The Health Benefits of Paddling
At a time when technology is at the epicenter of our lives, the line between work & home has blurred and stress has increased for many, it’s becoming increasingly important to spend more time outside. We feel lucky to design and build products that help people achieve this goal. Although most of us know being outside is a positive experience, let’s look a bit deeper and explore the health benefits of paddling outside.
1.Stress Relief / Improved Focus & Clarity
Life moves fast. Technology has helped us achieve great things, but it has also given us overwhelming access to everything all of the time. It's more difficult to disconnect from work, current events, and the latest memes. There is an underlying, daily stress that ebbs and flows, but rarely gets addressed. Being outside, paddling on a lake, is one of the few activities that allows for a true escape. Countless studies remind us that fresh air, Vitamin D, movement, the sound of water, etc. help reduce anxiety, improve cognitive performance, and increase mental clarity. Giving yourself the opportunity to disengage from the noise of daily life by paddling out on a body of water - even if it's only 20 to 40 minutes - will help you find balance in your daily life.
2. It’s Great Exercise
It’s no secret that paddling can be a great workout, but what are the specific benefits? Stand up paddle boarding is the ultimate full-body exercise. It’s a low impact activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. You may not realize it, but as you paddle across a lake, or down a river, your entire body is engaged. Your abdominal core works to stabilize your body as your back, arms, shoulders, chest, and legs are strengthened moving the paddle. Furthermore, joint-stabilizing muscles in your arms and legs are activated, which is great for joint strengthening or rehabilitation. In addition to strengthening, it builds up cardiovascular stamina without the intensity associated with running or biking. You can paddle for hours without realizing you’ve just exerted immense energy and achieved an incredible workout.
Kayaks also provide a great exercise experience. The paddling motion engages your back, arms, shoulders, and chest as you paddle. It also strengthens your abdominal core as your torso rotates and legs apply pressure to power the kayak forward. Just like paddle boarding, kayaking is an activity with reduced risk of wear-and-tear on your joints as is it is very low impact.
3. The Outdoors Becomes More Accessible
For many, where to spend time outside can be a daunting task. Aside from a walk through your neighborhood, the local park, or perhaps a popular trail, where else can you explore? A paddle board or kayak opens up new opportunities as you learn about different bodies of water. Perhaps there are creeks, channels, or a chain of lakes that are inaccessible via a hiking trail. Or maybe there are water caves, cliffs, or piers that you want to explore. It will also give you a new perspective on familiar territory. Paddle out to the middle of a lake that you’ve walked around countless times for a new perspective. If you’re unsure where to start, we’ve created a growing list of Paddle Challenges to complete with your paddle board or kayak. Complete a challenge and earn a badge. In the process, learn about new places and ways to paddle.