Stand Up Paddle Boarding: Boomers on Boards

Why SUP is So Important for Health and Seniors

Here’s what you’ll see if you go down to almost any water way: stand up paddle boarding enthusiasts plying the waters, having a good time, and by default, getting a healthy dose of exercise in the process. Here’s what you probably won’t see: seniors on stand up paddle boards. Baby Boomers on SUP boards are almost non-existent. So today, I thought I’d talk about these folks, why they should engage in this activity which would allow them to enjoy their senior years even more, and lastly, why a paddle board like the Stand On Liquid Sunset 12’ SUP Touring Board would make a great fit for this age group. But first, let’s talk about why SUP is so important for the health of seniors.

A report published in 2013 on stand up paddle boarding, or SUP, or as it is known on the Hawaiian Islands, Hoe he’e nalu, called the sport the fastest growing participation sport for first timers. These new-to-SUP users cite a variety of reasons why, including the fact that it’s fun and involves water, but most importantly, the sport offers hidden health benefits. While the average age of these users is 28 years old and are probably already in pretty decent physical condition, it should be noted that everyone who uses a paddle board receives the same benefit. So why aren’t more older people out there on the water?

Here are five reasons why more older people should SUP:

1. Paddle boarding is an exercise that is easy to learn. The actual process of getting the fundamentals down can take less than an hour with good instructions, and because it is so easy to learn, most of those lessons discuss safety and water courtesy for most of the class. Generally, a good instructor will begin on shore, then take you to shallow water, and within minutes, most people have progressed from kneeling to standing up.

2. Exercise improves your mood and memory as well as increasing your overall health. A recent study by published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and cited in a Harvard Health Review suggests exercise has important benefits for your brain. They write: “The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.” And they just studied walking. Imagine how many benefits a day on a paddle board can provide for your brain.

SOL 12' Sunset Touring SUP

Lightweight and incredibly stable, this might be the best board for seniors looking to improve their health.

3. Paddle Boarding can fight osteoporosis. This over-fifty concern, especially among women is the result of lower estrogen levels. The exercise you receive on a paddle board actually improves your health in part because the sport is non-impact, creating beneficial increases in this important bone challenging fight.

4. Paddle Boarding improves balance and coordination and that improves your posture as well as a whole host of age-battling infirmities that result due to inactivity. Because SUP works the core of your body, your back, shoulder muscles, and the rest of your body, but does this in a natural outdoor setting, which puts the focus on fun rather than fitness, more people who try SUP for health are likely to stay with it longer than most other activities.

5. Paddle Boarding is not just for kids. Because 28 year olds need to know that older folks are also entitled to a good time on the water.

So which board is best? I mentioned the Stand On Liquid Sunset 12’ Touring SUP Board for a couple of good reasons. First and foremost, it’s light weight. Weighing in at only 27 lbs., older SUPers will have little difficulty getting the board on or off their car and carrying it to the water’s edge. Second is stability. This allows you to work on your posture without worrying too much about dumping your board. And third, as your posture and balance improve, this board also provides a good all-around experience. And last, it is a stylish board that doesn’t make you look as if you are trying to be younger than you are, just more youthful.

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