Paddleboarding has surfaced as a popular water sport. You stand or kneel on a "surfboard," and using a long paddle (eight inches more than your height), glide across the surface as if walking on water.
There are many types of paddleboards. Soft-top boards are ideal for beginners, and inflatable ones are perfect for travel and easy storage.
Paddleboards come in different sizes and thicknesses to match a person's weight and skill level. They range in length from 10 feet to 12 feet and in width from 29 to 35 inches.
Paddleboarding is fun and a great stress buster, and it also can improve your movements on land.
For instance, it helps with balance. The paddle's angle and depth almost always change throughout each stroke, so your muscles have to react to the changes in resistance so you don't fall.
"This variety is similar to the real world, where you and your muscles have to quickly respond to different movements and tension, like if you have a misstep and need to catch yourself," says Kathleen Salas, a physical therapist with Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Network.
Paddleboarding can also help strengthen key muscles used in daily movements, like those in the core, back, arms, and shoulders.
Image: © Jason Todd/Getty Images
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.