Paddle Boarding Benefits

It’s good for your mental health
Studies have shown that those of us who live close to water are happier than those who don’t; therefore it stands to reason that regular stand-up paddle boarding sessions could boost your mood. Shilpika Gautam, holder of the Guinness World Record for the longest journey on a stand-up paddleboard (a casual 2,641km in 101 days), also notes the “tight-knit community of folks” she has met through the sport. And we all know how important social connections are to a healthy and happy mind.

It’s a moving meditation
Because it requires concentration to stay upright, SUP is an activity that whisks your mind away from dwelling on any stresses or strains and into the present moment. “You become acutely aware of the wind, waves, and currents around, like a moving meditation along the water,” says Major. “Slowing down to the pace of nature allows our minds to slow down too; the racing thoughts and worries gently convert to mindful acknowledgments of the beauty in nature all around us, and these are the things that are important.”

It’s easier than you think
If you’re someone who finds it hard to balance, fear not: while a good sense of balance makes learning SUP easier, you can take your time over building up to a standing position. “Always start on your knees until you get the feel of the board and how to steer it,” says Paul Hyman, founder of Active 360. “You can take as much time as you need.”

It’s an excellent workout
Whole-body workouts don’t get much better than SUP, which targets a number of the body’s main muscle groups. “It works the core abdominal muscles and is actually a great pilates workout,” says Hyman. “And it works the lower back muscles, too, especially the obliques during spinal twists and lower back extension, and arms and legs – especially the thigh muscles.”

It’s accessible
You’re never too far from a suitable body of water in Britain. “Since travel restrictions came into play, Londoners have started seeing the Thames in a different light,” says Hyman. “… As a beauty spot, and a place to exercise and experience nature.” An array of companies nationwide offer guided SUP sessions (highly recommended if you’re a novice), including Active 360 in London. Just don’t forget your wetsuit.

Read Full Post at Vogue Magazine

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