By Dr Jen Newell, ND
Last year I tried stand up paddling (SUP) with the awesome ladies at SUPGirlz in Qew Beach, Toronto. This year I dove even deeper into SUP and have been getting a great workout learning more advanced paddling techniques and how to surf on a SUP board. Stand up paddling is growing in popularity and, as I can attest to, offers amazing health benefits.
Health Benefits of SUP:
Stand up paddle boarding offers a family-friendly and fun form of exercise. In order to remain upright, you engage your balance and strength to propel yourself through the water.
SUP is a great activity for all ages. It’s a low impact activity and puts very little stress on joints and tendons.
Core and Muscle Strength
SUP is a great workout for building core strength. As you maintain you balance on the board you activate your core and stabilizer muscles. Your legs will also get an amazing workout!
Your arms, back, and shoulders work hard as you paddle. You will definitely feel your lats after a good day out on the water.
SUP offers relaxation. Spending time on the water is soothing and the gentle sound of the waves lapping on the shore is meditative. To add another layer of relaxation to SUP, it is now becoming trendy to practice yoga on a SUP board out on the water. This adds another level of complexity and challenge to yoga as you stretch and move while also remaining balanced on the board.
I highly recommend SUP to those looking for new activities to incorporate into their life for both health and pleasure. Check out SUPGirlz for great introductory instruction as well as a number of unique classes and workshops. SurfOntario also offers great information and assistance to those interested in taking up SUP or lake surfing.
Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.
Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.