LIVE LONG, LIVE WELL by Jodi Corlelio: Paddle boarding is a fitness nut’s dream

By Jodi Cornelio
Health Writer

It is so much easier to get fit and stay fit when you are having fun in your activity. There are so many outdoor activities in the summertime that can mix up your routine and bring you to a higher fitness level. Let’s step out of our comfort zone and try paddle boarding, which has become very popular in the Northeast.

Did you know you can burn up to 430 calories per hour on a paddle board? That’s a fitness nut’s dream come true — a tan and a calorie burn at the same time.
There are many health benefits to paddle boarding. Below are just a few:
* The core benefits to your back and stomach are tremendous. Without a doubt you can condition your core by paddle boarding. The simple motion of trying to stabilize the board acts on your core muscles. Try it. Just getting on a paddle board requires you to call on those muscles, in the center of your body, to engage. First kneel on the board, then gently stand up. Ta dah! Instant Pilates!
With each stroke of the paddle you should always try to tighten and contract your back and stomach. Maintain a straight posture for maximum benefits and back safety.
* Paddle boarding is a great way to improve balance. As we age, we all lose a little bit of balance every day. It is very important for all of us to improve and challenge our balance daily. This will help protect against trips falls and clumsiness later on in life.
* Paddling is good for upper body strength, too. The repetitive motion of paddling against the resistance of the water helps tone and tighten shoulders, biceps and triceps.
* There are lower body benefits as well. The simple challenge of bracing your feet on the board while putting your upper body in motion is great for the legs. It is an isometric movement and the muscles of the lower body, hips and legs contract while paddling to hold your body on the board.
* Paddle boarding is a low impact exercise. This means it protects tendons and ligaments while getting a calorie burn and strength work out. There is no pounding or jarring to the joints or bones.
* Most importantly, paddle boarding is good for your mind. It is a great stress reducer. The peacefulness of the water and the tranquility of nature clear the mind and soul.
Always remember that even though this is a fun exercise there is always the need to maintain a proper posture. Try not to slouch and hold your stomach in to protect your back. Last but not least, when finished, don’t forget to stretch. Always focus on your breath while stretching and breathe in all of Mother Nature’s beauty of the lake.
Live Long, Live Well