If there’s anything we’ve learned from the global Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, it’s that maintaining a healthy immune system is key to staying well. There’s more to it than washing your hands and keeping a safe distance from people you don’t live with. It’s important to exercise, get a healthy dose of fresh air, eat right, stay hydrated and care for your body from head to toe. In this post, we’re going to talk about 5 ways a healthy SUP lifestyle boosts your immune system and helps you live a fun and healthy life.

#1: SUP Strengthens All of Your Muscles

If you’re a SUPer already, then you know stand up paddle boarding is a full body workout. From shore, it might not look like you’re working every muscle, but you are.

In fact, SUP works just about every muscle of your body, from your neck, shoulders and arms, down to your legs and feet. Most of all -- and best of all -- it really works your core.

Core strength is good for all of your body’s functions, and healthy bodily functions are key to a healthy immune system.

SUP also improves body balance, another important factor in staying healthy. Learning to maintain a constant standing position on moving water takes full body concentration and effort. You’ll feel the workout from your effort and you’ll see it, too, with better tone and better balance on stable ground.

If you're new to SUP, you can check out any of our dozens of blogs on how SUP works your body. Whether you plan to try SUP yoga, SUP surfing, traditional paddling or any of the other fun ways to SUP, you’re going to benefit with a leaner, stronger, healthier body.

#2: SUP Burns Calories

We mentioned that you’ll feel a good SUP workout the next day, and it’s true. It’s one of those “hurts so good” kind of feels. Paddle boarding will have you using muscles you might not know you have. The results will be a strong and toned body, and your friends will notice. More importantly, you’ll notice the positive changes in how you look and feel.

With SUP, you’re going to burn a lot of calories. On average, you can burn up to twice as many calories with SUP as you would with speed walking on a treadmill. If you SUP harder, faster or longer, you could burn even more.

Here’s a rundown on SUP calorie burn with different SUP activities:

SUP Surfing

SUP surfing is a serious workout and a serious calorie burner. In an hour of SUP surfing, you can burn up to 600-to-750 calories.

SUP surfing is also one of the coolest ways to SUP. In fact, SUP got its start from early surfers. You can read about that amazing story here.

SUP Racing

Racing will definitely get your blood pumping, and we all know that’s good for your heart. SUP racing also burns major calories. Depending on what kind of racer you are, you can burn 700 calories or more in just one hour.

SUP Yoga

SUP Yoga is one of the most popular forms of non-traditional SUP. It’s a great mind-body workout and a good calorie burner. An hour of zenful SUP can burn 400-to-450 calories and get you to your happy place.

#3: SUP Gets Your Heart Pumping

But let’s talk a little more about heart health. That one little organ feeds your entire body. Exercising gets your heart pumping and in turn, your heart gets well-oxygenated blood to all of your muscles.

By maintaining a healthy heart, you are taking giant strides toward boosting your immune system. Conversely, an unhealthy heart can lead to heart disease, and heart disease makes you vulnerable to all kinds of illnesses, including viruses and Covid-19.

One of the earliest observations about patients who got very sick with coronavirus and/or died due to complications of the virus is that they had a pre-existing problem with heart disease.

If there’s one thing all of us can do to boost our immune systems, it’s to maintain a healthy heart by not smoking, eliminating bad fats and processed foods, and getting plenty of healthy exercise.

#4: SUP Beats Stress

Stress is another killer, and another contributor to heart disease. Unfortunately, certain stresses are unavoidable. Lockdown certainly doesn’t make it any easier!

SUP is a proven way to get a grip on stress. It distracts you from your worries, forces your attention on the process of paddling and balancing, and gets you in tune with Mother Nature. 

All of this adds up to a healthier mind, healthier heart and healthier immune system.

Tip: One truly beautiful way to use your iROCKER to beat stress is to convert it to kayak modefor a leisurely paddle down a gorgeous canopied waterway.

#5: SUP Gets You the Fresh Air and Sunshine Your Body Loves

Fresh air and sunshine are also your friends when it comes to maintaining a healthy immune system. The Vitamin D we get from the sun is very difficult to get in pill form. Besides, SUP is much more fun than a multivitamin anyway!

Did you know an estimated 40 percent of people have a Vitamin D deficiency? That number goes up in winter (and lockdown).

Of course, we need to remember to protect ourselves from too much wind and sun, but a little bit every day is healthy.

Tip: When lockdown is in our rearview mirrors, you might think about treating yourself to a full-body, after-SUP massage. A post-workout massage is a great way to treat yourself after a blood-pumping SUP sesh. Lockdown won’t last forever, so look online for a skilled massage therapist near you who can help with muscle repair after your workouts.

So if lockdown has you glued to your couch, get up and get paddling! You’ll feel better, look better and be better.

If you have ideas for how to SUP through social distancing and boost your immune system, we’d love to hear them. Reach out to our team on our website or our Facebook page. Hearing from you makes us happy!