Soaking up a last-minute vacation may lead you surfside, hoping to exercise in the sun and sand. Take your workout to the water instead by trying stand-up paddle boarding, commonly known as SUP. The benefits of stand-up paddleboarding are endless in terms of physical and mental well-being.


If you thought practicing yoga on land was challenging, just wait until you attempt a downward-facing dog balancing act on a surfboard! Paddling increases stability, not just in the arms of adventurers; the core is most targeted.


Yoga isn’t the only thing you can do on a board, either. Little did we know that a paddle board can also be used to surf. The sturdy size and weight of the traditional paddle board can support enthusiasts and racers alike. Who knew such a serene experience could double as a competitive sport?


Some of our other favorite aspects of the paddle boarding fitness trend include:


Increases Strength & Stability

Balancing on the board requires core strength from the abdomen as well as arm power. Paddleboarding really is a total-body workout, especially when choppy waves try to get in the way.


Builds Mindfulness

Exercising on an uneven surface requires tremendous amounts of control, and paddleboarding sharpens the mental focus needed to sustain the journey ahead. Focusing on the paddle technique alone requires diligence and attention, all the while building a healthy heart and a strong mind.


Improves Self-Confidence

Shifting yoga poses on a paddleboard in a bikini might seem daunting to an onlooker, but SUP girls don’t bother with feeling self-conscious. Paddlers start feeling proud for the strength they achieve through their improvements and this breeds a special kind of gratitude for the sport and the sea.


Pup Friendly?!

Some paddleboards now even come equipped with dog-friendly features, enabling you to take your favorite furry friend along for the ride.


Puts You In Touch With Mother Earth

Possibly the sickest part of paddleboarding is the part where you get to feel yourself on top of the ocean, away from the trials on land. Thinking you’re one with the water might sound cheesy to some people, but they’ve probably never tried SUP. Catching intimate glimpses of dolphins, manatees and even triathletes drifting in the waves not only makes you glad to be working out, it makes you feel alive.


If you’re giving summer one last chance to steal your heart, definitely consider a paddle board rental. You can take classes or simply rent a board. Groupon and LivingSocial have great deals; it’s only a matter of time until you’re paddling your way to joy.


Have you tried stand up paddleboarding? Would you hop on the SUP bandwagon? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet me @Kelseymbro