Standup Paddleboarding and it’s Many Health Benefits

 In Injuries, Tips and Tricks

With those consistent days in the high twenties and thirties, it’s safe to say summer is here to stay and in full swing! Have you heard of the latest fitness craze? Standup paddleboarding is a fun outdoor activity perfect for solo adventures or within group settings. And on top of that there are so many benefits to stand-up paddleboarding, read along to find out more.

Benefits of standup paddleboarding

There are also many benefits of this activity, they include:

Improves balance

Standup paddleboarding requires you to stand upright on the board, which demands a lot of core stability and leg strength to maintain balance. This means that you’ll be practicing both your core and leg strength to keep yourself balanced on the board. The more you practice paddle boarding, the better your balance will be both on and off the water. Paddle boarding develops your sense of stability, which helps in daily life as well as in other sports that require you to stay balanced like yoga or surfing.

Full-body workout

Almost every muscle in the body is used at some point during paddleboarding. Because of the balance required, leg muscles will be hard at work attempting to stabilize your center of gravity, while the arms, back and shoulders are used to propel the paddleboard in the water. The core, back and abdominal muscles are constantly at work to maintain your balance. As well, through the paddling and twisting, your body is moving through functional movement patterns allowing it to work a greater number of muscles at once.

Low impact exercise

Paddleboarding is a low impact workout, it is very unlikely that it will do any damage to the tendons and ligaments of your joints. This also means that it is beneficial to some athletes that experience knee or hip pain, as well as shin splints. Because of it’s low impact on the body, it can help increase strength or recover from injuries, without doing any harm to your body.

Reduces stress/Improves mood

Physical activity in general does wonders for reducing stress, which is one of the most damaging contributors to our health. Some of the negative effects of stress can range from mental health issues to triggering disease and even premature aging. Exercise, especially when done in nature, is proven to reduce stress. Adding the element of being in the water can add the extra soothing element. Reducing stress by getting back to nature and doing something you love can help relax the mind whilst also releasing serotonin and endorphins in the brain giving you the feeling of happiness. this feeling combined with the psychological benefit and social aspects can help hugely help decrease the feelings of depression and greatly improve your mood.

Cardio workout/Keeps you Healthy

It has documented that paddleboarding is a great exercise for cardiovascular fitness while lowering the chances of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke. This activity is similar to cross-training, running and aerobics, all activities which help cardiovascular health. Since paddleboarding can be done at varying levels of intensity, you can make it as easy or as challenging as you want. The faster you paddle, the harder the heart pumps to get moving. Not only lowering your chance of illness the number of calories burnt while paddle boarding can be really high meaning long-term paddling can contribute to reduction in body fat and weight loss as well as improved muscle mass resulting in a much healthier body.

Useful in rehabilitating injuries

As mentioned above, because of its low impact nature, paddle boarding can be a useful tool for people in rehab to gently increase strength without doing any harm. It is very gentle on your muscles and joints.

Improves endurance

With consistent paddling we end up slowly increasing endurance. With repetition, our balance begins to improve and muscles don’t get as fatigued, and this is how we see our tolerance (or endurance) is improving.

Standup Paddleboarding

A Physiotherapists Take on Standup Paddleboarding

To support these statements, our very own resident-standup-paddleboarder and Physiotherapist Kerry was in agreement that this activity can be more gentle on one’s joints, depending on the intensity of movement. As well, the depth at which the paddle is placed in the water can increase or decrease the overall resistance and difficulty.

When it comes to the point about rehabilitating injuries, Kerry recommends that clients with shoulder injuries take a slower approach to engaging in this activity as it can be very demanding. As this activity incorporates the entire body and multiple systems, Kerry feels her extensors and overall posterior chain challenged the most, firing readily to maintain her balance. She also enjoys playing around with where she generates her power by biasing certain muscles over others. The challenge is switching the paddle from her dominant hand to the other, which incorporates reciprocal rotation moments. Overall, Kerry has nothing but positive remarks regarding this activity and would recommend paddleboarding to anyone looking to try something new out on the water.

If this article has influenced you in a positive way and you are motivated to try standup paddleboarding, in Ottawa, Dow’s Lake can help set you up for success. They have all the necessary information at their website, including rental hours and pricing:

Stay safe out there with a life jacket, stay hydrated in this heat, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

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