Post-war Hawaii of the 1950’s. One of the so-called beach boys, paid to show the ocean to American tourists, took a paddle from a canoe and started paddling while standing on a redwood board. Beach boy surfing was invented and the rest is history.
In the last 10 years, the popularity of stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is constantly growing. Google Trends report increasing interest in this outdoor sport. In one word, SUP is described as the fastest-growing sport in the world.
Where does the secret to its popularity lie? Depending on your needs and your fitness level, SUP can be a high-intensity, or a moderate-intensity exercise. It can be done by a child and by a 70 year-old. It can last any length of time desired. It can significantly improve your workout.
Which muscles does SUP work?
All of them. SUP is a full-body workout and when doing it, all muscles groups are engaged, from neck, arms and back down to stomach, legs and foot muscles. Even if you are just standing on the board and trying to maintain your balance, all stabilizing muscles, including lower leg, hip and knee joint, are targeted.
SUP is a cardiovascular exercise. Lungs provide oxygen to the blood, while heart and the rest of the circulatory system transport oxygen to muscles. During the first 15 minutes of SUPing, your body uses glycogen as the main fuel and after 15 minutes, fat is used as the main source of energy. “So, apart from balance and core strength, endurance is one of the most important fitness benefits of SUP”, explain the experts behind Natural Necessity.
In order to lose weight, we need the combination of moderate and high-intensity exercises, so-called interval training and SUP can provide us with just that. A short duration (less than 30 seconds), but high-intensity activity is when you are starting a sprint race and when your body uses creatine phosphate. A short sprint race lasting about 2 minutes uses glucose, while a long distance race longer than 2 minutes uses glycogen for the first 15 minutes and then fat.
How many calories can you burn when doing SUP?
How many calories you burn when SUPing depends on the waves, the wind and the type of activity. Paddle board surfing can burn 623-735 calories during an hour. SUP racing can burn up to 1,125 calories as stroke intensity is higher. SUP touring, on the other hand, involves a moderate-intensity activity and can burn up to 725 calories in an hour. One hour of SUP yoga is an intense workout, which can help you cut 416-540 calories. Recreational paddling is a low-intensity activity and doing it, you can lose twice more calories (305-430 calories) than doing moderate pace walk.
Practicing yoga on the paddle board
Practicing SUP yoga is more challenging than both traditional yoga and traditional stand-up paddle boarding. The board is unstable, you need to maintain balance, which means more muscles are engaged. Doing this ancient technique on the platform will enable you to practice asanas more correctly. For instance, if you are doing downward dog and you have more weight on one side, you will lose balance. Finally, SUP yoga is more calming as listening to the sound of the ocean along with practicing asanas can soothe your mind.
Why should you exercise outdoors?
Various studies demonstrate a large number of benefits of outdoor exercising, from targeting muscles you cannot engage in the gym to better self-esteem, enthusiasm and greater commitment to physical activity. One of those benefits is definitely a more efficient calorie burn. In addition, a study entitled The Great Outdoors: How a Green Exercise Environment can Benefit all suggests that people, when exercising outdoors, feel less exertion and perform better. Last but not least, iodine found in the ocean mist can strengthen the immune system and help increase the sensitivity of serotonin, a hormone regulating mood.
Whether you are a fitness enthusiast, or just someone who wants to make lifestyle changes, SUPing is a sport for you.