Standup Paddle Boarding is Healthy

Stand up for health paddle boarding

Did you know that fewer than 5% of adults get more than 30 minutes’ worth of exercising each day? This is irregardless of the wealth of these individuals, and evidence shows us that regularly moving our bodies is among the very best possible ways we can be healthy and even live longer!

Health Benefits of Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Are you searching for an exercise that is challenging but also enjoyable, that helps you steadily build strength while getting outside into the sunlight for your well-being, that can work your core and back but likewise relieve your soul? If so, it’s time to take a better look at standup paddle boarding and its many health benefits! If you’re new to paddle boarding, we have a lot of tips and insights to share with you.

What Exactly is Paddleboarding?

This article will answer the questions of what is the benefit of paddling an SUP board around to your health, and what are all the ways you can improve your fitness. Often abbreviated SUP, stand up paddle boarding can be thought of like a cross in between lower-speed surfing and kayaking. Paddling a board around a lake or ocean surf is an activity that provides a whole host of benefits to your health in almost every way you could need. Plus, it’s a fun way to share an experience and get some time with someone you care about!

How is Paddleboarding Done?

As the name indicates, this is a water sport that requires participants to stand on top of a long board, similar to a surf board. You can use a solid SUP paddle board, or you can use an inflatable paddle board. Unlike a surfboard, however, an SUP paddleboard is powered not by gnarly waves as a surf board, but by you powering it with a paddle.

What is the Benefit of Paddleboarding?

It turns out that paddling a board around in the water is an activity that allows people to burn calories, reduce stress, improve their balance, get close to nature, and experience an activity or sport that greatly builds physical strength. People of many sizes, ages, and physical conditions may want to participate in this activity, and they can experience almost any benefit of paddling in the water irregardless. It is a really good sport to do with others, as well as one person going alone.

We have categorized the benefits of paddle boarding into those that build physical fitness and those that improve health in other ways (mentally and biologically). If you need a solution to staying active while accomplishing another purpose simultaneously, you may want to try a paddle board or surf board.

paddle boarding workout muscle diagram

A Full Body Workout

If you’re not interested in weight lifting or do not have the necessary time to commit to it, you may be baffled by individuals who speak about “leg day” or “upper body exercises.” Why not work out the entire body all at once?

Full-body exercises can be more reliable, not to mention more effective in regards to your precious time, than simply isolating particular muscles. So search for a type of exercise that combines strength training, balance, and cardiovascular advantages. Standup paddle boarding ticks all those boxes.

Engaging your Muscle Groups

Though it may seem that the only movement involved in stand up paddle boarding is the arm motions required to propel your board across the water, this is not the case. The rest of your body is engaged in a number of ways to help you keep your balance on the water, including your leg muscles as well as your abdominal muscles and core muscles.

Getting your Cardio

In addition to being a great workout for your entire body that even works your core muscles, stand up paddleboarding is a great way to get cardio. Spending hours paddling around a body of water and keeping all your muscles engaged is a great way to achieve weight loss in addition to building muscle strength all over the body. With SUP, you have a way to burn calories without a lot of movement of your legs, and you get a leg and core workout at the same time.

Low Impact High Reward

Not only does SUP challenge numerous different muscles (including some that don’t get a lot of attention from, say, circuit training or mat work), however it’s likewise low impact. That makes it ideal for:

Anyone who has arthritis or other joint issues

Similar to yoga or cross training, SUP paddle boarding can be a way to work out areas that don’t receive much strengthening otherwise. At the same time, it can be a safer form of working out than even yoga, and can reduce risk of injury by strengthening vulnerable areas like wrists, ankles, knees, and shoulders.

Those who are recovering from injury

Physical therapy is recommended for helping individuals fully recover from injuries, and a form of therapy where the person is exercising consistently is a great way to maintain a strong and steady level of fitness even while taking a break from other more strenuous activities. Stand up paddle boarding can also keep recovering joints from becoming stiff.

People with artificial joints

Aerobic exercises are ideal for those with artificial joints to stay active and build up fitness. If you have artificial joints, SUP paddleboarding is a great option for you to build up strength and improve your balance and health.

Individuals who have achy or stiff knees or hips

Exercising in a less intensive way can be a great form of physical therapy and recommended by many physical therapists to reduce muscle soreness or stiffness, or to loosen joints. If you experience chronic pain or stiff joints, you may want to consider stand up paddleboarding as a way to combat this.


Because stand up paddle boarding is a low impact sport, it has great health benefits for seniors and is a relatively safe way to continue maintaining strength, balance, and mobility in the body. As people grow older, finding safe ways to be active and maintain strength and health can be more challenging. Thankfully, stand up paddleboarding is a great option for anyone in this situation.

Those who are just starting with workouts

When you begin exercising, taking on intensive forms of working out can be a lot at once and can put too much strain on you, even making you excessively sore for days at a time. It is difficult to maintain this kind of exercising consistently in the very beginning. Thankfully, SUP paddle boarding is easy and low impact enough that you can do it as much as you are comfortable with, not having to kill yourself and yet still getting in a good session of working out.

paddle boarding muscles diagram

SUP will Increase Your Balance

Those seldom-used muscles we pointed out above? A number of them get a workout when you are attempting to keep your balance while SUP paddling. Any activity that challenges your balance is going to reinforce your core. That, in turn, can avoid back discomfort and injuries and just keeps your whole body in better shape.

Other Health Benefits of Stand Up Paddleboarding

All work outs relieves tension, however outside workouts offer a number of advantages over their strictly indoor counterparts. What could be much better than taking in the beauty of your environments while strategically moving your body?

Benefits of being Outdoors

Being outside is not only fun, it is a way to better your well-being through a natural and exhilarating means. Try paddleboarding if you need ways to naturally better your health, and it may just become one of your top outdoor activities, even after your very first trip!

– A daily dosage of Vitamin D from the sunshine

– The immune-boosting impact of time spent in nature

Benefits to Mental Health

There are ways to reduce stress and improve mental well-being through physical activity and sports like paddleboarding or surfing. We recommend staying active throughout your life to maintain fitness and promote longer, healthier life.

– Stress relieving; standup paddle boarding, by occurring on the water and in nature, is particularly unwinding

– Mental stimulation while SUP paddling or surfing

Biological Benefits

Humans have a number of natural responses to physical activity and being outdoors, many of which will improve well-being overall. Learning to take advantage of sports such as paddle boarding and surfing can allow you to better your health and make you a happier person.

– Increased endorphins while engaged in paddling activity

– Higher levels of serotonin and dopamine, the “feel-good” hormones

– Lower levels of cortisone, the so-called “tension hormonal agent”

– A more effective exercise offered by maintaining balance on an uneven water surface, wind resistance, and your body’s temperature level tolerance

Let us Share a few Tips

After seeing the health benefits of stand up paddleboarding, if you are interested in finding a new SUP paddle board and getting a fun experience that will be a great benefit for your own health, we are here to help! We can share SUP insights and tips on how to find the perfect new paddle board for you, how to get and learn how to SUP if you are a beginner or your first time on the water with your new board, and some great ideas for other fun ways you can use your board like camping trips, fishing, or even taking your family, friends, or dog with you. Let us share some information and be your resource for SUP paddleboarding!

References and Sources:

Fit Day. 7 Unique Ways to Get a Full Body Workout

Goosehill. Top 6 Lakes in North America You Should Go Paddle Boarding On

Healthline. Exercises After a Total Knee Replacement

Inflatable Boarder. SUP Racing 101 – The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide



Keeper Sports Products.

Neck Base. Simple Exercises for Seniors: Helpful Pain Relief Tips

Neck Base. Dealing With Chronic Back Pain

Paddling. SUP Surfing for Beginners

REI Co-op. How to Choose a Stand Up Paddleboard

REI Co-op. Stand Up Paddle Boarding for Beginners

Yale Environment 360. Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health

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