5 Reasons Your Moms and Dads Should Start Stand Up Paddle:
SUP is one of those sports that any age can enjoy and one that mature folks can fall in love with all over again by doing something that adds lots of enjoyment into their senior years – This is a shout-out to our Moms/Mums this Mother’s Day!
We’re hoping that you reading will not only take your son or daughter out on board this summer, but also give the gift of SUP to your Mom/Mum and Dad, however young (at heart) they might be.
We know that seeing the 60+ crowd stand-up paddle boarding might be a rare sighting. Don’t let this stop you! Baby Boomers and seniors are out there – This age group is just getting started!
My wonderful mom and mother-in-law have been consistently stand-up paddle boarding with us since 2009! Today, they are 64 and 71 years old, and they haven’t slowed down!
When I was interviewing, my mother, Linda, age 64, and my mother-in-law, Peta, age 71, they gave some helpful insight about the ‘on board’ experience!
Here are the 5 reasons from Live Love SUP for why SUP is an excellent activity for Boomers’ health and peace of mind:
1. Easy to Learn – The routine of getting the basics down can take less than an hour when receiving helpful instructions. My mother-in-law, Peta recommends, “Try to encourage a few of your friends in the same age group to get together with a SUP company. Organise some lessons with like-minded people only, so you’re not being embarrassed in front of younger ones.” Lessons are a great way to get started!
A knowledgeable instructor will have you begin on shore, then move you onto calm waters, and soon enough, you’ll see yourself advancing from kneeling to standing on the board.
I provided my mom’s first lesson – Linda gives the following advice, “Get up on your knees, then focus straight ahead, then gradually stand up straight with knees bent a little. Don’t look down because you will lose your balance. That's what it is all about – BALANCE.”
She also says that if standing up is too challenging the first round, then just sit on the board and start paddling! “Start SLOW!”
When you do get to the point where you can stand up, start paddling, and practice your balance, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear with your newly gained confidence.
To make it even easier to learn, start out on a wide and stable board. When in doubt, find the biggest board you can.
2. Improves Balance and Coordination – SUP requires you to stand upright on the board. This demands core stability and leg strength to keep balance. As my mother-in-law, eloquently says, “As we age, our balance can be affected. Paddling helps with this – gives your core muscles a work out, strengthens your leg and arm muscles.”
My mom also adds, “I think one of the most important things about paddling when you are older is that it helps you stay steady and keep your balance. A lot of seniors get nervous about losing their balance, but practicing on the paddleboard builds your confidence.”
In the long-run, you will be able to extend your focus and balance in other day-to-day activities.
You’ll also benefit from realigning your posture to prevent aging challenges that come along with inactivity.
3. Improves Your Mood and Memory – As my mom says, “I just love the water! It’s very therapeutic!” The SUP adventure you have on the water will reduce your stress. Water naturally soothes the body. The relaxing sounds of water gliding through your paddle and the sensation of feeling like you’re walking on water will have you hypnotized with every stroke. Any stress felt will slowly release and disappear!
My mother-in-law exclaims, “Physical activity helps keep the brain active, so give it a try!” She’s right though! According to a Harvard Health Review, any kind of exercise has important advantages for your brain. It has the effect of reducing insulin resistance and inflammation, while also kickstarting chemicals that protect the health of brain cells. They only studied walking, but take a minute, and imagine how SUP can transform your mood and memory!
4. Low Impact That Builds Strength – As a low-impact sport, SUP takes it easy on your tendons and ligaments of your joints. It is perfect for people recovering from injuries that need to gently build-up more strength. It highlights its focus on strengthening muscles and bones. This is why SUP is especially helpful for osteoporosis. Short, swift strokes with the paddle and tightening of your core lead to iso-metric exercises that increase your overall strength. You’ll receive a full body workout without experiencing any severe soreness.
Get the exercise you need while having fun and getting in touch with your inner zen.
5. Boosts Heart Health – SUP can also be an aid in avoiding heart attacks and strokes. Similar to aerobics, this activity stimulates the heart rate and delivers more oxygen to working muscles while on the board.
For all those Moms and Dads out there, don’t let them get intimated by younger folks! SUP is growing in popularity, and the benefits far more outweigh any kind of temporary embarrassment or uncertainty! You all can do it in oceans, lakes, rivers, and bays – even a swimming pool can’t stop you! You’ll have the opportunity to explore the waters on an entirely new level. People of all ages, even our aging Moms and Dads, will be up and paddling in no time. While my mom emphasizes to “try it, you might like it!”, also take pride in knowing my mother-in-law’s experience, “The younger paddlers are impressed with the “oldies” skill!”
Happy Mother’s Day to all our incredible Moms!