How Paddle Boarding Can Transform Your Life
Discovering stand up paddle boarding opens a new world of experience and opportunity. Different places, people and challenges all await, with personal change an almost guaranteed result.
Five Areas of Change
Whether you're already an avid stand up paddle boarder or you are just looking to purchase your first board, stand up paddle boarding is, put simply , a way of life. It's a pathway that, when fully embraced, will help you feel better and give you an endless supply of recreational opportunity.
Many take the benefits from paddle boarding away from the water and apply them to other areas of their life. These benefits are both mental and physical, and the impacts of a healthy lifestyle can transfer positivity into your working life and relationships. Here are five ways that stand up paddle boarding can influence change in your life.
The Bliss of Escape
Paddle boarding, at its core, is an escape. It's the time away from the office, from the daily grind and the repetition of life. The old saying goes “live to work” or “work to live,” and time out on your board is your time to feel alive.
Some try to find escape through a variety of means, such as computer games, movies or retreats. For a paddler, there's simply no better feeling than gliding atop the water with the wind in your hair, away from the stresses of daily life.
An inflatable paddle board is an excellent escape mechanism for a number of reasons. It is user friendly for paddlers ranging from complete beginners to seasoned experts. An inflatable paddle board takes you from inflation to paddling without the hassle of transport or storage. The board can even be left in the trunk of a car for an after-work voyage.
Another advantage of owning an inflatable paddle board is that you don't have to fall into a repetitive routine. You have the opportunity to access many new places or practice new skills in an ever changing environment, thus taking you further on your journey of escape.
The Cambridge dictionary describes mindfulness as “The practice of being aware of your body, mind, and feelings in the present moment, thought to create a feeling of calm: Mindfulness can be used to alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression.” For many, stand up paddle boarding can be provide an enhanced awareness of your own body and mind.
The lessons and skills needed require coordination and balance to control your own physical movements on a board. An excellent activity to positively reinforce balance is SUP yoga. It is much like general yoga in a classroom, but can be conducted alone and with the extra charms of peaceful natural environments and the extra balance skills needed to stay afloat.
Being out on the board allows you the time to think and be at peace with yourself. Some will anchor off and float in the center of the lake. Others take in some me time and read a book, take photos or set out on a long slow paddle to slow the mind. These mindfulness activities cross over into escape mechanisms and help reduce stress. Paddling connects you to nature through mind, body and spirit.
Being More Active
Health guidelines state that we should be taking part in regular exercise, but not all of us have the motivation to go out and run around the block or spend hours in the gym.
Being active is difficult, with much more time spent at work and less and less time for recreation. This is where an inflatable stand up paddle board can be an outlet. The ease of use and portability means you can pump up at a moment's notice and you can combine recreation with being physically active. If you have a 12VDC Pump, you can set the board to inflate while getting changed and equipped. Then it's just a simple case of locking up the car and away you go.
Paddling can be a regular full body workout, strengthening arms, legs and core through both paddling and balance. It is much easier on the joints than running and puts much less stress on the tendons than weightlifting.
Paddle boarding provides a unique and challenging workout that you can do at your own level. Being active has huge benefits, both physically and mentally, releasing endorphins into the body that can translate to your feeling better and being more productive in your everyday life.
Expanding Your Social Circle
For many, the social activity around paddle boarding is one of the main benefits of participation. This includes being able to head out with a group of friends, or even a club, to practice and develop skills, or setting out on a trip, looking out for and helping each other's development.
The social aspects of watersports don't need to stop on the water. The meetups before to plan trips away and the evenings in a local bar or restaurant around like-minded people are things you may not find through work relationships. Knowing that you will be developing skills and sharing the experience with other paddleboarders makes the trips both fun and educational.
Paddle boarding is mainly thought of as an individual sport, as in one person paddling on a board, but you can still turn it into a great social opportunity. If you look for clubs and others to head out with, this will lead to even more motivation to get out.
As a form of therapy, the benefits of water are evident through the popularity of a range of different water-based healing methods and practices. Thermal spas, steam saunas, even the use of turkish baths and ice pools have shown direct benefits to physical health. For thousands of years, water has been a source of power and we experience much of its therapeutic effects just about any time we are close to the water.
From hearing the lapping waves on the shoreline or feeling the power of the ocean as we surf and surge through its midst, water has huge benefits, from hydration to relaxation. During each session, just set aside a few minutes of your time to feel your connection with the water. In this moment, you can practice both mindfulness through meditation or yoga or just try to still your thoughts while listening to the environment.
If the water is warm and calm, it's an amazing feeling to just float and feel the water under you and let it take you where it will. These moments of relaxation will go a long way to relieving your stresses and anxieties and lead to a healthier way of being.