By Guest Blogger Mary Lou Cerami
It has been said that Stand up Paddleboarding (or SUP) is the fastest growing sport across the world. With a minimum of equipment, you can paddle anything from ocean surf to lakes and rivers – no waves required. SUP is gaining in popularity as celebrities are sampling the sport, and more and more athletes are cross-training with SUP for a complete full body workout. But SUP is not just for athletes or celebrities; this new water sport is accessible to everyone – the only requirement? You don’t mind getting a little wet!
Paddleboarding offers an amazing full body workout and is becoming a favorite cross-training activity for skiers, snowboarders or anyone looking for a new outdoor workout. Paddling on a SUP provides a great cardio and core body workout – but adding yoga adds another dimension to the sport. SUP Yoga is basically as it sounds, yoga postures practiced on a stand up paddleboard. The paddleboard makes a perfect yoga mat, it’s wide, stable and challenging – yet suitable for all levels. Beginners included!
What makes the sport so great? Its ease of use – if you can stand up, you can paddle. Most multi-purpose boards are wide and long (much more-so than your typical surf board). A SUP is usually 4 feet in width and 10 – 12 feet in length. Unlike surfing, SUP is very easy to learn, you can be on the water and on your way to adventure in well under an hour. Intro to SUP classes are widely offered and are great for adding step by step instruction to a brand new sport and the aptitude to move on to the many other areas of SUP – such as SUP surfing, long distance SUP and SUP racing.
SUP provides a unique muscular challenge that you won’t find in any other sport. Training on an unstable surface, like a SUP, is highly effective for building the core muscles (the core comprises of the muscles within the abdomen and lower back). Because balance is the main element while paddle boarding, your core remains in a constant state of work just to maintain an upright position. Studies have shown over 85% of the muscles in the body are utilized while paddle boarding.
SUP is also more popular with women because of their lower center of gravity; women are more often skilled at paddleboarding than men. The best part about SUP Yoga is bringing your yoga practice outside and refueling your connection with nature. It’s a fun and creative way to exercise – classes are going on everywhere! Yoga and Stand up Paddleboarding are the perfect compliment to each other. Whether you are a first-time paddler or seasoned athlete, practicing yoga on a SUP will enhance your workout by developing balance, flexibility and achieve overall whole-body fitness. Resources (1 http://suppaddleboard.com/blog/?p=230
About the author: Mary Lou Cerami has been teaching yoga and fitness since 2006. An avid paddler and outdoor enthusiast, Mary Lou combined her love of nature and teaches Kayak & Yoga and SUP Yoga classes throughout Chicagoland and surrounding suburbs including; Aurora, Beloit, Wisconsin and Rockford, Ilinois.
Mary Lou discovered a healthy active lifestyle can become part of all our lives when fitness itself is made fun and accessible. She strives to inspire that sense of adventure in each class she teaches. You can find her every Sunday all summer at Kayak Chicago’s Montrose Beach location and most weekends in western suburbs at Paddle and Trail.