Paddling Puget Sound

It’s already back to school, the leaves have started changing, and football season has officially begun. But summer isn’t over until after Labor Day. So before you rush headfirst in sweater season and all things scented with apples and cinnamon, take the time to give a proper farewell to the past sun-kissed months by using this last weekend to do something that’s not only incredibly fun, but also great excuse to get a good workout without even realizing it: Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

Stand-up paddleboarding, is exactly what it its name implies: standing up on a long board whilst moving oneself through water with a paddle. Though the trend originally started and gained popularity in Hawaii, it has quickly spread throughout the mainland and across the world to any location with a body of water nearby.

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Chances are if you have been anywhere near said ocean, lake, reservoir, or river you have seen it in action or at the very least advertised. You’ve probably even commented to a friend of how fun it looks. But if you haven’t taken the chance to literally jump on board this summer, you have a few days left to try it.

Not convinced by the looming seasonal change? Here’s 5 more reasons why this activity should become a new staple in your warm weather water activities:

1. One hour on a SUP can burn anywhere from 800-1000 calories per hour for men and 500-700 for females. Compared to a respective 500-700 and 300-500 calories burned by running on treadmill, I can tell you where I’d rather get my burn on.

2. The combination of standing, paddling, balancing and stabilizing yourself is a complete body workout. Arms, shoulders, and back all work to paddle, all the muscles in your legs will fire to keep you balanced and grounded, and you get an incredible core work out from stabilizing yourself without ever doing a sit up.

3. Stand up paddleboarding is a great activity for people of all ages and fitness levels. It is easy to learn and people generally feel confidant within an hour of being out on the water. You also have the freedom to adjust your level of intensity from a leisurely stroke to the equivalent of an all out sprint. And though its name implies being fully upright, you can also do it standing, kneeling, or sitting. (Or make your way out to the middle of a lake and lay down for a nap — ALL fitness levels)

4. There is room to grow with this activity. From paddleboard races, to SUP yoga, to using it to surf waves — if you find you love it, you can turn it into more than just a hobby.

5. This is the closest you’ll ever get, barring divine intervention, to walking on water. You get an incredible view of the water both ahead and below; and being out on the water and in nature improves not only your physical health, but mental and spiritual as well.

So if you find yourself near water this holiday weekend, you wont regret giving it a try, or if you’re already hooked- another go. Working your body and connecting with the water is sure to make that last summer BBQ taste that much better.

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