In calm lakes, choppy seas and landlocked gyms alike, fitness fanatics turn to their boards rather than yoga mats to achieve a phenomenal workout that strengthens the core and stabilizing muscles.
Walk on Water? With SUP You Can
Water sports typically bring to mind water skiing, wake boarding, surfing and boating; however, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is the fastest-growing water sport in the country. In the United States, surfers have long used the technique, along with a paddle, to propel themselves farther into the ocean than they could get without a paddle. Today, SUP itself is the end goal (as opposed to catching a wave and riding it in). Practiced on calm waters or in the ocean, SUP is an exercise in control, precision and balance that will tax virtually every muscle in your body. SUP is low-impact, so it won't wreck your joints, yet it is challenging enough you can burn as much as 800 calories per hour. The choppier the waters, the more hardcore the workout will be (and the higher the odds that a bit of swimming and treading water will be involved). As beginners perfect their balance, work hard to stay dry and maneuver paddles taller than they are, they can work on their speed and participate in the many SUP races held across the country.
Others SUPers don't aspire to go faster on their paddle boards. A growing legion of SUP enthusiasts is practicing traditional yoga on their boards. Yoga is a spiritual discipline that often includes poses such as downward dog, child's pose or tree pose. Practicing these poses on water, while breathing in fresh air, is relaxing and encourages participants to focus on their breath. It also requires laser focus and being fully in tune with your body. Even the slightest misstep can send you tumbling into the water beneath your board.
Don't live near an ocean or lake? Don't worry. Indoor SUP yoga is one of 2015's hottest fitness crazes. Practiced on balance boards from the likes of Indo Yoga Board or Surfset Fitness, indoor SUP is as challenging as outdoor SUP, without the fear of getting wet. If yoga causes your muscles to shake, yoga on a paddle board will feel like a muscular earthquake. The board's instability means you'll engage even the tiniest of muscles to complete your poses. Skeptical? Try it, and discover how sore, but invigorated, you are the next morning! To Read More Health & Fitness Tips See Below:5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Lose Body FatWhich Kids' Sports Have the Highest Concussion Risk?