Say SUP to Stand Up Paddleboarding

For those who wish they had the agility and patience for surfing, fret not. The rapidly growing sport of stand up paddleboarding may be for you. Although standing up while paddling can be traced back thousands of years, the actual sport gained attention about 10 years ago, according to SUP World Mag. The origins may be a little hazy, with people citing a famous surfer and even the whole state of Hawaii, but one thing is for sure: The sport is here to stay.

What Exactly Is SUP?

Basically, SUP is a cross between canoeing and surfing, and it uses a surf style board with a long paddle. It requires little instruction before the user can begin paddling to his or her content. Like surfing, it involves a level of balance, so practicing a few minutes before is helpful. Start off in knee-deep water and try pulling yourself to a standing position. To maintain balance, keep your feet hip-width apart with your knees slightly bent and toes forward. Remember to keep your posture straight and avoid looking at your feet.

Getting Started

While this sport may seem minimal in nature, it does require certain gear. If you’re not ready to commit to the whole experience, then renting is your best option. If you live in a town or are vacationing in an area where there is a body of water, then the local kayak or surf shop should be able to help. When buying, choose a board based on your skill level and weight, according to International Surf Ventures. Your paddle must reach your wrist when standing it up. Also, per Coast Guard regulations, the paddleboarder must have a personal flotation device with a whistle to warn other boaters when surfing past the shore.

Physical Benefits

SUP is a total body work- out. It engages your core muscles (abdomen and lower back), legs, arms, and upper back while paddling. The faster you paddle, the more calories you burn. Just leisurely paddling easily burns 300 calories per hour, according to SUP World Mag. This is also a low-impact workout for those who need to be kinder to their joints. Overall, if you’re looking for a fun workout, SUP is a perfect contender.

Mental Benefits

Nothing is better than being out in the open water with the wind in your hair and the sun shining down. Just being out in nature, taking in all it has to offer, is enough to raise anyone’s serotonin levels. If you want to take your relaxation to the next level, then practicing yoga while out on a surf is the next step. Focus on your breathing while incorporating basic yoga poses such as the cobra pose, child’s pose, or easy pose.

Calorie Buring Activities

Activity                            Calories Burned Per Hour
SUP, Leisurely pace        305-430
SUP, 3 MPH                      615-708
Surfing                              412
Biking                                483
Running                            650
Swimming                        840

Written by: Julie Jernigan

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