Updated: Jul 5
We all know that there’s plenty of research out there about the physical health benefits of stand up paddle boarding, but with mental health awareness on the rise we’re looking at more and more ways to improve our mental health and one way to do this, which we are of course loving, is the mental health benefits that paddle boarding provides. In recent years, there has been more and more evidence that stand up paddle boarding, as well as other water sports, can play a huge part at improving people's overall mental health and well-being and have a positive impact on depression, anxiety and PTSD. With some Dr’s going so far as suggesting SUP lessons to patients with mental health disorders to assist them in their recovery. Not only is SUP a great sport as it is, but being out on the water or even just hearing the sounds which water makes can have a positive effect on your mental health. Research has proven that spending time near the water is “essential to achieving elevated and sustained happiness.” Also, because of the unique nature of paddle boarding, it offers some awesome benefits 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. Combine that with being out on the water and you should greatly feel your mental health benefits improving. So if you ever needed another excuse to grab your paddle board and head down to the water then there it is! Read on to read some of the other health benefits of paddle boarding and the benefits which paddle boarding can provide to our mental wellbeing. Also read: Health Benefits of Paddleboarding
1. Reduce Anxiety and Depression Disorders
Although traditional methods of exercise are beneficial in reducing anxiety and depression, SUP takes these benefits a step further. With traditional methods of exercise all proven to have a positive effect on mental health due to the “feel good” chemical that it produces, this then combined with the calming properties that being near the calming water can make it an excellent choice for anyone who suffers from either of these anxiety or depression.
2. Reduce Stress
One of the best things, we think, about paddle boarding is how calming it is. Being out on the water or even just near the water is proven to decrease the stress hormones in our body. When we are surrounded by water there is an increase in serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin and a decrease in cortisol (stress hormone) all providing an immediate calming effect. A huge stand up paddle board benefit.
3. Increase Productivity
We all have those, weeks, days (months?) where we feel we are just not as productive as we have been or could be, well good news for you lot as stand up paddle boarding has been known to increase productivity. Spending time near water helps us to avoid burnout in our professional lives. As previously mentioned, it reduces stress, increases our ability to focus and improves creativity.
4. Improve Sleep
Spending time near the water can help us relax and therefore gain a better night's sleep. Combine this with physical exertion which the activity creates and you should get a great night's kip! Even something so simple as listening to water sounds before bed can help improve your sleep - who knew water was so calming?!
5. Allow You to Connect with Others & Even Meditate
We all know that social interaction can really help with our mental wellbeing, so whilst we love paddleboarding as a relaxing solo activity it can also be a great way to connect with others away from the stress of the world and your day-to-day life. Everything is simplified when you’re out on the water and you’re left with little distractions. It opens up the world to build stronger connections with others, or if you do still love to SUP alone, then it is also a great place to meditate and just enjoy being.