The greatest benefit by far of paddleboarding is the positive impact it has on one’s mental health, the brain. SUP is a form of ecotherapy. Connecting with nature in this way has both mental and physical health benefits particularly useful in managing and reducing stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that simply being near bodies of water can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. This finding, combined with the obvious benefits of exercise, makes it a great activity to help manage this.
Paddleboarding can also enhance your concentration and focus. How? Sun exposure is one of the best sources of vitamin D, a necessary nutrient for many functions in the body. One of the important functions of vitamin D is its ability to enhance concentration and reduce the risk of cognitive impairment. With paddleboarding being an outdoor activity it’ll boost your mental wellbeing, provide your daily dose of vitamin D, and enhance your overall focus and concentration.
You can pack up your paddleboard, inflate, and SUP anywhere! Boards are super easy to transport which is great for reaching the more remote waterways tucked away in nature’s backyard. Not only does this promise to boost your activity levels, but hanging out amongst many trees and water is great for your mental wellbeing, too, with many labeling it as ‘nature bathing‘ and research showing it to reduce cognitive fatigue and stress.
Arrange to SUP with a friend for the added mental health benefit of socializing and connecting with those you enjoy spending time with.
How Standup Paddleboarding Strengthens your brainpower:
- Effective tool in managing stress
- Improved mental health.
- Reduces & helps to manage anxiety and depression
- Enhances your concentration and focus
- Increases mental grit
Core, Proprioception & Balance:
Proprioception refers to the body’s ability to perceive its position and movement in space. Paddleboarding is a great exercise to improve your balance and strengthen your core through its constant awareness of the position and movement of the body with the board. This means your abdominal muscles will constantly be working to help you keep your balance with the constant trunk rotation whilst paddling. Paddleboarding is a more fun core exercise than a plank and the rougher the water, the harder you have to work to stay balanced and upright which is great for strengthening your core!
Back & shoulders:
Paddleboarding is a great full-body workout. It’s an exercise that requires almost every element of the body to cooperate in order to stay upright and move forward. Whilst you use your legs right to your toes to stabilize you whilst paddling, your back (latissimus dorsi), core, and shoulders (deltoids) are the main muscles involved in an effective SUP stroke.
Hinging and twisting at the waist takes the pressure off the upper arms and activates two of the body’s strongest muscle groups, making for a more effective stroke, promoting posture, and increasing strength and endurance through the back and shoulders.
Paddleboarding is a fantastic low impact, full-body workout! Whether you are simply balancing on the board or paddling out, it improves your strength, balance, and cardiovascular fitness and endurance. If you are new to paddleboarding your body will be loving the variation in the movement to help boost your mental wellbeing AND beat any physical training plateaus and boredom. We have got to keep our minds and bodies guessing!
Need a stand-up paddleboard? Why don’t you check out the great range of inflatable SUPs by Red Paddle Co. Red Paddle Co Inflatable SUPs have the added benefit of a quick upper body warm-up whilst inflating them too!
About Brooke Turner
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Brooke Turner is an international presenter, writer, nutritionist, personal trainer, and mother of two with 11 years’ experience in the health and fitness industry. Brooke is the founder of Balance Fitness and Nutrition and creator of the STRIVE program and Happy, Healthy Pregnancy eGuides. She believes in striving for a balanced approach to health and fitness and aims to inspire and empower others to see that healthy active living need not be a hindrance but a habit.