#HealthyMe: Hooked On Paddle Boarding (With Video)

Julie Bitely

| 3 min read

Well, it’s official: my new favorite workout is a standing paddle board trip around the lake!
I had wanted to paddle board all summer and decided to try it out with a group just a few weeks ago. Though I was pretty tired and sore after the first time, the thrill of the trip was amazing. I have been back to the lake every Sunday since, to get in a weekend workout.
Paddle boarding builds muscle strength in the arms and legs, conditions your core and improves your balance. You get similar health benefits from kayaking, but paddling is more physical and, to me, even more fun. Here are a few other reasons why I love the activity:
  • It’s relatively inexpensive (or free if you know the right people!)- If you’re like me and want to board on a budget, this workout is a good option. Most rentals range from $10-20 per hour on Michigan bodies of water. Going only on weekends also helps cut down expenses. If you know someone who lives on a lake though, sometimes they have connections to boards you can use for free!
  • Just about anyone can do it- From age 6 to 60, if you can swim and balance on a board you can probably paddle! At many locations, you don’t even have to get in the water. Just step right off the dock or beach onto a board. Sitting and kneeling on the board also make the process more versatile for those with chronic pains or ailments.
  • Michigan is made for it- Calm waters like rivers, inlets and canals make it easy to move and paddle freely. Nearby lakes are also always fun to explore!
  • Paddling is peaceful- Particularly at dusk or dawn, the water is glassy, wildlife is out and boats are few and far between. The time I’ve had to myself is calming and helps clear my mind.
  • It’s fun and not monotonous- I experience burnout from too many repeated workouts. Paddling lets me look out at the different lake landscape and have a fun experience every time.
  • You feel accomplished after!- Hopping off the board I have felt a bit wobbly, but the high of knowing how far I traveled is priceless.
The only downside to this is that you’re limited to good weather. Summer and parts of fall and spring are the ideal times to get out and paddle. Though fall is upon us, I already can’t wait until next year to get out and paddle more!
Want to see the view from a paddler’s perspective? Check out the video below and be sure to let us know where you like to paddle board in Michigan.
This blog post is part of #HealthyMe, a personalized web experience based on your health and wellness goals. To sign up today, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/healthyme
Photo credit: Taylar Kobylas

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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