Getting in Shape with Stand up Paddle Boarding

The first time you try to stand up paddle boarding, it may be as a fun beach activity or a way to try a new activity on vacation.


The first time you try to stand up paddleboarding, it may be as a fun beach activity or a way to try a new activity on vacation. However, it can be so much more than that! Stand up paddle boarding has a huge range of health benefits, both mental and physical.

Getting in Shape with Stand up Paddle Boarding

In this post, we’ll take a look at what it means to get in shape with stand up paddle boarding. Hopefully, it’ll give you an alternative to working out at the gym or going on a run. Let’s find out more!

What is stand up paddleboarding?

Stand up paddleboarding has become increasingly popular over the last few years. But many people still aren’t entirely sure what it is. This board sport is often practised on flat and still water (though it isn’t always) and propelling yourself forward with a paddle. You should stand on the board with your feet a shoulder-width apart, though beginners may find it helpful to kneel at first. SUP rentals are widely available at popular hotspots, but if you know a quiet place local to you, it might be a good idea to invest in your own kit. Need something easy to carry? An iSUP is great for beginners.

Why you should stand up paddleboard to get in shape

Stand up paddleboarding is a low impact activity that enhances both your strength and cardio. A regular paddleboarding session can burn twice the amount of calories as you would walking at 2.5mph. That’s somewhere between 300 – 450 calories – the top end of which is equivalent to two Mars bars!

As well as burning calories and helping you lose weight, it’s a good way to work on your core muscles. The harder you paddle and the rockier the water, you might just start to notice a six-pack building up after a few sessions!

It’s about more than just muscle toning though – SUP is great for building all-round body strength. As well as the core, you’ll be using your quads, shoulders, arms, and knees. As well as your leg muscles. While this sounds intense, it’s much more relaxing and less painful than a similar workout at your local gym.

Ways to get fit through stand up paddleboarding

All of the health benefits and ways to get in shape with stand up paddle boarding sound great. But is there a right way to do it? That depends on you. The great thing about stand up paddleboarding is its versatility. So, if you’re looking for a light workout that’s more about getting you out of the house, that’s a possibility. However, if you are really looking to see results in muscle building and weight loss over a short period of time, you can do that too. Activities like surf SUP can burn as much as 700 calories an hour… that’s more than twice your average SUP workout.

Regular paddle boarding

While you might have grand ideas about how much weight you can use with paddleboarding, or how toned you can get your body, hold on a second. First of all though, why not try and master regular SUP? It’s really enjoyable and as we’ve already mentioned, it burns a decent number of calories. You’ll barely notice any pain afterwards and it’s a great start.

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However, if you’re looking for something a little more intense, try high-intensity paddling. If you paddle harder and faster, you can burn around 1,000 calories in a session.

SUP Surfing

Here’s one to try after you’ve been stand up paddleboarding for a while. SUP surfing is a cross between (you guessed it) stand up paddleboarding and surfing. It’s an amazing full-body workout and it can burn as much as 700 calories an hour. While it’s enjoyable, this one might leave you feeling it a little more than regular paddle boarding afterwards!

Should you want to SUP surf, you can’t just get a regular surfboard and leash and do it though. You’ll have to search for a purpose-built SUP surfboard. Of course, you could always rent one while you’re trying to work out if you like it!

SUP Yoga

SUP Yoga is a great workout, but it’s completely different from SUP Surfing. If you want to make the most of this, paddle out onto some flat water at sunrise or sunset. Not only will it improve your balance, flexibility and tone your muscles, but it is also an excellent workout for the mind.

SUP yoga can burn 500 calories an hour, so it’s a little more than your average workout. If you want to push yourself harder, try Bikram or power yoga on your paddleboard.

Other health benefits of stand uppaddleboarding

As we’ve already alluded to a little with SUP yoga, paddle boarding isn’t just a great physical workout. It does wonders for the mind too. The therapeutic effects of water mean that you can disconnect from the stresses of daily life and escape into your own little world. Being around nature is proven to be good for your mental health.

Final Thoughts on Getting in shape with paddleboarding

With a huge range of benefits both mental and physical, stand up paddleboarding is one of the best and most versatile ways to get in shape. If you’re new to the sport, be sure you get the right size and shape paddle board for you! Not only that, but it’s a great way to see new places and get in touch with nature!

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