Why SUPing Is Better Than The Gym

Stand-up paddleboarding. It’s a little deceiving. How hard can it actually be to paddle while balancing on what looks like an oversized surfboard? It can’t be that strenuous, right? Not quite…

Stand-up paddleboarding, also known as SUPing, is possibly one of the best total body workouts. Paddleboarding provides a combination of strength, balance, and endurance, all while being low impact. On top of being an excellent core workout, you also use your toes, legs, back, shoulder, arms, and neck while paddling and balancing on the board. 

Not only is stand-up paddleboarding top notch exercise, it also provides benefits beyond the physical. This easily accessible sport immerses you in the great outdoors, bringing your workout above and beyond the four walls of a gym.

Wondering whether SUP is right for you or how to get the most of your next SUP adventure? Here’s the lowdown on why and how SUPing is better than the gym.

SUP is Highly Accessible

Nearly anywhere you live, you most likely have access to a nearby body of water in which you can break out your SUP. A SUP can be paddled in the ocean, lakes, rivers — from calm to rigorous waters — you name it, you can paddle it. It’s also a sport that does not discriminate in age or fitness level. From adolescents to the elderly (and even furry friends), everyone can participate in the sport at their own comfortable skill level. And the biggest perk of SUPing? Find yourself an inflatable stand-up paddleboard, and no roof racks or tie-straps are needed. Aquaglide’s selection of inflatable paddleboards make it incredibly easy to stow-and-go. Simply load up your gear in the accompanied travel bag and be on your way.

An Outdoors Lifestyle

Committing to head out for an SUP adventure sets you up for a recipe to success: fresh air in the great outdoors, moving your body, and clearing your head. Simply getting out on the water puts you in a prime position to soak up some vitamin D, and reduce your cortisol levels (that stress-response hormone). And while you’re at it, you’ll get a high-caloric loss workout in. Not to mention it has better views and fresher air than getting your heart rate up at your local gym.

So, What Kinds of SUPing Are Workouts?

The short answer - all of them! There’s no right or wrong way to get the most out of your paddleboarding trip. It’s up to you and your skill level to make the most of your time out on the water. Can’t decide which discipline is right for you? Try them all! SUPs are incredibly versatile, and there is something for everyone.

  • Casual / Recreational SUP — The most common type of paddle boarding, this casual glide on smooth waters with light wind is equivalent to a brisk walk.
  • SUP Yoga — This practice offers an intense physical workout, as well as a healthy dose of mental clarity for the body and spirit. Its intensity is much higher than land yoga, requiring strong balance and focus. Downward dog on, friends.
  • SUP Surfing — For surfers, this is simply the best cross-training you can do for the sport. One of the more intense forms of paddle boarding, the bigger the waves, the tougher the workout.
  • SUP Fishing — Bring an extra element to a fishing trip with SUP fishing. An angling SUP allows you to get away from the shoreline and into less accessible waters, all while adding an aspect of exercise to your trip. 
  • SUP Touring — Touring involves paddling for a long distance at a moderate pace, without stopping in between. Think of it as a true endurance workout guaranteed to push you out of your comfort zone, and potentially get you to some off-the-beaten-path waters.
  • SUP Racing — The highest intensity form of paddleboarding, your heart rate and cardiovascular strength is at full throttle while racing head-to-head with other SUPers.

More than just the physical rewards, stand-up paddleboarding also restores balance and lifts your spirits. And the best part is, it’s up to you to determine the intensity of the workout. So next time you’re looking to get your heart rate up, skip the gym and hit the water for a workout you won’t regret.

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