Paddle Boarding

What is Paddleboarding?

Paddleboarding is a great water sport that you can participate in even if you don’t live near the ocean. You can paddleboard on any body of water whether it has waves or not, so lakes and rivers are fair game. Some popular spots to paddleboard are Laguna Beach, Hawaii, and the Santa Monica Pier. All you need is a paddleboard or surfboard, and the Coast Guard requires that you wear a PFD - personal flotation device - on open water. You will be using your arms to propel yourself as you lay on or kneel on your board. A champion paddleboarder can stroke through the water for hours, but you just have to be able to get from point A to point B, or to just stand up and enjoy the view if that’s your style.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand Up Paddleboarding works out your entire body, which makes it a great cross-training workout. If you are a beginner, it’s best to start your practices in calm waters to make mounting you board easier. You’ll want to get on your board in a kneeling position first, and then find your balance. Once you have found your equilibrium, stand up slowly one foot at a time – it’s okay to have a friend with your to steady the board. The workout comes in with your balance and posture - you’ll have to depend on your muscles to help you balance with your hips, keep your knees bent and your back straight, and keep you head up as you go. It’s not uncommon for beginner’s to try to center themselves with a hunched-over posture, or to stare at their feet, or to stand with their knees locked. But these will not help you stay on your board. And at some point you will fall off, and that’s okay. Just make sure you fall on your side and into the water so you don’t hit your head on your board.

Health Benefits

Stand Up Paddleboarding started in Hawaii, but as with most fitness trends word traveled fast - especially when celebrities start embracing it. But it really does help with your health. As you struggle to balance on the wobbling board amidst the wind and water threatening to dislodge you, your body is giving your core a workout trying to keep you upright. Although it seems as though you’re balancing on your legs its the midsection that is fighting to keep you vertical. Your core muscles help you grip the paddle board deck with your feet and keep you stable, engaging muscles in your upper thighs, lower back, and stomach. As you paddle, your back, arms, toes, feet, and legs are being conditioned and after 30 minutes your quads and calves are sure to be sore. Your shoulders, upper back, and chest are all strengthened as they guide the board around with your paddle. Paddleboarding may seem leisurely, but it is actually a great cardio workout.

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