The Blue Mind Effect: SUP & Mental Health
How Being on Board Boosts Your Physical & Mental Wellbeing
At Paddleboarding London we hear all the time how good people feel when they are out on the water. But why is paddling so good for your mental health and wellbeing?
1 Paddleboarding helps you forget day-to-day worries
In today’s stressy world of crowded travel journeys and challenging jobs, not to mention the cost-of-living or the way our phones keep us on permanent alert, taking me time needs to be a priority. We can promise you that on your first go on a paddleboard any other worries you have will disappear as you learn the basics.
2 There’s even a theory why people benefit so much from being around water
Blue Mind Theory is that “mildly meditative state” that people enter when around water. It might be why so many of us love to go to the sea for our holidays or take a walk by a river. With paddleboarding the gentle splash of your paddle as it enters the water, the changed perspective of life on a waterway and the need to focus on your balance and breath very quickly drops you into this Blue Mind calm. Blue Mind is good for your head, but can also help you to problem-solve and boost creativity. Your paddleboard coach won’t need to tell you how to do this, it just happens.
3 It’s fun
This is the best bit about paddleboarding – it’s so fun. Many people remember their first go paddleboarding as a time they did a lot of laughing, even the ones who fall in. Laughter is a lovely medicine.
4 You’ll learn about your body
Even when the water is flat calm on the canal, if you look closely, you’ll see there are ripples and movement. Standing on a paddleboard your legs may feel a bit like jelly at first, and even shake, which is a bit unnerving, but it just shows your legs and brain are waking up to the water.
5 It’s like being on holiday
Ninety minutes paddleboarding on Regent’s Canal or St Katharine Docks is an amazing reset. It’s like being on a mini-break, but without all the planning and super expense. Also, we’ll take loads of photos (if you want) so you can relive your memories and share those good times. Like they say, a change is as good as a break.
6 It gives you perspective
Breaking your routine to go paddleboarding may be just what you need to forget feelings of low self-worth or a challenging life situation. You could think of your paddleboard session as a way to self-medicate by getting outside and doing something different for 90 minutes. And if you don’t like it that’s no problem, at least you’ve tried.
7 It’s part of the 5 steps to mental wellbeing outlined by the NHS
The NHS says you can feel more positive and get the most out of life if you connect with people; be physically active; learn new skills; give to others and pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness). Paddleboarding ticks four out of five of those boxes! Maybe that’s why paddleboarding is the world’s fastest growing water sport? You can learn the basics quickly and from then on, it’s just going to get better as you start to make paddleboarding friends, develop your paddle skills and enjoy being outside in nature watching the wildlife and canal characters.
Q: Are you ready to paddleboard?
There are so many reasons to paddleboard. You might want to have a go and find out what all the buzz is about. You might want to learn the basics before you go on holiday. You might want to develop your skills and paddle regularly near to your home or office, especially if you have to spend a lot of time working from home. You might just want to escape the voices in your head. Whatever your reason for trying paddleboarding we hope you find it fun.
Want to join our Paddle Posse? We’ve got three ways for beginners to get on board:
Lesson & Tours are suitable for total beginners and take place daily in Camden and Hackney. With a max guest/instructor ratio of 5:1 you’ll have plenty of personalised attention from the team.
Learn 2 SUP sessions are for those who want a bit more time to take things at a slower pace. These sessions are held weekly in Hackney and St Katharine Docks and have a max ratio of 6:1, but take place at quieter times and locations.
Private Lessons are available at any of our locations on a date and time of your choice. You’ll have a coach all to yourself (or bring a friend along too) and can tailor the session to your needs.
Hope to see you on the water soon!
– The Paddleboarding London Team
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