Almost half of people who set themselves a New Year's resolution to get fitter will have already given up on their goal, research suggests. We might still only be a couple of months into the year, but most people find it impossible to sustain regular exercise as motivation fades.
The key to sustaining exercise habits is to make keeping fit something you enjoy. Clearly, this is easier said than done. But ask any paddleboarder if they enjoy exercising out on the water and their answer will be categorical: absolutely.
When you’re out there, gliding along the water, it often doesn’t feel like exercise. It’s only when you feel the ache in your muscles the next morning do you acknowledge you’ve done a workout.
Even a casual pootle can churn through 430 calories in the space of an hour, according to SUP World Mag. Going full throttle on your board can burn as many as 1,125 in the same time.
Here are the different ways you can use your paddleboard to get fit:
1. See the sights
You can keep fit simply by taking your paddle board out to the water and drifting along, taking in the sights. That’s because stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is a whole-body workout. You’re working your legs and core to balance yourself and your arms and your shoulders to push yourself through the water. The faster you travel, the better the workout!
While working just about every muscle, paddle boarding is a fantastic option for low impact exercise. SUP doesn’t punish the joints the way many sports or activities can – running, in particular – which means it carries a lower injury risk and makes it easier to sustain.
2. SUP yoga
Go paddling on warm day and you’re sure to find a group partaking in some SUP yoga. The benefits of yoga are well known – by doing those tried and tested poses on the water, you get the added benefit of being outside, enjoying nature, immersed in the tranquillity of your surroundings.
A paddle board of at least 10cm is advised so that you have the sturdiness underneath you to perform your poses without toppling into the water.
3. Make a day of it
If it’s a nice day, why not make a day of it by spending a whole Saturday or Sunday (or any day, for the matter) paddling along the water. SUP touring entails paddling for a long distance at a moderate pace and can see you burn up to 700 calories.
Who are we to judge if you decide to put some of those calories back on with a few pitstops at the pub along the way? Likelihood is you will still be in a calorie deficit by the end of the day.
4. Go against the flow
If you want a more intense exercise, you could try paddling into the flow upstream. This is probably not something you’d consider as a beginner, but as your confidence grows on your board, you can get a bit more adventurous.
Some call paddling upstream resistance training given its high intensity. Just be prepared to get wet!
As you keep fit, add to your internal motivation further by downloading a fitness tracking app which will track your route and the time that you’ve been exercising. With the GeoSUP app, you'll also be able to follow other paddlers, search the GeoSUP map and discover new places to paddle across the globe.
Getting fit never felt like so much fun!