With the ability to dramatically lift our mood, reduce stress and improve our self-confidence, we all know that regular exercise should be an important part of our daily lives. But between juggling family, friends and long hours at work, it can be difficult to find something that motivates us enough to take time out of our everyday demands to keep doing it. If you fall into this category then there is a good chance that you haven't discovered 'that' exercise routine or sport that captivates you so much you naturally make time to take part in it and hone your skills to maximise your performance. For many, stand-up padding has become 'that' sport.
Stand up paddle (SUP) surfing is one of the fastest growing water sports in the word. Not only is it a relaxing and rehabilitative exercise, it is also one of the best forms of cross-training. With the ability to deliver a cardio, balance and strength workout all at once, SUP is a great low impact sport which concentrates on your core, legs and upper body.
Health and fitness experts along with ocean enthusiasts are embracing the incredible cross-training benefits of surfing's hot trend. And why wouldn't you? It's so much easier than surfing and it comes with its share of rewards – not only will you have more defined legs, back, feets, arms, shoulders and core, you the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.
Originating in the 1950s, SUP definitely isn't new but it is currently experiencing a major rebirth thanks to a new generation of budding enthusiasts. Sports and water enthusiasts everywhere are grabbing paddle boards and are giving it a go … even movie stars like Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston are huge fans.
If we've already managed to convince you to give it a try, there are some things you should know and do before you venture out into the deep blue.
1. Slip, slop slap – extremely important for any outdoor activity
2. Get your hands on a good quality paddle board – one that is appropriate for you
3. Ask someone to show you the ropes – if you aren't lucky enough to have a friend who is already skilled in this area, take advantage of the special courses being offered by skilled SUP surfers and fitness trainers. They will be able to teach you the basics and show you how to maximise your workout.
4. Start on flat water – build your confidence and begin with small challenges.
5. Convince a friend – let's face it, most things are more enjoyable if a friend is involved and being a social sport, SUP is no exception.
6. Pick an amazing location which you can explore – SUP is kind to the mind, body and soul so pick a location that relaxes but fascinates you.
Now grab your togs and your paddle board and get out there – you're really missing out on an amazing opportunity … and one that your fitness will thank you for.