Could Paddle Boarding Be Your New Gym Workout?

Loco-iSUPsCorona virus is everywhere and the media are certainly fanning the flames of panic but what are we supposed to do? We can’t all just stop working, socialising and exercising! We’re told covid-19 presents the highest risk for the elderly and those with weak immune systems but then we hear about 30 year olds dying from it in Italy, so what can we take as gospel?

The government’s latest update to postpone/cancel large events, avoid socialising where possible and encourage people with symptoms to self-isolate for 7 days seems sensible. What we do know is all these measures are going to have a detrimental effect on the world economy, have a massive impact on international travel, change our buying habits and the way we interact with people for an as yet unspecified amount of time.

Loco-Race-&-Touring-SUPsAs someone who finds the gym an essential part of ‘keeping my head right’ I’ve become concerned that I’m just putting myself at risk. Having historically picked up other infections there before I suspect it could be the perfect breeding ground for Corona and by the dwindling numbers I’ve seen over the last week I’m not alone in my thinking! It’s not just gyms though it’s all sports clubs so how do we keep on top of our mental health and general well being in the wake of this disease?

For sure being outside (and 2 metres away from the next person) is a great option so maybe boot camps (who use no equipment that could be potentially infected) are going to see record numbers as the weather starts to improve?

All-Round-Loco-SUPsMany sporty types might not be aware of paddle boarding and it’s health benefits but you just have to try it once to appreciate the potential workout and the mindfulness wins. Not only does it stabilise the core and work some of the big muscle groups but it also burns calories like nothing else. In fact paddle surfing which is a more extreme subset of the sport actually burns more calories than anything else due to its explosive nature. At the other end of the spectrum you have small groups and individuals using their inflatable SUP packages to access calmer inland waters where they do yoga or pilates. Most paddle boarders just enjoy the exercise and being outside but some commuters are using SUPs to get to and from work! Imagine how cool that would be? Admittedly it looks a lot more appealing in board shorts and bikinis in the Maldives although once you have the basics you seldom fall in with most UK paddle boarders paddling year round, albeit in a wetsuit of differing thicknesses depending on the time of year.

With foreign holidays off the table for many of us maybe it’s time to think local and explore that lake, river or bit of coastline we’ve never quite got round to? With decent equipment coming in at less than the average holiday and offering you years of fun and fitness versus a week of potential infection maybe SUP is one thing we can look forward to in 2020?

Whether you’re just looking for an alternative to your usual fitness regime, want to spend more time outside, can see the mental health benefits or simply want to try something new that will challenge you, paddle boarding is definitely worth considering.

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