young man exercising on paddle board at the lake

The Ultimate Guide to Stand Up Paddle Boarding for Weight Loss

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is a popular, fast-growing sport that is an excellent way to get fit and lose weight!


It’s a full-body workout that helps you burn calories and provides a unique fitness experience that can’t be found at the gym.

SUP is also a great low-impact exercise option, so it’s a great choice for those who are looking for a way to shed some pounds without risking injury.

In this article, we will discuss why SUP is an effective way to lose weight, how to get started, and provide some inspiring success stories from people who have successfully used it for weight loss. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddleboarder, we have something for everyone.

So let’s get started!

young man exercising on paddle board at the lake, man training his fitness on a Stand-Up Paddleboard, Stand Up Paddle Boarding for Weight Loss

How Stand Up Paddle Boarding Can Help With Weight Loss

Stand up paddle boarding is a great way to help you lose weight.

It’s a full-body workout that helps you burn more calories than many other activities. Plus, its low-impact nature makes it a great option for those who don’t want to put too much pressure on their joints.

When it comes to weight loss, it’s important to make sure you’re doing a mix of cardio and strength-training exercises.

Why it is important to mix cardio and strength training to lose weight

Cardio training aims to improve basic endurance, thus it is clear that cardio is trained at a lower intensity level, but over a longer period of time. This is important to know, especially when training with the goal of weight loss.

The reasons for this are as follows:

– During short, high loads, the body takes energy from a resource that it can convert quickly in the muscles. This is usually the sugar reserves in the body.

– During long sustained loads, the body has to start converting fat reserves into quickly usable forms of energy. This means that during longer workouts, fat burning, which is central to losing weight, is stimulated.

The basic mechanism of why you lose weight is actually simple: it happens when you use more energy than you put into your body. However, long cardio sessions and especially interval training have the advantage of stimulating fat burning. With short but intense sessions, there is a risk that eating or drinking will replenish sugar reserves so quickly that the body does not need to address its fat reserves.

So why is it still important to do short, intense sessions within a longer cardio training (so-called interval training) that primarily build body strength and muscle mass?

The short, high-intensity training sessions help to build muscle mass, which, as a consquence, increase the metabolic basal rate. The metabolic basal metabolic rate is nothing more than the energy the body uses at rest to maintain basic chemical processes.

One of the larger consumers of energy, along with the brain, for example, is muscle mass. This means that the more muscle mass you have, the more energy you use, even when you’re not doing anything. And this, of course, helps you lose weight…

Female stretching doing workout on sea water

Why it is easy to train cardio and strength with SUP

SUP has, besides the fact that it is a whole body workout, the advantage that it is extremely easy to train endurance and strength at the same time. And that’s, as explained above, a major advantage of Stand-Up Paddle Boarding for Weight Loss.

For this purpose, it is recommended to switch on a few interval workouts during your SUP tour. That is:


Paddle first for 10 – 15 minutes comfortably at low intensity.
As a simple rule, in which heart rate should be trained, the following rule of thumb can be used:
180 – age (this typically corresponds to 60 – 70 % of the maximum load).

Interval Training

Paddle for 30 – 45 seconds at full power (rule of thumb for heart rate: 220). After that, you paddle again with low intensity for about 30 – 60 seconds.
Repeat this procedure for 5 – 10 times.

Cool Down

After the interval training, you should then ideally “coast” for 10-15 minutes at a low intensity.

One more note regarding heart rates: the formulas given here are really just rough rules of thumb.

The right intensity for you depends on many factors, such as fitness level, weight, or gender. There are also more precise formulas, like the Sally Edwards formula, but if you want to know your optimal training intensities, you should consult a professional trainer.

Conclusion about what makes Stand Up Paddle Boarding ideal for Weight Loss

SUP has the advantage that you can train strength, stability, coordination, and basic endurance extremely easily. So if you’re looking for an all-in-one sport that will help you improve in all aspects, SUP is definitely one of the best.

How SUP helps with the motivation to stay tuned

Another important advantage, especially if you want to lose weight in the long term, is that the training must be fun. Long-term weight loss requires that you train regularly over a long period of time. This is definitely easier the more fun the training is, and SUP is extremely fun!

Typical calorie burn rate when you Stand Up Paddling

With stand up paddle boarding, you can combine both into one workout. You’ll be using your core muscles to help keep your balance on the board and using your arms and back to propel you forward. This type of exercise is an effective way to burn calories and tone your muscles.

Calorie Consumption chart

Of course, the exact amount of calories you burn during SUP is dependent on many factors, such as your size, weight, metabolic rate, and, naturally, the intensity of your paddling.

If you’re looking for an even more intense workout, you can try interval training on your paddle board. This involves alternating between short bursts of intense activity and longer periods of recovery. One way to do that is described above in this article.

Another natural way to have interval workouts in SUP is to start riding some waves, for example. With Wave SUP, you’ll have ever-changing intensities while paddling. Wave SUP, however, certainly requires advanced skills on the board, and, especially with somewhat larger waves, also an appropriate SUP board.

In addition to exercise, it’s important to have a healthy diet to help you reach your weight-loss goals. Eating nutritious meals and getting enough sleep is essential for weight loss. And, of course, be sure to stay hydrated while paddle boarding.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding as a Low-Impact Exercise Option

What is a Low-Impact Exercise?

A low-impact exercise is basically an exercise or sport in which the joints are subjected to little impact. Low-impact exercises and sports are therefore easy on the joints.

Why is it beneficial that SUP is a low-impact exercise

Especially when you want to lose weight, there are several reasons why it is important to exercise in a way that is easy on the joints:

– Typically, when you want to lose weight, you have a higher weight. In sports where the joints are heavily loaded by their own weight (e.g. knee joints when jogging), this can lead to overloading more quickly.

– Also, especially at the beginning, when you are not yet so trained, it is important that you do not put too much stress on the joints and muscles.

The big advantage of low-impact sports is that the risk of injury, especially for beginners, is much lower than in sports where joints and muscles are loaded harder and by strong impacts.

Now we have talked in detail about the advantages of SUP as a sport for weight loss.

But does it really work?

If you’re looking for some inspiration, there are plenty of testimonials and success stories out there.
Interviews with people who have used SUP to support their weight loss journey can be found all over the internet. Reading about their experiences can give you the motivation you need to stick with your own weight loss plan.

Testimonials and Success Stories

When it comes to stand up paddle boarding for weight loss, the best way to get a feel for the exercise is to hear from people who have tried it. That’s why we reached out to SUP professionals and paddlers who have had success with the sport. We asked them to share their tips and experiences, and the results were inspiring.

We spoke with several people who have used paddle boarding as a way to lose weight. Here’s what they had to say.

Samantha had been struggling to lose weight for years, but when she started to stand up paddle boarding, she saw results almost immediately. “I was able to see an increase in my fitness and a decrease in my weight almost immediately,” she said. “The low-impact nature of the exercise was a huge plus for me, as I was worried about the risk of injury.”

Tom was drawn to stand up paddle boarding as a way to get a full-body workout. “Using a paddle board completely changed the way I think about fitness,” he said. “It’s a great way to get a full-body workout while also burning a lot of calories. I find that I’m also able to push myself harder with interval training on a paddle board.”

Nicole had been looking for a weight loss activity that she could do with her family. She found stand up paddle boarding to be the perfect solution. “We are able to spend quality time together while also burning calories,” she said. “I’ve found that I’m able to stay motivated and stay on track with healthy eating habits when I’m paddle boarding with my family.”

These are just a few of the inspiring stories we heard from people who have used stand up paddle boarding as a way to lose weight. If you’re looking for an enjoyable way to get fit and burn calories, stand up paddle boarding could be the perfect solution.


While stand up paddle boarding may be a relatively new exercise, it is a great way to lose weight and stay fit.

Main Advantages of SUP for Weight Loss

+ It’s a full body-workout in which you train your arm, leg, and core muscles
+ It’s a workout with which you train cardio, strength as well as coordination
+ It’s a low-impact exercise with a low risk of injuries
+ The calorie consumption is, compared to other sports, relatively high even when you train at a lower intensity level

Through interviews with those who have successfully used SUP to burn fat and lose weight, a clear pattern has emerged: focus on interval training and a healthy diet.

Ultimately, with consistency and dedication, stand up paddle boarding can be an effective and enjoyable way to lose weight and stay fit.


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