We should all know that exercise has a profound impact on boosting mental health, and paddle boarding is no exception. Studies have shown that getting outside and engaging in an activity like stand up paddle boarding can reduce anxiety, boost mood, improve sleep, relieve stress and even have a positive effect on depression. Exercise promotes changes in the brain which leads to reduced inflammation and feelings of calm and well being. Endorphins are also released during physical activity, which are the feel good chemicals that promote pain relief and the feeling of euphoria.
Getting close to nature
Taking in the scenery while paddle boarding
Paddle boarding requires you to be outside, in nature, by water, and studies have shown that exercising near water and greenery can have a calming effect, reducing depression, subduing anger and it can even increase your confidence. The changing in scenery, weather or conditions occupies and exercises the mind and is not only healthy stimulation but can also distract you from the physical endurance your body is performing, in a form of moving meditation. Moving meditation can lead to increased time on the water which in turn will lead to extended periods of time where we are reaping the benefits.
Vitamin D is essential to our well being, yet our bodies cannot manufacture it. A good way to get enough Vitamin D is to spend time outside, as our bodies turn UV light into the Vitamin D we require. Just 15 minuets outside a day could be enough to prevent a deficiency, making that 15 mins a part of your daily paddle board workout is a great way to keep topped up!
The best way to finish the day, sunset SUP paddling
Exploring with friends on paddle boards
Paddle boarding can be a great social activity. It is a highly accessible sport and any ability level can partake, not to mention its extremely fun! Why sit in a coffee shop gossiping over a flat white when you can take to the water and enjoy beautiful views and changing scenery while getting the latest from your friends. You can also get the whole family involved, including the dog. There are also a variety of SUP clubs popping up around the country so even if your friends haven’t succumb to the paddle board addiction yet you can still meet likeminded people who share the same interests.
Practicing SUP yoga
Introducing the family to SUP
You won’t get bored of paddle boarding any time soon. There are so many different branches of the sport you can try, SUP surfing, SUP fishing, SUP yoga, multi-day paddling and off the grid exploring, you can even enter races if you're an overachiever and like to have a goal to focus on. There really never has been a better time to paddle board and start enjoying the many benefits it has to offer!
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Jen Chrimes is a marketing and design professional that has worked with the outdoor industry for over 9 years. She is also a professional kayaker and avid outdoor enthusiast who loves sharing her knowledge and passion through her work. You can find more about Jen and her work at jenchrimesdesign.com.
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