All the Wellness Benefits - What Does Paddling do to my Mind and Body?

All the Wellness Benefits - What Does Paddling do to my Mind and Body? - Canadian Board Company

At the beginning of each year, millions of Canadians make an all too familiar vow. 

“This is the year I start really taking care of myself.” One gym subscription and two weeks of early rising later, old habits prove to die hard. We often find ourselves stuck with the question of why!? Why is the snooze button begging to be hit? 

Honestly, we haven’t cracked the code either. But we may have a tid-bit of juicy knowledge that can help keep your fitness goals optimistic.

It turns out paddleboarding isn’t just responsible for recreational fun, but instead, is becoming the hottest trend in the fitness world, and for great reason. We’re dissecting some of the great benefits of your summer paddle romance and we think you just might join our fitness wave!


Start with the Heart

After big holiday dinners and what seems to be a never ending supply of baked goods, our waistbands tend to feel a little tighter than they did in 2021. We never say no to great food, and even better dessert, but that treadmill just isn’t inspiring us to jump for joy. Thankfully, our favorite hobby is actually a calorie CRUNCHER! Who knew?

SUP Connect averaged out riders varying in weight, gender, and paddling type to get you an idea of just how many calories you can burn with a smile on your face! 

Let’s take a look at the different types of paddling fitness together.


Ah yes, the wobbly downward dog. Find yourself in the most serene yoga studio Canada has to offer.

Keeping yourself grounded when there’s no ground is quickly becoming Canada’s new favorite challenge. But don’t be shy! Yogis all around the country are offering paddleboard yoga classes to teach you the basics. You can thank yourself for strengthening your mind and your body, all while burning upwards of 540 calories in an hour!



If you’re paddling at a slow pace, taking in the sights, and enjoying the quiet moments in life, you’re still burning more calories than you may think. This casual pace will crush about double the amount of calories as your neighborhood walk. That’s approximately 304-430 calories an hour.

When the wind offers you some unexpected wavy conditions, you can bump that up an extra 100 calories burned every hour!


What does touring even mean? Think of it as the long distance running of the paddling world. Touring means you’re paddling at a consistent pace, over a long distance or period of time, without stopping to smell the flowers. But make sure to sneak in a selfie here and there! 

An hour of touring is sure to get your heart pumping with a burn rate up to 708 calories per hour! That’s more cals burnt in an hour than biking, running, or surfing!


Want to push your limits? Paddleboard racers do exactly that. With a full body workout, and your cardiovascular system working on high, you can expect to burn up to 1,125 calories an hour!! Talk about extreme athletics!

Paddling does more than just get your heart rate up, and being on the water offers more than just a beautiful environment - get ready to kick it up a knotch

The Core Reasons

The Big Ones

It may be unsurprising to hear that paddleboarding is great for the core. All that rotating, while balancing on an uneven surface will get your abdominal muscles fiery hot. The next morning as you’re rolling out of bed, you’ll find you’ve completed a killer back, shoulder, and arm workout. Get that warm bath ready!

The Little Ones

Here’s something you may not have considered! As you’re countering the movements from the water moving underneath your board, a string of micro muscles in your feet, ankles, and calves are working overtime to keep you afloat! These stabilizer muscles are often forgotten in our regular fitness routines and are crucial in keeping you agile and strong! In fact, if you, or anyone you know has struggled through the painful experience of plantar fasciitis, you may already be familiar with some of the therapeutic activities suggested. You’d be right to notice the similarities to the movements you make on your board! Don’t let those little guys go untrained. Earn yourself some relief, and increase your injury resistance.

Ever Heard of a Runner’s High? Get ready to experience a paddler’s high.

Sick and tired of the impact Covid has had on your mental health? It comes at no surprise that our communities are feeling the strain of being disconnected and isolated from their neighbours. No, you’re not going crazy, it’s a real thing.

For many of us, working from home isn’t the fun all-day-pajama-party we thought it would be. In fact… it turns out we’re feeling a little less motivated, a little less comfortable, and a lot more stressed out than we were back in the “old days.” 

You’re not alone, and it’s not a lost cause! Let’s talk about some of the awesome activities that just might be the thing you need to put the pep back in your step.

Strong Body, Blue Mind

Dr Wallace Nichols recently coined the term, “blue mind,” and it’s a pretty uplifting concept. It turns out that falling into, being near, in, or on the water can cause us to slip into a “mildly meditative state.” Think of that “ahh” moment that we all long for after a long, stressful day. It’s easier to get your hands on it than you think.

It turns out that just listening to the sound of water can help slide you into that sweet relaxed trance - so take a few minutes, throw on that Spotify water playlist, and breathe, even if just for a minute or two. If you’re lucky, a walk down to your local waterway might be just the thing you need.

With your paddleboard, you get to kick it up a notch. Here’s why.

Detoxing from a system swimming in cortisol and burnout can feel overwhelming at the end of a long day. If you’re anything like us, we want to order in some comfort food, cancel that dinner date we had planned, and crawl into bed. But here’s what you could try instead:

  • Exercise. We hear you, B.C.! Gyms and fitness classes keep closing! Thank goodness you've just learned about the awesome workout you can achieve with your inflatable SUP
  • Outdoors. Getting your sweat on while enjoying our great Canadian backyard is one of the best reported methods to reduce overall stress levels, and fill up on that feel-good vitamin D.
  • On water. Get your heart rate up, and achieve blue mind at the same time to truly soak in those exercise-releasing endorphins. Hello paddleboarding.
  • With a friend. Social support is so incredibly important for our kind. We simply couldn't survive without it, and unfortunately, many of us have had to remove ourselves from the classes, gyms, parties, and workplaces that normally fuel our social hearts. Bring a paddle partner to embrace your water workout together, with the ability to social distance, paddleboarding is an awesome alternative to your otherwise paused social endeavors.

    Sources and more information!


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