“Is paddle boarding a good workout?” the answer is a resounding yes! Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is more than just an exhilarating outdoor activity—it’s a gateway to a multitude of impressive health benefits. Recognized for being a safe, low-impact sport, paddleboarding welcomes participants of all ages and skill levels, contributing to its surge in popularity in recent years. Whether you’re aiming for a significant lifestyle transformation or seeking an effective method to enhance your health in targeted areas, SUP could very well be the perfect solution recommended by health enthusiasts alike. This universal appeal is precisely why many are turning to paddleboarding not just for recreation, but as a holistic approach to better health and wellness.

In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the major health benefits that people all around the world are experiencing as a result of paddleboarding. A natural approach to improving overall health and well-being, paddle board doesn’t require costly fitness club memberships, grueling workouts, or questionable dietary supplements. It simply invites you outdoors—onto in the calming waters with just an inflatable paddle board, a pump, and a paddle in hand. Plus, beyond its health advantages, paddleboarding is incredibly fun and refreshing!


BENEFIT #1: SUP is a low-impact activity that reduces wear and tear on your body.

Unlike other sports which can have an adverse impact on your body over time, stand up paddleboarding is a low-impact workout that remains incredibly effective. It means minimizes the risk of injury to your ligaments and tendons—an ideal feature for those engaged in regular physical activity. This quality makes it particularly beneficial for athletes and individuals who suffer from joint issues like knee or hip pain, as well as those prone to shin splints.

Moreover, while conventional forms of cardio such as running might place undue stress on your joints, potentially leading to long-term injuries, SUP board offers a robust workout that burns calories efficiently with significantly lower risk.

BENEFIT #2: Paddling provides an intense, full body workout.

Are you weary of repetitive, long hours at the gym? Seeking a more enjoyable and comprehensive workout? Paddleboarding offers a refreshing and highly effective alternative. Known for its ability to engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, paddle board provides a unique blend of strength training and cardiovascular workout that can benefit your entire body.

When you engage in stand up paddleboarding, you’re not just passively floating; you’re actively propelling yourself through the water. This action primarily targets the upper body—your arms, shoulders, and chest work continuously as you paddle. But that’s just the beginning. The challenge of maintaining balance as you navigate varying water conditions calls upon your leg muscles and core stabilizers extensively. This dynamic balancing act is not only excellent for building muscular strength but also for enhancing your endurance. To truly maximize the benefits of your water workouts, consider exploring our designed paddleboards for optimal fitness.

Unlike traditional workouts that often isolate specific muscles, SUP is a holistic exercise that includes engaging your back, arms, legs, shoulders, and particularly your core. Each stroke with the paddle activates a wide network of upper body muscles, while keeping your balance on the constantly shifting board ensures that your legs, hips, and core are persistently engaged.

As you glide across the shimmering waters on your paddle board, your body is bathed in sunlight.

Maintaining stability on the ever-changing surface of the water requires a robust core strength that encompasses the entire body.

BENEFIT #3: Stand up paddleboarding is excellent for cardiovascular health.

The link between regular physical exercise and cardiovascular health is well-established—individuals who maintain a physically active lifestyle generally exhibit lower incidences of coronary heart disease (CHD). Paddleboarding is particularly effective in this regard, as it not only elevates your heart rate during the activity but also maintains it at a heightened level, ensuring a robust cardiovascular workout. After a substantial session of paddleboarding, you’ll definitely notice the invigorating effects on your body, marking a significant boost to your heart health.

Stand up paddleboarding is much more than a strength-training exercise; it’s a comprehensive cardiovascular regimen. Similar to how cross-training or running influences your cardiovascular system, paddleboard stimulates an increase in heart rate through continuous paddling. This consistent cardiovascular effort is essential not only for heart health but also for reducing the risk of developing heart disease. Websites dedicated to paddleboarding like iSupWorld.com highlight that the cardiovascular advantages of SUP are comparable to those obtained from engaging in aerobics or cycling. This makes paddleboarding an exceptional option for enhancing cardiac function and preventing cardiovascular conditions.

As you navigate across the water, each stroke of the paddle not only propels you forward but also challenges your cardiovascular system.

As you navigate across the water, each stroke of the paddle not only propels you forward but also challenges your cardiovascular system.

BENEFIT #4: Paddling is an outstanding way to strengthen your core muscles.

In addition to reducing back pain, a strong and healthy core prevents injuries, protects your body’s inner organs, improves body posture, and more. Standup paddle board is a fun and effective way to increase core strength, and you’ll begin to notice dramatic improvements as your paddling technique continues to develop. Your core muscles essentially act as stabilizers for much of your body. By learning to balance properly on your standup paddleboard, you are strengthening your core without even knowing it. It is a great way to give these muscles a great workout by using them for their intended purpose.

BENEFIT #5: Paddle Board is great for improving balance.

Stand up paddleboarding is not only an enjoyable activity but also a profound way to enhance your balance. Navigating the waters on a SUP board, especially under choppy conditions, may be challenging at first. However, this challenge is precisely what helps rapidly improve your balancing skills. As you work to maintain stability on the constantly moving board, you engage and strengthen the muscles responsible for stabilizing your entire body. This active engagement helps improve your ability to control the board and adapt to a variety of water conditions more adeptly over time.

BENEFIT #6: Paddleboarding is a good way to boost endurance.

Stand up paddleboarding offers a remarkable opportunity for those interested in endurance training. As you engage regularly with the sport, you will notice significant enhancements to your strength, conditioning, and technical paddling skills. These improvements will enable you to undertake longer paddling sessions with increased intensity, expanding the scope of your adventures and challenges on the water.

One of the most appealing aspects of paddle board is the ability to tailor the intensity of your workouts. You can set personal goals and continually challenge yourself to improve your time and performance. This flexibility allows you to design a paddling routine that aligns with your fitness goals, much like running or cycling, but with the unique benefits of being on the water.

A variety of colorful paddleboards are on display on a sunny beach, reflecting a range of designs for different water activities.

The diverse shapes of paddleboards available allow enthusiasts to explore various ways to keep fit, each offering a unique set of challenges and benefits.

BENEFIT #7: SUP Board helps with stress relief.

When you stand on a paddleboard, you are not just participating in a sport; you are engaging in an experience that distances you from routine stressors. Being outdoors and surrounded by water allows you to enjoy a sensory-rich environment where you can feel the sun, hear the ripple of the water, and smell the fresh air. This connection with nature has been shown to lower cortisol levels, the body’s stress hormone, and elevate mood.

Moreover, the act of paddleboarding itself is meditative. The consistent strokes required to propel the board forward encourage a rhythmic, meditative state that many find incredibly calming. This moving meditation helps to still the mind and keep you centered in the present moment—a practice akin to mindfulness, which has been widely recognized for its stress-reducing benefits. As you focus on balancing and navigating your board, the concentration required can help clear your mind of clutter and worry, anchoring you in the here and now.

SUP not only offers a retreat from the mental overload of daily life but also actively contributes to a greater sense of well-being. The combination of exercise, which naturally boosts endorphins, and the peaceful environment of paddling in open waters, creates a potent antidote to stress.

Research consistently supports the idea that spending time in a comfortable and pleasant natural environment not only boosts physical health but also significantly enhances mental well-being.

Research consistently supports the idea that spending time in a comfortable and pleasant natural environment not only boosts physical health but also significantly enhances mental well-being.

BENEFIT #8: Combat depression.

The benefits of paddleboarding extend beyond mere physical health, touching deeply on emotional and psychological well-being. The activity stimulates endorphin release—often referred to as “feel-good” hormones—which naturally elevates mood and creates a sense of euphoria. Moreover, the exposure to outdoor environments and the calming effects of being near water significantly enhance these mood-boosting benefits, contributing to a more positive outlook.

The prevalence of prescription drug use for managing depression symptoms has become a significant concern, with many of these medications having potential side effects and dependencies. Stand up paddleboarding offers a natural, effective, and sustainable alternative. By integrating physical activity, social interaction, and the therapeutic qualities of nature, paddleboard provides a holistic approach to managing depression. It’s not only safe and effective but also an enjoyable activity that you can look forward to, providing long-term benefits and a healthy, fulfilling way to cope with emotional challenges.

BENEFIT #9: Stand up paddleboarding is an effective way to lose weight.

Stand up paddleboarding is a highly effective exercise for those looking to lose weight in a fun and engaging manner. Unlike other low-impact exercises that might not offer significant calorie burning, SUP stands out due to its full-body workout capabilities. This activity uniquely integrates balance, strength, and endurance training, making it an exceptionally comprehensive form of exercise. During a typical hour-long paddleboarding session, you can expect to burn anywhere from 400 to 700 calories, depending on the intensity of your workout. This makes it more efficient at burning calories than many other forms of low-impact exercise.

The beauty of inflatable paddle board lies in its ability to provide a sustainable and enjoyable workout experience. The fun factor associated with gliding over water and interacting with nature makes it easier for individuals to stick with their fitness routines consistently. Consistency is crucial for long-term weight loss success and healthy weight maintenance, making SUP an excellent choice for those looking to make a lasting change in their fitness lifestyle.、

RELATED: Calories Burned Stand Up Paddleboarding – What They Don’t Tell You

Paddle boarding allows participants to effortlessly bid farewell to unwanted body fat through what feels more like playful exploration than exercise.

Paddle boarding allows participants to effortlessly bid farewell to unwanted body fat through what feels more like playful exploration than exercise.

BENEFIT #10: Get some sun.

Paddleboarding under the expansive open sky is not only a rejuvenating activity but also an excellent source of Vitamin D, often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin.” Vitamin D plays a crucial role in maintaining bone health, supporting immune function, and enhancing overall well-being. Despite its importance, many people do not receive an adequate amount of this essential nutrient, primarily because modern lifestyles often limit time spent outdoors.

Engaging in stand up paddleboarding provides a fun and effective way to naturally boost your Vitamin D levels. As you navigate your board across the water, your body absorbs sunlight, the most natural and potent source of Vitamin D. This exposure is critical for regulating calcium and phosphate in the body, which in turn helps to maintain healthy bones and teeth. Furthermore, Vitamin D has been shown to modulate the immune system, increase neuromuscular function, and reduce inflammation.

As you glide across the shimmering waters on your paddle board, your body is bathed in sunlight.

As you glide across the shimmering waters on your paddle board, your body is bathed in sunlight.

BENEFIT #11: Vary Your Workout

One of the standout features of stand up paddleboarding is the vast array of workout variations it offers, which can keep your exercise routine engaging and dynamic. The versatility of SUP ensures that you can avoid the monotony that often plagues traditional workout regimens. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast looking for new challenges or someone who enjoys gentle, meditative exercises, SUP has something to offer. Notably, the paddleboarding calories burned during these varied workouts contribute significantly to fitness and weight management goals.

With a paddleboard, you can easily adjust the intensity and duration of your workouts to suit your fitness goals. For a more vigorous session, you can paddle harder and faster, or venture out into choppier waters which demand greater balance and effort from your stabilizer muscles. These conditions not only enhance your physical strength but also improve your balancing skills and mental focus.

Additionally, SUP board provides opportunities to diversify your workouts further. SUP yoga, for example, has gained immense popularity. Performing yoga on a paddleboard introduces an added layer of balance due to the movement of water, intensifying each pose and engaging core muscles more significantly than stationary yoga. This fusion of balance, strength, and flexibility makes SUP yoga a comprehensive workout that enhances both physical and mental wellness.

A table would be useful for comparing paddle board with other low-impact sports like swimming or cycling, highlighting calorie burn, muscle groups worked, and necessary skill levels.

SUP vs. Other Low-Impact Sports

Activity Calorie Burn (per hour) Muscle Groups Worked Skill Level Typical Duration Intensity Level
Paddleboarding 500-700 Full body Beginner to advanced 1-3 hours Moderate
Cycling 400-600 Lower body, cardiovascular Beginner to advanced 1-4 hours Variable
Swimming 400-500 Full body, cardiovascular Beginner to advanced 1-2 hours High
Walking 200-300 Lower body, cardiovascular Beginner 30 mins – 2 hours Low to moderate
Rowing 600-800 Upper body, lower body, core Intermediate to advanced 30 mins – 2 hours High
Elliptical Training 500-600 Full body Beginner to advanced 30 mins – 1 hour Moderate
Yoga 180-460 Full body Beginner to advanced 1-1.5 hours Low to high

As you can see, SUP is a comprehensive activity that not only burns a significant amount of calories but also engages a wide range of muscles, making it an all-encompassing workout suitable for people of all skill levels

RELATED: 8 Reasons to Try Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga This Summer

Final Thoughts

We hope that you’ve enjoyed this article about the various health benefits of SUP. Stand up paddleboarding is a super fun activity that can dramatically improve your overall health, and the fact that it’s safe, low-impact, and something that people of all ages can enjoy is why it continues to grow in popularity year over year. If you’re ready to experience these benefits for yourself, check out our selection of high-quality paddleboards.

With all of that said, it’s important to note that any health benefits you get from paddleboarding are directly related to the amount of effort you exert while on the water. A leisurely paddle that doesn’t require you to work or break a sweat will not provide the same benefits that can be achieved while paddling with great intent. In order to maximize the positive impact that paddling can have on your overall health, effort is definitely required!

If you haven’t paddled before and are considering it, we highly encourage you to go rent a board and try it out. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be hooked from the first paddle! For those who have paddled before and are learning more about the wonderful health benefits of our sport, we hope this article has been informative and ulimately motivates you to go paddling more often.

Happy (and healthy) paddling!




The Best Paddle Board Gift Guide

Ahoy, paddle board aficionados and thoughtful gift-givers! Are you on a mission to find the ultimate 'gifts for paddle boarders'? Well, your quest just got easier! Our handpicked selection of 'paddle board gift ideas' is [...]

  • Inflatable Paddle Board (iSUP) vs. Hard SUP background

Inflatable vs. Hard Paddle Board

Whether you're a paddle pro or just getting your feet wet, there's a big decision every enthusiast faces: Inflatable SUPs or Rigid Paddle Boards? It's not just about picking any board; it's about finding the [...]

  • what size paddle board is right for you post background

What Size Paddle Board Is Right For You

What to Consider When Deciding What SUP Size is Best for You Hello there, fellow water enthusiasts! Are you on the hunt for the perfect paddle board but finding yourself [...]