Benefits of Paddleboarding-Physical & Mental

Stand up paddleboarding offers numerous benefits from strength training, to mental health benefits, psychological advantages among various other goodies. If you’re looking to learn all about what paddleboarding has to offer then you are in the right place. Read on to find out more about all the pros of indulging in this exciting and exhilarating water sport.

For easier understanding, the benefits are categorized into three main areas;

  • General Health
  • Mental
  • Psychological

1. Physical Health Benefits

These affect your physical well being from bodily functions, physical appearance, and internal benefits.


Paddleboarding offers a full-body workup from your head to toe. Every muscle in the body tends to be affected by the constant paddling, maneuvering on water, and other activities. The core, leg, and back muscles are engaged in maintaining stability, while the upper body muscles around the shoulders, chest, and arms allow for paddling.

What’s more, regardless of the kind of paddleboarding you decide to engage in, whether it’s surfing, racing, touring, fishing, or recreational paddling, you’re still exercising multiple muscles in your body and you’re assured of a total solid workout.

Boosts Your Endurance and Stamina

The type of exercises done with SUPs is not the usual get-fit type of workouts, these ones build on strength and endurance. With paddling, you can easily build on your stamina through doing various upper body and core exercises which build on your resistance levels.

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Many people suffer from heart conditions with many succumbing to heart failures among other diseases. Fortunately, certain low-impact exercises like paddleboarding can aid the fight against cardiovascular health issues.

Improves Your Balance

The primary benefit of this water sport is balance. From the basic techniques of mounting a board, standing up, learning the different strokes among other techniques, they all focus on teaching you to balance yourself on a base that’s unstable. This then builds a base for all the other benefits discussed throughout this article such as building your core strength – which takes us to the next point.

Builds Your Core Strength

Did you know that most work done on a paddle requires your core muscles more than any other muscle in the body? Well, you will be engaging your hamstring, your back muscles, gluteus muscles, and even psoas muscles, but the obliques are the targeted areas. With such a heavy load on these muscles, they equally help you to even build up on your abs and general physique.

Boosts Arm Strength

You have to give credit where it’s due. The core muscles may do most of the work but the arms have their share of work. Constant paddling means you’re sticking the paddle in and out of the water, raising your arms and shoulders ups and down – all the time. That’s enough to hold strength around your biceps and triceps.

Plus, the arm strength you gain from paddleboarding will aid you with other sporting activities like swimming or kayaking that primarily utilizes your upper body muscles.

Improves Leg Strength

You need your legs to offer the stability needed to even stand on the paddleboard. As your body adjusts to the rocking of water by the waves, turning, bending,  and straightening all the time – the leg muscles are also building up. In able to glide properly and even participate in races your leg strength has to be top-notch and this sport can over you that.

Excellent Way to Lose Weight

Paddleboarding is said to burn over 800 calories an hour which is even twice the amount you burn as you take walks, golfing, and cycling. It’s approximately the same calories burn as swimming. So instead of using up a lot of money on a gym membership, why don’t you try this water sport? Exercise on a daily routine or even three times a week and experience the benefits for yourself.

2. Mental Benefits

Your mental well being is just as important as your physical well being. So let’s have a look at what advantages the mind receives from paddle boarding.

Stress Reliever

Stress is a major concern for many people. So instead of risking the chances of developing ulcers or other conditions, hop on that board and take yourself on a ride in a tranquil environment where the air is fresh and the sun is shining directly on you. You can choose to exercise, do some yoga, or simply relax and let the rhythm flow.

Offers Mental Clarity

More often than not we feel bombarded by life, there are many things going on that you feel you need some peace. Going paddleboarding can offer you the meditation space you need to give you the mental clarity you seek. You will have the time and space to think things through from a different environment.

Improves Your Mood

There’s nothing better than sailing your board in a peaceful environment surrounded by the best feelings in the world such as tranquility. A place you can enjoy your views, socialize with other riders, destress,  and just quiet the mind. Such a feeling tends to release endorphins and serotonin – what others call the happy hormone.

The brain is stimulated in various ways which not only affects your mental well being but psychological as well. More so, you can easily curb any chances of getting depression – as seen on the next point below.

Reduces Anxiety and Depression

Various research sites approximate that over 300 million people globally suffer from depression. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America further estimates that 40 million adults suffer from at least one anxiety disorder. Now instead of seeking medication or booking therapy sessions, how about a more relaxing activity such as paddleboarding. You may be amazed at the results. 

Enhances Concentration and Focus

We have already established that stand up paddle boarding is a great way to clear the mind.

If you’re caught between a dilemma, need some fresh air, or a place to unwind from the stress of life, then this is the way to go. It can help you regain focus as well as reduce the risk of cognitive impairment. Thanks to the workout and the environmental conditions.

3. Psychological Benefits

The benefits would not be complete without a look into how your spirit is affected as well.

Allows You to Connect with Nature

There’s always something exhilarating about going outdoors, and most especially when it comes to water. A water sport as engaging as it offers an excellent environment to connect to most nature.

The beautiful beaches, the mountains, canopies surrounding the rivers, and the horizon. there’s no better way to feel more connected to nature than this.

Brings You Closer to the Community

It’s like going to the beach, you meet all kinds of people giving you a chance to know more about your community. And especially if you’re new in that area, the best way to get people warming up to you is by indulging in like-minded people. Those who love paddleboarding excursions and races.

You can even look for an online community with whom you share the same interests and start from there. You will be amazed at how much you can learn from one another.

Offers Low Impact Effects

For some, just the thought of going to the gym and working out is exhausting by itself. For some, you imagine how much effort you’ll be putting in and instantly feel discouraged.

Well, not anymore. Stand up paddleboarding is one of the easiest water sports, what’s more, the exercises involved are low impact which means you will not be strained in any way.

You don’t have to imagine sweating all the time, pain in your joints, or ligaments – you can simply paddleboard for leisure.

4. Other Benefits

These three advantages below don’t particularly fall under the above categories, but they are as important as the rest.

Allows for Vitamin D Intake

Finally, some sunshine intake. Many people go for paddleboarding under the sun, unless those who go racing when the storm is about to hit. Otherwise, as you sail on the waters you will be rewarding your body with some direct vitamin D supplement from the sun. As you all know this vitamin is essential for strong bones and peak mental functioning.

Furthermore, as you bask under the sun, you’re also getting fresh air from the environment.

Can be Done by All

It doesn’t matter if you’re ten years old or seventy; stand up paddle boarding can accommodate you as you are. For most water sports, you can find that they’re restrictive like surfing, kayaking, and the likes.  That’s not the case for paddling. Your whole family can hop on board and start sporting.

Paddling can be Done Anywhere

Many prefer large water bodies with clear horizons especially the oceans, but in fact, you can paddle just about anywhere. You can go to the river, canal, or lake – any that is closest to you and enjoy yourself.

SUP Cons

Any activity that has a benefit must always have a downside. The two main disadvantages are that SUP boards are not that cheap, and you need a body of water to paddle.

However, the benefits clearly outweigh the cons. If you cannot afford to buy your own board simply rent and have fun.

Further SUP Ideas & How-tos

The following is a collection of more Stand up paddleboarding ideas and board guides


SUP Equipment & Accessories

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