While water sports are a lot of fun, many people who participate in them also want to lose weight and get in shape. I have found that some water sports are better for this than others are, and I am constantly asked by people who want to get out on the water what sport is the best workout. While any activity that you do is going to help you be healthier than just sitting and watching TV, there are a few water sports that really stand out as ones that are better workouts than others.
I get asked about paddleboarding a lot, and the most common thing I get asked is “is paddleboarding a good workout, or is it just a lot of fun?” Anyone who participates in paddleboarding can tell you that the time they spend out on the water leaves them sore and tired, and there are a number of health benefits that you’ll enjoy when you try out this fun water sport.
You Work Out Your Whole Body
There are very few sports that you can enjoy that give you a real full body workout, but paddleboarding is one of them. You will use almost every single muscle in your body at some point while you are on the board, which will leave you tired, sore, and feeling great about your workout. Not only will you need to use your core to keep your balance and your arms and shoulders to push you through the water, but your legs get a great workout as well.
Your legs are going to be sore when you paddleboard because you need them to help you keep your balance. Even though your core is helping with this, your legs have your body’s biggest muscles, and they are needed to keep you stabilized while on your board.
It’s a Great Cardio Workout
The important thing to remember if you want to get the most out of your time on a paddleboard is that you need to be pushing yourself. While I love a nice and leisurely paddleboarding experience just as much as the next person, I have found that if I don’t really push myself, then I won’t experience all of the benefits of working out on a paddleboard.
To really exercise your heart and make sure that you are getting in some cardio exercise, you need to push yourself while on your paddleboard, not just enjoy a leisurely pace. The harder that you paddle, the more likely you will be able to raise your heart rate and enjoy the health benefits that come with a great cardio workout.
You’ll Improve Your Endurance
Before you can enjoy a great workout on your paddleboard, you need to make sure that you have mastered standing up and really paddling hard, or otherwise, you are likely to fall over a lot. I have found that as soon as you understand the motions of paddleboarding and are able to paddle harder and faster, you will be able to increase your endurance.
Constant paddling will help to strengthen all of your muscles, including your heart. This is a great way to train if you are a runner, biker, or marathoner, as it is just one more way to increase your endurance and help you improve your overall fitness.
It’s Great for Rehab
One thing that many people forget about when they are thinking about the health benefits of paddleboarding and how to turn this activity into a great workout is that rehab is very important, especially if you have a repeat injury that won’t heal. Paddleboarding, while very difficult, is incredibly low impact, which means that you can spend a lot time out on the water, working out and improving your muscles strength without putting stress on your joints.
If you have been injured and are undergoing rehab, then it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about the health benefits of paddleboarding. It can be very frustrating to give up your outdoor sports, but paddleboarding is so low-impact that you may be able to continue enjoying it as a part of your healing and workouts.
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You’ll Improve Your Core Strength
Everyone knows the importance of core strength, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is willing to put in the required work to increase their muscles, tighten their core, and improve their balance. Luckily, paddleboarding will do this for you and is a lot more fun than spending hours on the mat trying to improve your core with numerous crunches. There are a number of reasons why you need to have great core strength, and paddle boarding can help you.
When your core is strong, you are much less likely to be injured in daily activities and you will be healthier. A strong core is key to great posture, which can ward off medical problems in the future.
I believe that yes, paddleboarding is an excellent workout and will help you improve your health in a number of ways. As more and more people understand the health benefits of this water sport, it is only going to become more popular. When you are careful to not get injured and when you work hard to push yourself, you can enjoy a number of benefits of working out on your paddleboard.
If you are tired of your same workout and are looking for something new, then it’s time to give paddleboarding a try, as you’ll experience a full-body workout like never before. While you may need to ease into your paddleboarding workouts, especially if you haven’t ever enjoyed full-body workouts in the past, this is a great way to improve your overall health and get in shape. Just remember to wear an appropriate flotation device for the conditions and stay safe while you workout.
Just like with any other activity or sport, you need to make sure that you are pushing yourself to really workout. A relaxing day on your paddleboard is a fun way to spend some time but won’t necessarily help to improve your fitness. If you really want to get the most out of your time paddleboarding, then make sure that you push yourself.
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Megan Jones leads the editorial staff of Seaside Planet. They are a multidisciplinary team of outdoor adventurers, water sports lovers, and passionate beach goers. You can learn more about Meg and the rest of the editorial team here.