Paddleboarding is an increasingly popular recreational activity. Often seen as a relaxing way to spend a peaceful day on the water, paddleboarding might provide some hidden health benefits. The following are just a few potential health benefits of paddleboarding.

• Stress reduction: Many paddleboarding enthusiasts acknowledge the soothing qualities of paddleboarding, and a 2016 study published in the academic journal Health & Place found that increased views of blue space, including lakes, can be linked to lower levels of psychological distress.

• Exercise: While it might not be high-intensity exercise, paddleboarding is exercise and can provide an avenue for otherwise sedentary men, women and children to begin increasing their levels of physical activity. Muscles in legs get a workout when paddleboarding, as these muscles are tasked with holding the body steady. In the meantime, core abdominal muscles also get a workout as they work to maintain the body’s balance. And of course, muscles in the arms, back and shoulders are needed for paddling. While paddleboarding may not qualify as vigorous a cardiovascular or strength-training exercise, it does provide a low-impact way for participants to engage muscles throughout their bodies.

• Balance: Paddleboarding can be a relaxing activity, but those paddleboarders who are most relaxed are the ones with great balance. Fortunately, paddleboarding can help men, women and children improve their balance because it requires a stable core and strong legs. While novice paddleboarders might struggle to stay upright at first, in time they’re likely to notice their balance is improving.

• Vitamin D: Human skin produces vitamin D in response to sunlight, which paddle boarders get plenty of. Vitamin D serves a host of functions in the body that can promote short and long term health. Vitamin D facilitates normal immune system function, which can help paddleboarders fight off disease and infection. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a host ailments, including diabetes, as inadequate amounts of vitamin D can cause insulin resistance and possibly seasonal affective disorder.

STORY: GEORGIAN LIFE MEDIA INC.  |   PHOTOS: DAVE WEST, SIDELAUNCH DAYS (2019) AND FREE SPIRIT TOURS

Here are some pictures of local paddleboarders enjoying the lakes and rivers we are blessed with in this area.