Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the popularity of paddleboarding and it is currently one of the fastest growing sports in the world. It is a sport that anyone can do, which has both physical and mental benefits. Have you ever been paddleboarding?

There are a variety of benefits that you can get from paddleboarding. One of the biggest, is the benefits for your mental health. It is an amazing way to relax in a peaceful and natural environment, allowing you to reflect whilst enjoying the incredible surroundings. It enables you to take a step back from the busyness of life to spend time just focusing on yourself. It has been found that being near rivers, lakes and sea can help to reduce anxiety and depression, making it a great opportunity to put your mental health first, whilst having fun. A local paddleboarder, Adrian Long, said that ‘‘stand up paddleboarding is a lot of fun if you like water sports, anyone can do it and it’s a great way to get out into nature and relax from the stresses of life.’’

In addition, there are also many physical benefits to paddleboarding. It is a low impact sport, which is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. It involves a combination of balance, strength and endurance.  You need to engage your core muscles, in order to be stable on the board. As a result, it gives you a full body workout whilst building up your abdominal strength and muscle tone.

However, even though there are many benefits to paddleboarding, there are always risks that come with it, as with all sports. To ensure that you avoid these risks, it is not advisable to go paddleboarding after a big storm or heavy rain, as the water current is stronger, making it harder to control the board and stay safe. You should also check that the water is deep enough before you go in and that you are aware of any hazards around you. It is recommended to wear a buoyancy aid and to go in groups, so if something were to go wrong you have others who can help you or get help.

Overall, paddleboarding is such an incredible sociable sport which almost anyone can do with so many benefits for you both physically and mentally. Being aware of the risks helps to ensure that you can enjoy the sport, whilst doing it in a safe manner. There are many local clubs along the River Thames offering paddleboard hire, so why don’t you give it a go!