Most people who have paddleboards enjoy an active lifestyle, and typically paddleboard owners work out consistently either for their overall health or to enhance their skills on the board.
Although you don’t have to be an elite athlete to put in high-intensity workouts throughout the week, you do need to be sure you take some time to recover properly from your workouts.
Instead of taking a day completely off from working out, you can take an active recovery day, a day where you remain active and stay loose, taking advantage of a low-impact workout. Because active recovery gives you a chance to work out and keep your muscles active, your standup paddleboard not only offers a fun way to enjoy your free time, but it also allows you to enjoy a day of active recovery on the water.
If you’re looking for a creative way to incorporate an active recovery day into your week, this post explains how your paddleboard can maximize your recovery, giving you a workout while also improving your balance, mobility, and best of all your paddleboard skills.
Why Paddleboarders Need a Recovery Day
You don’t have to be training for paddleboard competitions to require a recovery day. Anyone who works out hard needs some time to recover from the workouts.
Whether you simply want to be better at paddleboarding for leisure or have specific goals for your standup paddleboard performance, you probably do some kind of workout throughout the week to build strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance.
No matter what kind of workouts you participate in, you need to give your body a rest between high-intensity days to develop stronger muscles and increase your endurance. Just like you need to refuel and rest after a workout, your muscles need the same care.
When you work out, you actually cause tears to your muscles, and these tears signal to your body that your muscles needs to repair themselves to sustain that same level of damage in the future.
So giving your muscles time to repair means giving them time to build stronger muscles for the next workout. However, if you don’t build in breaks for your body, you risk not giving your muscles the time they need for repair.
Because your muscles aren’t given time to repair, if you don’t give yourself the proper amount of recovery, you increase your risk of injury, which could take you both out of the gym as well as off the water.
But the good news is that recovery doesn’t have to mean sitting around the house for a day, binging your favorite show.
Instead, you can take part in active recovery. Active recovery offers your muscles the appropriate downtime they need but also engages your body in some kind of activity. Paddleboarding is the perfect activity for an active rest day.
Using a paddleboard means engaging your core to maintain balance and stability, and you use all your muscles to both paddle as well a stay balanced on your board.
While going all out by sprinting or handling large waves on your paddleboard would not be a good way to practice active recovery, anything from leisurely touring to consistent long-distance paddling fits the bill perfectly.
How to Incorporate Your Standup Paddleboard into Recovery Days
Your inflatable paddleboard offers the perfect complement to any training regimen. Using your paddleboard fits all the components of an active recovery day workout, which include:
- Cardio: Cardio gets a bad rap as you envision running for miles or sweating it out on an elliptical machine, but your recovery day provides a break from the monotonous cardio you usually have to do. Active recovery is your chance to do something you enjoy for cardio. You just need some heart-pumping action, and paddleboarding fits the bill. Getting your blood pumping will send essential nutrients and oxygen to your muscles, which are exactly what your muscles need for recovery. Although paddling leisurely might work for some, just test yourself to be sure you’re doing enough but not too much. You can go hard and fast as long as you don’t match the intensity you reach on regular training days.
- Movements designed for balance and mobility: Balance and mobility are essential for everyone—whether you want to perform sports at an elite level, participate recreationally, or simply want to protect against falls and injuries. You may train at an elite level or just work out to maintain your current fitness level. Either way, you put your joints, spine, and entire body under stress when you train. So to maintain your level of fitness, increase your fitness, or simply do yard work, your body needs both balance and mobility. Mobility uses flexibility and stability to allow you to use a full range of motion safely while you move, and using your paddleboard on recovery days helps you to increase mobility and balance, which keeps your body in alignment and helps reduce your risk of injury.
- Total-body conditioning: On an active recovery day, you need an activity that provides some low-impact, lower intensity conditioning, and your paddleboard can be a great way to achieve this. The intensity level means a lower intensity than your high-intensity workouts. So you can paddle away using your core for balance, your upper body to paddle, and your legs to maintain stability, which gives you the total-body conditioning you need.
- Moves for flexibility: Flexibility is what your mobility is built on, and the need for flexibility is highlighted when you’re on your paddleboard. You can see the advantage that good flexibility provides, plus it helps to reduce muscle tension, which in turn reduces your risk of injury.
- Mental break or meditation: Any good workout offers a mental break, and it’s hard to imagine anything more freeing mentally than paddling on the water at any time of the day. Whether you spend your day in an office or work out hard in the gym, using your paddleboard for a mental break is a good option even if you’re not on a recovery day.
Everyone knows what a great workout paddleboarding can be, but your standup paddleboard can also be the perfect complement for training of any kind.
You can use your board for active recovery days so that you keep your body working while elevating your paddleboarding skills.