Stand Up for Health: The Top Benefits of Standup Paddleboarding

Did you know that fewer than 5% of adults get more than 30 minutes’ worth of exercise each day? This is despite a wealth of evidence telling us that regularly moving our bodies is one of the best possible actions we can take to be healthy — and even live longer!

Are you looking for a workout that is challenging but also fun, that helps you gently build strength while getting out into the sunshine, that can work your core but also soothe your soul? If so, it’s time to take a closer look at standup paddleboarding!


As the name implies, this is an aquatic sport that requires participants to stand up on top of a longboard, similar to a surfboard. Unlike a surfboard, however, a paddleboard is powered not by gnarly waves, but by — you guessed it! — a paddle.

Sometimes abbreviated SUP, stand up paddleboarding can be thought of like a cross between low-speed surfing and kayaking. It’s a pastime that provides a whole host of benefits. Let’s take a look!


All exercise relieves stress, but outdoor workouts offer several advantages over their strictly indoor counterparts. Some of these include:

  • A daily dose of Vitamin D from the sunshine
  • The immune-boosting effect of time spent in nature
  • Increased endorphins
  • Higher levels of serotonin and dopamine, the “feel-good” hormones
  • Lower levels of cortisone, the so-called “stress hormone”
  • Mental stimulation
  • A more effective workout provided by uneven terrain, wind resistance, and your body’s temperature regulation

Standup paddleboarding, by taking place on the water, is especially relaxing. What could be better than soaking up the beauty of your surroundings while beneficially moving your body?


If you’re not interested in weight lifting or don’t have the necessary time to devote to it, you might be baffled by people who talk about “leg day” or “upper body workouts.” Why not work out the entire body all at once?

Full-body workouts can be more effective, not to mention more efficient in terms of your precious time, than merely isolating specific muscles. So look for a type of exercise that combines strength training, balance, and cardiovascular benefits. Standup paddleboarding ticks all those boxes.


Not only does SUP challenge lots of different muscles (including some that don’t get a lot of attention from, say, circuit training or mat work), but it’s also low impact. That makes it ideal for:

  • Anyone who has arthritis or other joint issues
  • Those who are recovering from injury
  • People with artificial joints
  • Individuals who have achy or stiff knees or hips
  • Seniors
  • Those who are just starting with exercise


Those seldom-used muscles we mentioned above? Many of them get a workout when you are trying to keep your balance. Any exercise that challenges your balance is going to strengthen your core. That, in turn, can prevent back pain and injuries — and simply keeps your entire body in better shape.


Are you intrigued by standup paddleboarding and ready to check out its many benefits for yourself? San Diego Surf School has lessons and equipment rental to get you started, so give us a call or come on down.

Whether you’re a local surfer looking to branch out, a retiree who wants a new hobby, or a tourist looking for an active way to enjoy your vacay, we’d be thrilled to help show you what is SUP!