I may have a new obsession. Stand Up Paddle Boarding!
I am a water girl through and through. I spent my summers as a kid at our family lake house swimming, canoeing, rowing, sitting with my feet in the water watching the sun set. There is something about being near water that just brings peace and calm to my soul. Before I became hooked on running I was a rower and spent my hours on the water enjoying the natural environment.
I had forgotten how much I love spending time on the water.
I met Stacey of Rooted By Stacey last night down at the Moore Dam on the gorgeous Northern Connecticut River for my first Stand Up Paddle Boarding Fitness Class. Stacey greeted me with such complete positive energy that I knew immediately that I would enjoy this class. Stacey has a true passion for nature and physical well-being. Stacey teaches yoga, trail side yoga and is now offering SUP Fit and SUP Yoga. She was very excited to begin her new venture teaching the Paddle Boarding classes and has selected several beautiful locations in the White Mountains to hold her classes. The class that I am taking is held on the Connecticut River right above the Moore Dam in Littleton, New Hampshire.
I have never tried Stand Up Paddle Boarding before this class however as a child have great memories of paddling around standing up on my parents windsurfer without the sail. This was a fun lake activity that would also include friendly duels atop the windsurfer board to see who could be knocked off the board first.
The class was small which was nice plus my amazing friend Jenny was there too to join in the SUP Fit fun. Stacey started the class with a fun warm-up. We did an easy jog and then some calisthenic type exercises including everyone’s favorite–Burpees!
After getting warm it was time to head out on the Reservoir. Stacey has a small fleet of super cool Odyssey StandUp Paddleboards both the TOUR and the SURF models. The paddles reminded me of my rowing sculls because the construction was a nice light carbon fiber.
We headed out from the boat launch and I quickly fell in love with my board and the feeling of paddling on the river. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is awesome for developing core strength because each stroke is taken with a wide hand grip and straight arm positioning. Your feet should be in a wide stance to act as a strong foundation. To gain power on each stroke you dig the blade in with a slightly rotated core. for more tips on technique check out this article.
After having fun paddling around for awhile it was time to get down to the FIT part of the class so we paddled into a quiet cove and dropped our anchors. Now this is where the abs of steel come in . . . we did a series of core exercises on the board which are derived from Yoga, Pilates and other fitness routines. Stacey had us focus on different muscle groups including everyones favorite the Gluteus Maximus (BUM) and of course the abdominals (well hello abdominals!!!!).
SUP Fit is perfect for me especially since I am still recovering from my Peroneal Tendonitis because the exercises are all low impact. SUP Fit is awesome for improving balance and core strength because of the added challenge of working through each exercise while trying to keep the board stable in the water.
After the first round of exercises I slid off my board for a quick dip in the gorgeous water and then we went for another StandUp Paddle. Then got down on our bellies for some Surf Style Paddling back to the cove (and let me tell you I am feeling it in my shoulders today!). We finished of the workout with another series of core moves and a final paddle before heading back to the shore.
I could have stayed on the water forever. The water was like glass. The air was warm and the sky was beginning to glow a pink dusk.
So, yes . . . you guessed it, I am hooked and I have signed up for another class next week. I may have to do this all summer! I can’t wait to go and join Stacey for another awesome SUP Fit Class next week! (apparently I am excited . . . sorry for the over usage of exclamation points!!!!)
Have you tried Stand Up Paddle Boarding before?