Is Paddle Boarding Good Exercise?

  • By: Adrian
  • Approximate reading time: 6 min.

When it comes to paddle boarding, there are a lot of questions that people have. Is it hard? Is it a good workout? How do you even do it? In this article, we will answer all of those questions and more. We will talk about the basics of paddle boarding and give you a few tips to help you get started.

How Does Paddle Boarding Compare to Other Forms of Exercise?

paddle boarding is a great workout

Well, it depends on what you want to get out of your workout. SUP is definitely an aerobic activity — meaning at a moderate pace it gets your heart rate up and makes you breathe a bit harder. However, it is not as intense as running or biking. 

This makes it a great workout for people who are looking for something a little less strenuous but still want to get in some good exercise.

Additionally, stand up paddle boarding works much of your upper body including your back muscles and shoulders as you paddle whilst constantly balancing gives your entire core muscles a terrific workout.

Of course, don’t forget that you are using your arms to paddle.

All in all, SUP is a great way to get in some exercise and enjoy the outdoors at the same time. It is perfect for people of all fitness levels and can be done in a variety of different ways to suit you individually. 

Can You Burn Calories Paddle Boarding?

Yes, you can burn calories paddle boarding! In fact, you can burn quite a few. Depending on your weight and how vigorously you paddle board, you could burn anywhere from 300 to 500 calories in an hour-long session. So if you’re looking to lose weight or just get in shape, SUP is a great option. 

Like any form of exercise, you get out of it what you put into it. If you’re just lightly gliding down a calm river or across a smooth lake, you’re not likely to burn many calories. But if you get out and push yourself, whether in a race with friends or just to keep your heart rate up, you’re going to burn significantly more calories in an hour.

What Muscles Are Used in SUP?

SUP works a lot of different muscles in your body. Obviously, your arms get a workout from paddling. But you’re also using your leg muscles and abdominal muscles to keep yourself balanced on the board. 

On top of that, with each stroke of the paddle, you’re also engaging your back and shoulder muscles. While these muscle groups move sympathetically, you will get more out of a paddle boarding session the harder and faster you paddle. As we mentioned before, SUP is a good all body workout but particularly builds your core strength because you are constantly using your core to balance.

What Are the Health Benefits of Paddle Boarding?

Paddle boarding is a great full body workout, which means it also comes with other benefits as well.

It Gets You Moving

Whether it’s SUP, cross training, swimming, cycling or going for a run, getting active is one of the best things you can do for your health. When you move your body, it gets your blood and stagnant energy flowing, which helps keep your system functioning optimally.

Additionally, working out releases endorphins, which are hormones that make you feel good. So not only is SUP good for your physical health, but it’s also great for your mental well-being as well!

It Burns Calories

As I mentioned before, stand up paddleboarding burns calories. Although 300 to 500 calories and hour may not seem like a lot, over the course of a few hours, those calories add up and can help you lose weight or just maintain a healthy weight. 

Helps Reduce Stress

Stand up paddleboarding can also help reduce stress. When you’re out on the water, breathing fresh air and surrounded by beautiful scenery, it can be a calming and relaxing experience. There’s no better medicine for stress than being out in nature, and when you’re paddle boarding, you’re often completely immersed in nature. When you come back from your SUP session feeling refreshed and relaxed, you’ll likely feel less stressed overall.

Many paddlers have taken up SUP yoga as they find being out on the water is so good for their wellbeing. A SUP yoga board is larger than an all rounder to allow you the room to do the various yoga poses.

It Improves Your Balance

One of the great things about stand up paddleboarding is that it helps improve your balance. This is an especially important benefit if you participate in other activities such as skiing or snowboarding, which can be dangerous if you don’t have good balance.

With regular paddle boarding sessions, you’ll gradually improve your balance and become less prone to falls and injuries. Maintaining good balance is also great for people recovering from certain injuries. SUP can be great physical therapy for both recovering athletes and elderly people alike. 

It’s Easy on the Joints

Stand up paddleboarding is a low-impact form of workout, which means it’s easy on the joints. This is great news for people with joint pain or other chronic pain conditions that make high-impact activities such as running too painful to participate in. Although SUP isn’t a cure for chronic pain, it can help you stay active and improve your quality of life. 

Stand up paddleboarding is a great way to workout, whether you’re looking to lose weight, reduce stress, or just get out and move your body. It’s easy on the joints and works a variety of different muscle groups, making it a well-rounded workout. It can be done in such a variety of ways, so it’s suitable for people of all fitness levels. 

Tips for Getting Started

If you’re interested in trying stand up paddleboarding, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, make sure to dress for the occasion. You will want to wear clothes that can get wet and that won’t restrict your movement too much. A swim suit is ideal, and make sure to also wear a life jacket if you don’t know how to swim! 

Secondly, it is important to choose the right board for your height. Generally, the rule is that the board should be at least 9 to 10 inches taller than the paddler. Experience level also plays a role, as the shorter the board, the harder it will be to stay balanced. Make sure to protect your skin from the sun with sunscreen and a hat, and remember that it’s always better to go with friends!

What Is Paddle Boarding?

Paddle boarding, also known as SUP, is a sport that has been around for centuries in various cultures around the world. The version of the sport you see today originated in Hawaii and quickly spread to other parts of the world. In its simplest form, paddle boarding is just standing on a board and using a paddle to move yourself around. However, there are many different ways to enjoy this sport. You can race, surf, do tricks, or simply cruise along on a peaceful lake or river.


SUP is a great low impact exercise and a fun activity to enjoy the outdoors. It is one of the best low impact e

It’s easy on the joints, works a variety of different muscle groups, helps improve balance, and can be done by people of all fitness levels. Not only is paddle boarding good physical exercise, but it’s great for your mental health as well by getting you off the couch and into the great outdoors. If you’re interested in trying SUP, make sure to dress for the occasion and choose the right board for your height. Don’t forget the sunscreen!


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