Trim Your Waist Wednesday: Paddle Boarding

This post is a sad salute to the end of summer.  I am sorry to see it go.  All summer I had been doing some mild paddle boarding, mostly for fun, mostly in a group setting.  I finally decided last week to do it intensely as a real workout.  I spent 4 hours paddle boarding in 4 different bodies of water.  As you all already know, most of my workouts are quick and to the point, so this one is off to a bad start by requiring 4 hours.  But its pretty fun so I let that part slide. However, nothing too good ever came of it.  I unfortunately have to report, that paddle boarding is simply not a great workout.


Don't get me wrong, it is a bit tiring and it is a workout.  It's much like kayaking - if you paddle fast enough and long enough you will wear yourself out.  But does it burn any fat or build any muscles?  I am skeptical.  The paddle boarding enthusiasts have been trying to convince me that it is a phenomenal full-body workout.  I just don't see it.  It is a great way to spend time on the water and get a bit of exercise while having fun, but a full-body workout it is not.


I first started in a quiet bay with few waves.  I paddled along the coast and back for a full 1 hour.  My arms were fairly tired afterward, but mostly I was a bit bored.  Without waves, it is nearly impossible to fall off and I didn't feel like I had pushed myself hard enough.  Next I did an hour on a pond and then an hour in a lake.  These experiences were more of the same. 



Lastly, I took my paddle out into the unprotected waves of the Atlantic Ocean.  This was by far the best workout and by far the most fun.  I should have just tried this for 4 hours.  The waves forced me to engage my legs for balance.  My quads were burning fairly shortly.  I actually fell in twice as well which made the whole workout more exciting.  Unfortunately I still didn't feel a great burn in my abs or core. 



Bottom line, if you want to have some fun, spend some time on the water, and get a decent workout.  Paddle board in the ocean.  Engage your legs and core as best you can for balance while scooting yourself along with the paddle.  I don't think anyone will be getting ripped from this workout though. I was not even the slightest bit sore the next day.