17-09-2016 Ironkids

Mental Health Benefits of Paddleboarding

Year after year, Google Trends as well as the SUPIA (Standup Paddle Industry Association) continues to report an increase in the participation rates in Stand Up Paddleboarding. From first-timers taking a class while on vacation, to long-time enthusiasts, it is easy to see the attraction to the activity. SUP-ing can be fun, relaxing, and an amazing way to stay in shape.

Because of the unique nature of SUP, participants stand to gain benefits from it that are not offered by many other forms of exercise; it’s a safe, low-impact sport, that people of all ages and skill levels can participate in. Another major reason that so many individuals are beginning to show an interest in the sport is due to its mental health benefits.

Paddleboarding can reduce anxiety and depression

The latest data shows that approximately “300 million people suffer from depression worldwide.” Although traditional methods of exercise are beneficial in reducing anxiety and depression, SUP takes these benefits a step further. Scientific studies have shown that simply being near bodies of water can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. This finding, combined with the obvious benefits of exercise, make it an excellent choice for anyone who suffers from either of these conditions.

Scientific study about the effects of Paddleboarding

A recent study about The physiological, musculoskeletal and psychological effects of stand up paddle boarding has shown that there is a positive correlation between the sport and self-rated quality of life. The purpose of the study was to conduct a training intervention on a group of previously untrained individuals to find out more about the potential of SUP on various health parameters. According to the study Stand Up Paddleboarding appears to be an enjoyable, easy to learn alternative to traditional forms of training. It also shows a significant improvement in aerobic and anaerobic fitness, core strenght and self-rated quality of life.

Paddleboarding helps former Marine beat back depression

As Will Schmidt, a former marine from the US, explains it, he still deals with the symptoms of depression, but he no longer suffers from depression. It was just a few years ago that the Laguna Niguel resident sat with a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of pills, intent on taking his life. His mom called and, hearing the familiar sound of her son’s depressed voice, she suggested that he go for a paddle on the water, a sport he’d recently taken up. He listened to his mother that day, and remembers going out on the ocean and instantly feeling the calm beauty of the water helping to ease his sadness. “It’s not something that goes away. You manage symptoms, and how you feel, by keeping motivated and always being on the go,” he said of his condition and his favorite sport. “I truly believe Stand Up Paddleboarding saved my life.” That’s still true, he said, and he hopes to inspire others who are struggling as he has.

Paddleboarding might not get you out of depression but it definitely gets you one stroke further towards your recovery

When talking to people with depression they often describe it as a dark cloud hovering above them closing them into a dark place where there are no solutions and endless alleys of negativity. It’s a state that negatively affects how people view their lives and leaves them without possibilities or a future. When people remain in this state over a long time it affects their physical health too. It would be dangerous to suggest that Paddleboarding is the solution to depression and that it can be an alternative to medication, however when it comes to fighting depression every alley that could potentially lead you out of the negative labyrinth is worth exploring. You can only find out if Paddleboarding is your way to get out of depression by giving it a go.

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