August 31, 2017
Last month, we talked about kayaking, which is an excellent outdoor activity for the summer. This month’s “get moving” activity will be focused on another water-centered sport: paddle boarding. It is a sport that goes back a long way, dating to the 1930s when athlete and inventor, Thomas Edward Blake created a more hollow version of the surfboard for rescue situations in large bodies of water. Now, paddle boarding is a highly popular way for lovers of the sea to tone their bodies and get fit!
Traditional paddle boarding involves the participant using their arms to swim great distances while kneeling or lying down on a paddleboard or surfboard. It is a low-impact sport, so the chances of you getting injured while taking part are very low. It’s also a full cardio workout, so this could be the perfect choice for your summer workout routine.
Now there is a new way to paddle board, which seems to be very popular among fitness nuts and water lovers alike: stand up paddleboarding. It works in a very similar fashion to traditional paddleboarding, except as the name suggests, it involves you standing up on the board instead of lying down. The sport began in Hawaii as an alternative to surfing, and its popularity soon spread throughout the country, becoming an outdoor sport with the most US participants in 2013.
Stand up paddleboarding gives you a full body workout, utilizing all muscles of the body. Your legs keep you balanced by tightening your core and lower body, while your arms, back, and upper body work to move forward with an actual paddle rather than your hands. The sport remains low impact, and it can even help you heal if you have bad knees or hips, due to the no-stress environment. It may take some time to figure out how to stay balanced, and you will most likely fall into the water a few times before you get it right. Do not let that discourage you, however, because like any other sport, it just takes a little practice.
If you live in the New York area, you have many options of places to go if you want to learn how to paddleboard either way. Manhattan Kayak + SUP is a good place to go if you want to learn stand up paddleboarding, and there are other places like A-team Paddleboarding and Kostal Paddle to sell you equipment and give you beginner lessons if you’re looking to only learn the traditional style. With the summer days dwindling down, you want to make sure you can hit the waves as much as possible, and if it involves working it into your exercise routine, paddleboarding may just be the sport for you.