Why Stand Up Paddleboarding is a Great Workout

Why Stand Up Paddleboarding is a Great Workout
Why Stand Up Paddleboarding is a Great Workout

Why Stand Up Paddleboarding is a Great Workout : Everyone knows that exercise is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle. The problem is that exercise is hard and because of this it’s easy to find reasons to not do it. This is not good because we all know that our body benefits from the strength and mobility we get from working out.

What is the solution?

To find a way to exercise that is actually fun.  An exercise that is fun is more likely to get you up and motivated to do it.  Stand Up Paddleboarding is a great solution to this problem.

Stand Up Paddleboarding, or SUP for short, is a low impact activity that nearly every woman can do, and there are paddleboards for women that are designed to be lighter weight and easier to use that an standard SUP.

Complete Body Workout

You use just about every muscle you have, at one point or another, while on a SUP.  It is not unusual,  after a paddle session, to feel soreness in your toes and feet. This is especially true when you are beginning and you’re more worried about falling over into the water.

As you become more experienced, fatigue in your toes and feet fades, but you still get a workout there because your feet grip and keep you on the board.

Balancing is what causes you to use every muscle you have. Your legs are continuously working and adjusting to stabilize your hips and lower torso, which is your center of gravity.

Your neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles work in conjunction with your arms, not only for stabilization, but also to pull your forward through the water.

Your stomach and tons of other little stabilizer muscles you didn’t know you had, are firing nearly all the time, making small adjustments, to keep you on top of the board.

Fun Cardio

Unlike a boring piece of equipment in a gym like a stationary bike, SUP is fun and a good workout. With SUP you can easily dial up or down your desired level of cardio output.

Want a to burn more calories?  Paddle harder and longer.

Feel like you just want to enjoy your time on the water? Then just cruise around and do more coasting and less paddling.

Although, you do need to be aware of the conditions. If it is a windy day, you are generally going to have to work harder. For exercise, a windy day on the water is great, because you have to work harder, and the wind cools you off.

But, if you’re not prepared for a windy day, you may end up getting more of a workout than you initially planned.

Great for Rehabilitating from Injury or if You Are New to Exercising

Due to the low impact nature of the sport, SUP is a great way to get some exercise if you are coming off of an injury. Most of the time, you’re just standing in place on a SUP.  So if you’re healthy enough to stand, you’re usually healthy enough to SUP.

Obviously standup paddleboarding is not a good idea if you are coming off something like a shoulder surgery or a broken arm, because you need to be able to move your upper body for paddling and balance.

The point is that there are a lot of injuries you can have, that will not prevent you from getting out on a paddleboard.

For this same reason, SUP is a great exercise for women that haven’t been working out or are just starting back exercising after an extend absence.

Because SUP is fun, and you can dial down the intensity of the workout, it’s very inviting to first timers.

A lot of women want to get back into shape, yet don’t have the desire to go out and run two miles on a hot summer day.  But going out and spending an hour or two on a stand up paddleboard cruising around, it a much easier workout to sell yourself.  It’s just not as intimidating as a run.

How Many Calories Can You Burn On a SUP?

According to the website Captain Calculator, you can burn up to 450 calories an hour on a standup paddleboard.


Now, there’s a lot of assumptions in that number.  It’s best to take it as a guesstimate.

They are assuming your weigh 150 pounds and intermediate to advanced paddler skill level and you can comfortably balance and paddle your SUP.

If you are not very skilled, guess what?  You’re likely to burn more calories.

Why?  Because you’re struggling and that takes more energy.  If you’re unskilled, you’re probably falling off, and climbing back on more, all of which takes more energy.

Again, skill level is important to this metric.  If you are skilled enough to surf your SUP on waves, that will require a lot more energy and burn a lot more calories.

If you are comfortable enough on your paddleboard to take a yoga SUP class, you’re going to burn a ton of calories.

There’s really no accurate measure of how many calories per hour you can burn on a SUP.  The main idea you want to remember is that you can easily dial the intensity of your workout up or down.

Evaporate Stress

There are a lot of benefits to a good workout and they are not limited to building muscle and strength. Another benefit of exercise is stress reduction.  When you are out on the water on a paddleboard you are detached from modern distractions.

You can’t take your phone with you because it can fall in the water. Going without looking at a screen is a healthy thing. It’s just you, your board, and your paddle.

There is some type of magic in the simplicity of being on the water in the sun and focusing on pulling yourself through the water, while being careful to not fall in. It’s just a pleasant experience that reduces stress and recharges your batteries.

Exercise in Beautiful Scenery

Another of the many benefits a SUP workout has over a boring gym workout is the scenery. You can paddle on most bodies of water. This means you can get an exercise is amazing places. Most people think of SUPing on the ocean at the beach, and that’s a great place to paddle, but there are tons other great places.

You can SUP at a lot of vacation spots, from mountain lakes, to gentle rivers flowing through the desert canyons, to canals, and quiet ocean bays.

How often do you want to workout while on vacation?  Almost never.  But if you can paddle on a SUP while taking in epic scenery, it’s much easier and fun to get in exercise.


Most women want to get healthy and exercise, and there are many reason that prevent us from doing it. Stand Up Paddleboarding is a great alternative because it can get you to workout, while having fun, when you normally wouldn’t feel like it.

If you haven’t tried SUP, get out there and give it a chance.  You’ll find it’s not that hard, and you’ll have a ton of fun.





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Why Stand Up Paddleboarding is a Great Workout

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