Stand Up Paddle Boarding vs Running


Are you seeking a creative alternative to running? According to eMedicinehealth, runners are at risk for a number of painful conditions including joint pain, arthritis, lower back issues, knee injuries and more.

Plus, it is safe to say that running gets a bit monotonous after a while, as you take one stride after another around town. In an effort to find a less risk-intensive, yet more adventurous alternative to running, individuals are turning to SUP’ing, also known as Stand Up Paddleboarding. 

The sport includes using a Stand Up Paddle board, very similar to those utilized for traditional surfing. Along with the board, comes a paddle that is used to propel the paddle boarder across the surface of a lake, river, bay, or ocean. 

In Vancouver, B.C., it is very popular for runners to run along the sea wall. I on the other hand SUP along the see wall -- which in my mind is much more adventurous, not to mention an amazing full body workout.

I have found the following benefits to the art of Paddleboarding:

  1. Core Strength: First and foremost, when standing on a paddleboard each and every core muscle gets a workout. In order to balance, I find that I must pull my core muscles. This helps me build a solid foundation and stand strong on the board. Additionally, when paddling and alternating sides, both my right and left abdominal and back muscles get a tremendous workout.

  2. Cardio: I can set the tone and experience to as much of a cardio workout as I would like. Obviously, the more I push myself, the harder my cardio workout tends to be. Or, if I am in a leisurely mood, I can just enjoy gliding along with very little exertion.

  3. Arm Muscle Building: Unlike running, which usually sees arm size shrink the longer a person runs (unless he or she goes to the gym to lift weights regularly) SUP’ing leads to arm toning and muscle growth. Paddling can hard work, no matter how quickly I am moving across the water.

  4. Leg Strength: Because it is a challenge to keep one’s balance on a board, all major muscle groups within both legs get a complete workout. I find that each time I SUP the conditions vary. Thus, my legs get a slightly different workout each time.

Beyond muscle building and cardio, I find that SUP’ing is a test of willpower and determination. Running is quite similar in this way; however, I find my SUP challenges to be more interesting and exciting. There is something about gliding across the sea, as I tone my body and ignite my spirit.

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