Paddle surfing, much more than a sport

Reasons to paddle surf this summer

Summer is near, so there is less time left to plan what we will do during our vacations. At this time of the year it is more complicated than usual to follow a healthy lifestyle, because with the heat it is more lazy to exercise. For this reason, water sports such as paddle surfing are a very good option to practice sports in summer.

Paddle surfing, which is also known as Stand Up Paddle, is a sport in which you must move through the water on a board with the help of an oar. In addition, it is an inexpensive and simple sport, a fact that has led to its popularity in recent times.

In terms of exercise, it is a good complement to other physical activities, since it tones the muscles and works the proprioceptive system. Proprioception is a sense that allows us to be fully aware of the capabilities of our musculoskeletal system. This allows us to optimize our movements in relation to space, to measure effort and to respond to all kinds of stimuli. This is possible thanks to a complex network of receptors found in the joints, tendons and muscles, which send information to the brain so that we know what posture to adopt and further refine our movements.

Therefore, proprioception allows us to avoid falling when we trip, improve our balance or walk in the dark without bumping into furniture or objects that block our path. For this reason, it is vital to work our proprioceptive system to have maximum control of our limbs, especially when recovering from an injury or surgery. In addition, improving proprioception can increase your performance in all sports, as reported in the Journal of Aging And Physical Activity.

The efficacy of paddle surfing, scientifically proven

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) showed that users who practice paddle surfing have better biomechanical and sensory performance than those who do not practice it. The study involved two groups of adults, one of which practiced paddle surfing and the other went for a brisk walk. The exercises were carried out in a controlled manner by a specialist.

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After a few weeks, the balance of the participants was evaluated with tests such as the Romberg test, an exercise that consists of placing the person with closed eyes and feet together and checking whether he or she remains stable. Testing the results of the same exercise also with the eyes open, it was shown that in both cases the paddle surfers had better balance and less sway.

This is because the challenge of staying in balance on an unstable surface such as a surfboard transfers also on stable ground. Therefore, it was concluded that training stability in the aquatic environment allows us to improve balance control.

Balance is of great importance in locomotor system injuries, especially in the elderly. Paddle surfing is ideal to have an active lifestyle and improve proprioception.

More reasons to practice Stand Up Paddle

Also, this sport has advantages at sensorimotor level in all age groups. Its practice strengthens the feet, legs, hips and the entire core area (lumbar and abdominal muscles involved in our stability).

SUP also stands out for being one of the sports with the lowest rate of injuries. Although it requires skill acquisition, it is considered a safe sport activity. The necessary paddling technique must be performed with rhythmic movements of the legs that accompany the trunk. A common mistake in many novices is to work only with the arms, regardless of the lower body.

To protect the spine, the trunk musculature must be activated in order to avoid back pain, hip problems, herniated discs or ankle or knee problems. Finally, if the rowing technique is not correct, it can lead to a shoulder impingement or impingement. To avoid this, it is imperative that instructors emphasize that users learn to paddle with the correct range.