Stand Up Paddle Board: Enhancing Mental Wellbeing | Poole Harbour Watersports

Revitalise with Stand Up Paddle Boarding: Boost Mental Wellbeing!

In addition to being a popular water sport, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has also gained appeal as a therapeutic exercise that may have positive effects on mental health in addition to physical health. 


Being outdoors and on the water exposes individuals to nature, which has been linked to mental health benefits. Nature has a calming effect on the mind and can help reduce symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety. Engaging in water sports like SUP provides an opportunity to disconnect from screens and digital devices, which in turn can help reduce mental fatigue and promote a healthier balance in life.

SUP requires focus and concentration, helping individuals become more present in the moment. This mindfulness practice can help people feel less stressed and anxious by taking their minds off of daily worries. Focussing and being surrounded by nature and the rhythmic motion of paddling on water can have a calming effect on the mind, promoting relaxation.

Mindfulness practices have been shown to reduce stress and improve mental well-being. A study published in the journal Mindfulness (2018) explored the impact of a mindful SUP program on stress reduction and found significant improvements in stress levels among participants.


Paddleboarding can also be enjoyed individually or in groups, providing opportunities for social interaction. Socializing and engaging in activities with others can enhance mood, distract your mind from worries and reduce feelings of isolation. Group paddleboarding sessions or joining a SUP community can create a supportive network, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie and encouragement to maintain this active sport as well. The more times you go out the better you will feel and the effects of a better mindset from exercise will last longer. 


Reducing stress and promoting mindfulness

Engaging in physical activity is a well-established method for reducing stress. Stand up paddleboarding involves paddling while standing on a board, which requires the use of various muscle groups, particularly the core, legs, and arms. Regular exercise, such as paddling, stimulates the release of endorphins, the body's natural mood-enhancing chemicals. Endorphins act as natural stress relievers, promoting a positive and relaxed state of mind. The combination of balance, paddling, and core engagement provides a full-body calorie-burning workout, contributing to improved physical health, which in turn positively influences mental health. Exercising regularly, such as paddleboarding, has been linked to improved sleep quality, which is crucial for mental health, and activities that promote better sleep can have positive effects on mood and cognitive function.

Paddleboarders often synchronize their breath with their paddling, fostering a conscious awareness of each inhale and exhale. This mindful breathing can induce a state of relaxation and contribute to stress reduction. Paddleboarding offers a break from the routine of daily life and the change in scenery and the novelty of the activity provide a mental escape, allowing individuals to temporarily detach from work, responsibilities, and other stressors.

Regular physical activity has been consistently linked to improved mental health. Exercise is known to stimulate the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters that act as natural mood lifters. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2017) found that even small amounts of physical activity can have positive effects on mental health.                    

Engaging in novel and adventurous activities has been associated with positive psychological outcomes. A study in the Journal of Happiness Studies (2016) found that engaging in adventurous leisure activities was linked to increased life satisfaction and happiness.


This may not be an ideal solution for everyone, however, incorporating outdoor activities and exercise into your routine can contribute to a healthier and more balanced lifestyle, which can positively impact mental health. We would like to say, if you are thinking about it then there is no harm in trying.

If you are unsure on stand up paddleboarding as a beginner, then book a lesson with us here - Stand Up Paddleboard lesson.


If you have any questions or ideas you want to chat through, give us a call on 01202 700503 or email us at

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