Is Paddleboarding Good Exercise? Here’s What You Should Know

Standup paddleboarding is a great activity to do when you’re on vacation. The large board is stable enough, so you don’t need much balance to begin with, which is great for first-time paddle boarding. When you get the hang of standup paddleboarding, you can paddle in an ocean, lake, or river to enjoy all the views.

So, is paddleboarding good exercise? The answer is absolutely yes. Standup paddleboarding is one of the best workouts you can do, but you might also be wondering how many calories you can burn when you paddleboard.

man on paddleboard

In this article, we’ll talk about everything you need to know to answer the question fully, “Is paddleboarding a good workout?”

The numbers are clear: whether your favorite form of standup paddleboarding is racing, yoga, or simply paddling, standup paddleboarding is a great form of exercise.

What You Need to Know About Paddleboarding

If you’re an advanced or intermediate paddler, you can start burning a bunch of calories when you paddleboard. However, if you’re just starting and you’re struggling to stay balanced – you aren’t going to burn quite as many calories.

To start becoming a calorie-burning machine on your paddleboard, you must first master the correct paddling technique and stay balanced. If you began paddleboarding for health benefits, start practicing your paddling technique now and get experienced in the water.

The right paddling technique will work on your core, back, arms, and leg muscles. If you start practicing proper paddling techniques now, you’ll soon be able to meet the calorie-burning goals in this article.

Is Paddleboarding Good Exercise?

Yes, paddleboarding is a great way to exercise, and it’s fun, too. You’ll often find that you’re more motivated to work out when your chosen form of fitness is standup paddleboarding.

Another great thing about paddleboarding is that it isn’t hard to do. The more effort you put into paddleboarding, the more you’ll end up getting out of it. If you’re prepared to give SUP fitness — a low-impact workout that combines balance, strength and endurance — your all, then you can expect healthy returns for your effort.

How Many Calories Does Paddleboarding Burn?

On average, you can expect to burn 330 to 460 calories while paddleboarding: that’s twice the amount of calories you would burn walking around your neighborhood. Keep in mind that these numbers are for recreational paddling, done on calm water with very light wind and done at a walking pace.

If you tend to do high-impact workouts that can take a toll on your body’s joints, all-around paddleboarding is a great addition to your fitness routine. All around, paddling is a low-impact fitness routine, and it feels so much more relaxing than regular workouts.

Calories Burned When SUP Surfing


SUP Surfing
Source: Unsplash

When you’re SUP surfing, you can expect to burn 620 to 745 calories per hour. Plus, SUP surfing is a great cross-training for those who do traditional surfing.

You don’t have to be a surfer to do SUP surfing because it’s a challenging and stimulating way to spend your cardio workout session. The more intense the waves are when you’re SUP surfing, the more calories you’ll burn.

Calories Burned During SUP Yoga

SUP yoga is a great mindfulness tool and an excellent way to challenge yourself. When you do SUP yoga, you can expect to burn anywhere between 410-530 calories per hour.

You’ll also improve your flexibility and balance while doing core fitness.

Calories Burned When SUP Touring

Performed faster than recreational paddleboarding, SUP touring can help you burn between 610-700 calories per hour. When you start SUP touring, you’ll start burning calories quickly. You’ll also be able to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors.

Calories Burned During SUP Racing

If you like to compete, SUP racing is a great option. SUP racing is an incredible cardio fitness routine that will help you burn 720-1130 calories per hour. So, if you’re competitive and want to burn a ton of calories quickly, SUP racing is a great option for you.

Calories Burned During SUP Fishing

SUP fishing includes two primary components: the time you spend paddling to and from your fishing spot and the time you spend camped out on your paddleboard fishing.

Both have unique caloric burning profiles. Even though fishing is a stationary activity, paddleboarding to your fishing spot will burn more calories than if you were in a motorboat.

The best thing about SUP fishing is its emotional health benefits, like bonding with your fishing friends and mindfulness. You can expect to burn between 135-430 calories per hour of SUP fishing.

Is Paddleboarding a Good Workout?

Paddleboarding as exercise
Source: Unsplash

When you paddle board, you can expect to lose weight. However, the relationship between paddleboarding and weight loss is more complex than you might know. Paddleboarding and other workouts aren’t automatically guaranteed that you’ll lose any weight.

Losing weight is actually more about your lifestyle habits, including your genetics, how much exercise you get, and the nutritional content of what you eat.

Losing weight means that you need to burn more calories than you consume. Exercise can help you begin losing weight quickly because it increases the number of calories you burn.

Bottom Line

While standup paddleboarding is a great body workout, it will engage certain muscles in your body more than others. Paddling will exercise your biceps, triceps, shoulders, back muscles, and abs more when you paddle. Your leg muscles will also get an excellent workout because you have to balance on the board.

If weight loss and calorie burning are your main goals when standup paddle boarding, then you need to make sure that you’re having fun doing it.

We know this sounds counterintuitive but hear us out: when you make having fun your priority, you’ll find that you’re more motivated to keep paddle boarding and giving it everything you have.

It can be hard not to enjoy yourself when paddleboarding, so you won’t have much trouble staying motivated.

The best way to do standup paddleboard exercising is to invite your friends along with you and give each session everything you have.

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