Paddle Your Stress Away: The Mental Health Benefits of Paddle Boarding

Paddle Your Stress Away: The Mental Health Benefits of Paddle Boarding

Is paddle boarding hard? Reading Paddle Your Stress Away: The Mental Health Benefits of Paddle Boarding 6 minutes

The modern world is often stressful, full-on, and difficult to cope with. Mental health problems are on the rise, with 1 in 6 people over 16 experiencing the symptoms of a common mental health issue, such as anxiety or depression. Stressors ranging from the cost of living to the recent pandemic have driven increases in those experiencing problems too. So it's no surprise that many people are looking for ways to cope with the stresses of daily life, and lifestyle changes that may even help them manage diagnosed mental health conditions.

Paddle boarding has become a popular choice for people looking for a calming escape from the hustle and bustle. Whether you rent a board or buy one of your own, standing up on a paddle board has multiple benefits for your mental health.

Here are some of the top ways paddle boarding can help to support your mental health.

It's Great Exercise

While it's true that you can't solve all mental health problems simply by exercising, it's also true that exercise is good for your mental health. Regular exercise gets you moving, helps you step away from the stresses of life, and can lower your blood pressure.

Paddle boarding delivers a full-body workout, getting all of your muscles moving. And while you're concentrating on standing up on your board or steering yourself in the right direction, you can find that you're much less focused on your worries.

In addition to usual paddle boarding activities, you can also try out SUP yoga. Balancing on a board, you get all the benefits of normal yoga while also being out on the water.

You Can Get Out in Nature

You might know that exercise is good for you, but did you know that exercising in nature could be even better? You can choose to exercise at the gym, but why would you when you could be surrounded by greenery or serenely floating on the water?

Physical activity outdoors has been shown in studies to have an impact that indoor workouts might not deliver. Some research has shown that natural or green environments produce greater feelings of revitalisation and positive engagement. It can also improve self-esteem and reduce negative moods, helping to reduce tension, anger, and depression.

Many people feel that being outdoors and in nature helps them relax. You can get away from the stress of busier environments and crowded places. Engaging with the natural world around you can be a mindful experience, giving you a chance to unwind and disconnect. Even if you're not far from the nearest town or city (or even in the middle of one), you can feel like you're miles away in the right setting.

You Can Be Social

Paddle boarding can be a good way to get some "me time", but it's also a fantastic way to be social. Socialising with others is important for your mental health and with so many people feeling lonely these days, it's more important than ever to connect with others. Paddle boarding can help you make new friends, or find new ways to connect with existing friends and family.

Paddle boarding offers the opportunity to socialise in different ways too. You can go paddling with one or more other people and have lots of fun together. But equally, you can go out as a group but still maintain your own space. Paddling together makes it a safer experience, especially for beginners, but you might prefer to keep to yourself and enjoy a solo paddle even with others by your side.

Boost Your Self-esteem

Any sport can be excellent for giving your self-esteem a boost. When you learn something new, it feels great to realise you're improving and slowly starting to be able to do more and more. You might not be a natural right away, but you can set yourself goals and work on the skills you need to be a better paddle boarder.

Anyone can give stand up paddle boarding a try. It's still a skill you need to learn, but it won't necessarily take long before you're up on your feet and able to move around. You'll be proud of yourself as you start to improve and master the sport.

Increase Your Vitamin D Intake

Vitamin D is an important vitamin for mood regulation. We get some of it through food, but most of our vitamin D is produced by the body from direct sunlight on the skin. During the autumn and winter, this can mean we don't get enough vitamin D in the UK.

Being outside on a SUP can help increase your vitamin D levels. You'll spend more time out in the sun, even on an overcast day. Of course, it's also important to use sun protection to make sure you don't fall victim to sunburn.

Get a New Perspective

Sometimes when you're struggling to deal with problems in your life, what you need is to look at it from a different angle. Paddle boarding can help you gain a new perspective on things by taking you out of your usual environment and giving you space to think. You could find yourself being able to work out your priorities more easily. Or maybe you'll realise that your worries aren't as big as you thought they were. Changing your environment and doing something different can really help you see things differently.

Have Fun!

If all of that isn't enough, stand up paddle boarding is loads of fun too. It's the perfect activity to laugh your cares away and just focus on having fun while you're out on your board. Having fun is, of course, good for your mental health.

By taking up paddle boarding, you can add some variety to your life and make sure you never get bored. There's so much fun to be had and so many different places to explore.

Paddle for Mental Health

Paddle boarding is a fantastic choice of activity to help support your mental health. You could boost your self-esteem, feel less lonely, and have a lot of fun when you go paddling.

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