SUP has a lot of benefits, both physical and mental. The former is more obvious, as SUP undoubtedly helps you build everything from a stronger core to increased stamina. In a previous post entitled What are the Mental Benefits of SUP, we have also discussed a couple of the latter, including the curbing of daily stress and preventing anxiety. Today, we will be expounding on the hows of these two points.
Whether it’s the novelty of being surrounded by nature or the physical aspects of the activity, here are some ways SUP can help you deal with stress and anxiety.
Being surrounded by water is relaxing
Water in all forms is highly therapeutic. There’s even a scientific term for it, “blue mind,” which refers to the mildly meditative state we fall into when near, in, on, or underwater. “In fact, the mere sight and sound of water can induce a flood of neurochemicals that promote wellness, increase blood flow to the brain and heart, and induce relaxation,” says marine biologist Wallace Nichols. Whether it is for practice or casual paddling, SUP helps you relax by surrounding you with water.
Nature gives you a total time off
With the prevalence of work from home operations, it may be difficult to separate the stresses of work from (what is supposed to be) the relaxing atmosphere of your home. SUP allows you to get away from it all. Not only is this good for your mental health, but a study cited by Entrepreneur has found that taking time off actually increased productivity. Once you are rejuvenated, you will find that work becomes much easier to manage, leading to less stress overall.
Physical activity beats negative feelings
Research on The Washington Post details that, when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Also known as the “feel-good hormone,” it triggers positive feelings in your body, letting you cope with negative feelings better. The same article further notes how exercise “provides a low-dose jolt to the brain’s reward centers” to include feelings of hope and motivation. If you are feeling a bit down, you’ll find that one SUP session can significantly improve your mood.
Improves one’s self-image
It’s no big secret that low self-esteem can make you more prone to anxiety. Moreover, psychologists on Verywell Mind informs that the more anxious you become, the more negative your self-image will be. It’s a vicious cycle—one that can be potentially lessened with SUP. For example, SUP is a very effective full-body workout, so it can help you improve your body physically. There is also that powerful feeling you get when you swoop that paddle. Overall, SUP is a great way to feel better about yourself.
SUP can be used for yoga
A trend in the SUP community is combining the activity with yoga. Yoga itself has plenty of benefits listed on Everyday Health, including the lowering of one’s cortisol (or the stress hormone) and better oxygen circulation. This makes it a good activity for those looking to relax. Since you are doing the poses on a paddleboard, it becomes more challenging. After all, you need to focus more. According to Healthline, increased focus can help you “stay in the moment,” teaching you to let go of current worries.
SUP can help you manage your emotions in multiple ways. While it’s ideal that you do paddle frequently, even a couple of bouts every month will improve your mood immensely.
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