’s head to one’s toes? If you answered yes to any of the above, stand-up paddling can help you achieve your goals. Once you’ve got the basics of SUP down you can begin to design SUP workouts to reach your specific health goal. Don’t get me wrong, learning to SUP is a unique work out in and of itself. Let’s break down the health benefits of SUP to help you get control of your SUP-soreness.
Although it may not be obvious at first, SUP is a great aerobic workout. Most doctors and health experts agree that regular and substantial aerobic exercise is key to a healthy life. What does regular and substantial mean to you? For some people it might be a half hour 2-3 times per week, others may want to head out for 2-3 hours every day! A great way to up the Aerobic benefits of your SUP session is to simply paddle faster! Try racing a friend or racing the clock!
SUP is an awesome way to build strength. It is easy to see and feel how paddling an SUP works the muscles of the shoulders, arms and hands. Less obvious are the benefits SUP has for the core muscles of the stomach and back. Muscles like the abdominals are engaged heavily not only in the stoke of an SUP paddle, but also in the act of balancing on an SUP board. Having a strong core is a great foundation for your health, to make your SUP workout more beneficial to core strength try out a smaller board, and take on choppy days!
To get the most out of your strength training working on flexibility is crucial. Stretching will prevent injuries that can be painful and set you back. To get the most from your flex try yoga. Although yoga doesn’t have the reputation of being the toughest sport out there, most anyone who has tried it would agree that it can a real workout! Add a wobbly SUP to a yoga practice and you’ve got a real challenge! Yoga on SUP board combines the aerobics, balance training and flexibility into an awesome outdoor activity.
- To reach your sup goals keep a log of your workouts. Google maps is a great way to measure how far you’ve paddled!
- Want to know how Aerobic your workout is? Be mindful of your lungs, they’ll be the first to tell you how hard you’re working them!
- To engage your core paddle on a choppy day, the chop makes it harder to balance, and its a great reason to get out when conditions don’t look ideal!
- Aim for balance in your workout to prevent overuse and injury. Stretching will help you get the most from strength training without painful injuries!
- Mount some of our new Heavy Duty SUP racks to a secure wall and do some pull-ups when you get home!
As with all exercise, know your limits, train with a friend, and increase the difficulty of workouts in small increments. Stand up paddling is amazing because it is a great way to access the great outdoors, but keep safety in mind. Always be cognizant of hazerdous conditions, especially if you plan on doing an exhausting workout!
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