Skip Navigation Website Accessibility

Is Stand Up Paddle Boarding Good Exercise?


Stand up paddle boarding looks easy. Floating on the board, you can stare idyllically out at the ocean and breathe in salty air. A dolphin swims by, and a seagull flies overhead. At least, that’s what it looks like.

In reality, stand up paddle boarding is some of the best (most enjoyable) exercise you can get. You not only have to keep yourself balanced, but all that paddling works your muscles. You probably won’t find yourself huffing and puffing as hard as you will after a run, but it’s not the intensity that matters. If you enjoy doing it, you’ll keep doing it. Like they say, the best form of exercise is the one you’ll actually do.

How does stand up paddle boarding work your muscles?

Paddle boarding is a full body workout. While balancing, your core muscles, along with your legs, are constantly working to keep you upright. While pushing yourself along with the paddle, your arms and back muscles are used over and over again to propel you forward. And that’s just on a calm day… once you start fighting against wind and waves, the resistance acts like weights to make you work harder.

Standup paddle boarding won’t get your heart racing too fast, but it will keep it beating strong. This is why paddle boarding is a suitable low impact activity for those who are healing from injuries or just need to take it easy for a while.

When you begin regularly paddle boarding, you’ll notice yourself getting stronger, leaner, and your balance a whole lot better.

Try practicing yoga on your paddleboard.

If paddleboarding by itself isn’t enough of a workout for you, take your workout to the paddle board. People have begun practicing yoga while floating out on the water. This routine combines the benefits of both—you’ll have to keep balanced at the same time as you twist and turn into yoga positions.

Paddle boarding is good for your mind, too.

If you want your body to be in shape, don’t forget and keeping your mind right, too. The repetitive motion, the calming scenery, and becoming out in nature keep you happy and relaxed.