Stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP) has exploded in popularity over the last 10 years. Quite a few factors go into making SUP, America’s fastest growing outdoor sport, with more first-time participants than any other. SUP is simple to learn, a fantastic form of exercise that strengthens your core muscles.

Though generally thought of as a beach activity, it works equally well on a lake or canal. This makes it also popular with fans who live inland, as they can train on a local river or lake rather than driving down to the shore. This activity has quite a few benefits other than the obvious health and fitness boosters.

Easy to learn

 It’s less intimidating for beginners than sports like windsurfing. It’s quick to get started with SUP Yoga Teacher Training. Its easy to master the technique – once you’ve learnt to stand up and turn your board around, you can control your speed easily.

Fitness Benefits

  • SUP is a low-impact exercise, that enhances fitness with a low risk of injury and no excessive strain on the muscles. On flat water, SUP provides strength training in a gentle manner, effective without being strenuous.
  • Even though you’re standing still, the shifting board means that all your muscles are constantly working to keep your body upright.
  • It can also burn 400 or more calories an hour, building lean mass which eats up energy even when you’re not on the water.
  • SUP is an all-round exercise for the body, that trains all the muscles to work together, including the smaller muscles which are often ignored in the gym.
  • Serious athletes can build stamina without the risk of over-training; beginners will not be completely exhausted, as the work is ‘shared’ between different muscle groups.
  • The combination of yoga and SUP – two low-impact activities with a similar focus on core strength and posture can have a manifold impact. Doing yoga poses on a SUP board is challenging and will improve your technique.

Outgoing & Sociable

  • SUP stands out in water-sports for being a very sociable activity. A lot more welcoming than sports like surfing or waters-skiing, which are more of individualistic nature.
  • Some of the benefits of SUP are psychological rather than physical. It gives you a chance to explore the water in the same way you might roam around on dry land.
  • The relaxing effect of water combined with the healing effect of exercise makes for a powerful natural stress buster.
  • By exposing your skin to early morning sunlight when you paddle board, you can boost to your body’s vitamin D production, and UV radiation is recommended by doctors as a treatment for psoriasis and acne.

Competitive Too

Regular SUP races are held during summer, aimed at the more experienced – simple sprint races as well as skilled obstacle courses. Arguably the best-known SUP event, “Paddle for Pink” is held in the Hamptons every summer, and has raised millions for breast cancer research over the past three years.

Finally, SUP is all about exploration, both afloat and in your consciousness. On the water, you get closer to nature and see things in a new way. The roll of the waves and the pull of the wind lull you into a state of total focus, melting away stress and freeing your thoughts.

SUP Yoga Teacher Training

Related Post: The Best SUP Yoga Spots in the World