A lot of people know about the health benefits of Paddle boarding on fitness levels. Did you know not only is paddle boarding a fun and exciting way to explore the water, but it is also a great way to improve your mental health.
Research has shown that being in nature and spending time outdoors especially in and around water can have a positive impact on mental health. Paddle boarding, with its combination of being on the ocean, lakes, rivers and other aquatic environments as well as being an active pursuit, provides the perfect opportunity to take advantage of these benefits.
One of the key ways that paddle boarding can improve mental health is by reducing stress and anxiety. The repetitive motion of paddling and the peaceful surroundings of being on the water can help to clear the mind and relax the body. This leads to a decrease in stress and anxiety levels. When focusing on deep breathing during a paddle boarding session we stimulate the vagus nerve. This cranial nerve is an important part of regulating the bodies stress response.
The exercise associated with Paddle Boarding is good for Mental Health
Additionally, the physical activity or exercise of paddle boarding itself can stimulate the brain to release endorphins. These chemical messengers also known as ‘happy hormones’ can improve mood. They have also been shown to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and increase self esteem.
Another benefit of paddle boarding is that it can improve focus and concentration. The act of balancing on a board and navigating the water requires the paddler to bring their awareness to the present moment. This allows the paddler to disconnect from other distractions. Focusing on the now has been shown to improve cognitive function and attention span.
Learning the skills associated with paddle boarding can also give the paddler a sense of achievement. This can occur with the mastery of a difficult manoeuvre or when an improvement in balance is noticed.
Gaining new skills such as learning Paddle Boarding can strengthen self esteem there by improving Mental Health
Paddle boarding can also be a great way to connect with nature and improve overall well-being. Paddleing on the water allows for a sense of freedom and peacefulness. Being surrounded by natural beauty can help to improve mood and overall well-being.
Spending time outdoors also exposes the body to sunshine. Sunlight is responsible for the production of 90% of the bodies Vitamin D requirements. As studies in Seasonal Affective Disorder have shown Vitamin D can prove useful in a reduction in symptoms. While more research is needed, current studies have also shown a relationship between low Vitamin D levels and depression.
Social Paddle Boarding can help connections with others which has been shown to improve
In addition to the physical benefits, paddle boarding can also be a great way to socialize and connect with others. Many people enjoy paddle boarding with friends and family, which can help to improve social connections and relationships.
Overall, paddle boarding can be a great way to improve mental health. Physical activity, peaceful surroundings, and connection with nature can help to reduce stress and anxiety. This helps improve focus and concentration, and improve overall well-being. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and improve your mental well-being.
Research has also shown that as well as physical activity the brain and body also benefit from exercise visualisation. So why not get more health and well being benefits from watching these Paddle boarding videos.
Watch our Video on Paddle Boarding for Mental Health
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If you haven’t yet watched part one of our SUP Safari Scotland Travel Video Series check it out here.