By: Melanie Rivera
When most people discover paddle boarding for the first time, their reaction tends to revolve around how much fun it looks and really not what it’s value might be as a calorie blasting form of exercise. In fact most people assume that unless they want to – and are ready to – enter the exciting world of racing paddle boarding they may not consider it ‘real’ exercise at all, just a fun way to spend some time on the water, maybe before heading to the gym.
But oh how wrong they are. Even the gentlest paddle boarding activities provide both a great full body workout and plenty of calorie burning power, rendering an extra gym session a little redundant, leaving you with more time to spend enjoying the tranquility of your favorite ‘water hole’.
How Many Calories Does Paddle Boarding Really Burn?
Paddle boarding takes a number of different forms. There is the casual, easy paddle along a quiet lake or river waterway, the simple joy of a paddle board tour all the way up to the thrill and exhilaration of paddle board surfing and racing. And obviously each form burns a different number of calories. But just how many? Here’s a brief snapshot of the averages:
Casual – 305 to 430 per hour
Yoga – 416 – 540 per hour
Touring – 615 – 708 per hour
Surfing – 623 – 735
Racing – 713 – 1,125
(Source: Isle Surf and SUP)
Pretty impressive huh? In fact it becomes even more so when compared to other sports. For example running, a form of exercise may people undertake but often do not really enjoy, burns an average of 650 calories per hour while the seemingly more strenuous cycling just 483.
Paddle Boarding as a Full Body Exercise
There is more to paddle boarding in any form in terms of physical fitness value than just calorie burning. Although most people find that staying up – and on – a paddle board is actually far easier than they imagined before even a casual stand up paddle will work all of the major muscle groups – back, abs, arms, legs, shoulders – and will, as an added bonus, be far more enjoyable than an hour spent next to that strange grunting guy in the gym.
Paddle Boarding and Willpower
Most people dread going to the gym and just as many find that the appeal of pounding the pavement on a morning run quickly loses its appeal as well. There is an old adage that (paraphrasing a little) states that the best exercise is the one that you will actually stick to, and that is where, for most people, paddle boarding scores big points.
Until you have tried it you won’t know how relaxing, mind clearing and refreshing a session of paddle board yoga is and the seemingly simple and easy act of paddling slowly through a beautiful landscape imparts very similar benefits. For the more active and adventurous the challenges presented by paddle board racing and surfing are about as exciting as you can get, so the desire to keep getting back out onto the water is not too hard to muster. In fact the only problem some paddle boarders encounter is not motivating themselves to get onto their paddle board and into the water but forcing themselves to get out and return to far less enjoyable things like work or school!