Can I Lose Weight While Paddle Boarding? (Data included)

In the quest for fitness and weight loss, many activities promise to deliver heart-pounding workouts and impressive calorie-burning potential. Among them, paddle boarding stands out as a unique and enjoyable contender. But can this thrilling water activity help you lose weight and tone your body? 

Paddle boarding is a great workout and can help with weight loss. It is a cardio activity that can contribute to overall fitness, muscle strength, and calorie burning, potentially aiding in weight loss.

In this article, I will explain the impact paddle boarding has on belly fat, the workout it provides versus traditional gym routines, and how it can shape your arms. I’ll also share some personal experiences on the calorie-burning potential of paddle boarding and how it has helped my physical and mental health.

Can I Lose Weight While Paddle Boarding? 

Paddle boarding can aid in weight loss. It is a full-body workout that targets your core and arms and other major muscle groups in your body. You engage your core muscles by constantly balancing on the board, which can help reduce belly fat. 

In addition, paddling can tone your arm and shoulder muscles. Moreover, it is an excellent cardio activity, and cardio exercises are known to be effective for weight loss

An hour of paddle boarding can burn between 300 to 500 calories depending on the intensity of your workout, making it a worthy alternative to traditional gym workouts. This, paired with a healthy diet, can result in weight loss.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Paddle Boarding?

The number of calories burned during paddle boarding can vary greatly depending on several factors. These include your weight, the intensity of the workout, weather conditions, and even the water currents. Nevertheless, on average, a typical recreational paddle boarding session may burn between 305 to 430 calories per hour. 

If you ramp up the intensity and engage in paddle board racing or surfing, you could burn 615 to 1,125 calories per hour. 

Keep in mind that these are averages, and individual results can vary. Therefore, paddle boarding is a fun and effective way to burn calories and contribute to weight loss.

The following table shows the average calories burned for 1 hours of moderate paddle boarding, based on a paddle boarders weight. [source]

Weight lbs (kg)Exercise IntensityCalories Burned For 1 Hour
130lbs (58.9kg)Moderate372
160lbs (72.5kg)Moderate458
190lbs (86.1kg)Moderate544
220lbs (99.7kg)Moderate630
250lbs (113.3kg)Moderate716
This Table Shows The Average Calories Burned Paddle Boarding For 1 Hour Moderate Activity

Does Paddle Boarding Burn Belly Fat?

Paddle boarding can contribute to burning fat, although targeting belly fat directly is debated. [source] Engaging in paddle boarding requires a significant amount of core stability and strength which will tone core muscles and help you to see improvements around your middle region.

As you balance on the board and propel yourself through the water, you’re constantly working your core muscles. This type of exercise, especially when combined with a calorie-controlled diet, can result in fat loss around the belly as your abdominal muslces are worked. Moreover, as a cardio activity, paddle boarding contributes to overall body fat loss, which includes belly fat. 

However, it’s important to note that spot reduction, or losing fat in a specific area, is not entirely possible through exercise alone. The body decides where to burn fat, but engaging in full-body workouts like paddle boarding can help reduce overall body fat, including belly fat.

What Muscles Does Paddle Boarding Work?

Paddle boarding is a total body workout, engaging a diverse range of muscles. Firstly, your leg muscles are constantly at work to maintain balance and stability on the board.

The core muscles, including the abs, obliques, and lower back, are crucial for maintaining balance and posture on the board and are intensely worked during a paddle boarding session.

The act of paddling itself provides a beneficial workout for the upper body, primarily targeting the arms, shoulders, and back muscles.

The repetitive motion of paddling strengthens the biceps, triceps, and deltoids in the arms, the trapezius and latissimus dorsi in the back, and the pectorals in the chest.

Additionally, even the muscles of the neck and feet are involved in the activity, playing a role in maintaining balance.

In summary, paddle boarding is an excellent full-body workout that strengthens and tones a variety of muscle groups.

How Does Paddle Boarding Help Mental Health?

Paddle boarding offers significant benefits for mental health. As an outdoor activity, it provides a connection to nature, which is known to reduce stress, enhance mood, and promote a sense of calm. 

The rhythmic motion of paddling can be meditative, fostering mindfulness and helping to clear the mind. This activity encourages focus and concentration, taking your mind off daily stresses and promoting mental clarity. 

Furthermore, physical activity releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters, which can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. The sense of achievement and confidence gained from learning and mastering a new skill like paddle boarding also contribute positively to mental well-being. 

In essence, paddle boarding is not just a physical workout; it’s a mental health boost wrapped in an enjoyable water sport.

How Good Of A Workout Is Paddle Boarding?

Paddle boarding is an excellent workout both for the body and mind. Physically, it engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, providing a full-body workout that improves balance, strength, and endurance. It also offers a significant cardio component, which increases heart rate and burns calories, crucial for overall fitness and weight loss. 

The constant need for balance on the paddle board engages your core muscles throughout the entire session, making it an effective exercise for strengthening the core. The paddling action works your upper body, specifically the arms, shoulders, and back. Your leg muscles, although less apparent, are also actively used to maintain stability on the board. 

From a mental perspective, the concentration and focus required for paddle boarding provide a form of moving meditation. It’s a great way to disconnect from daily stresses and improve mental health. 

In comparison to traditional gym workouts, paddle boarding can be less monotonous and more enjoyable, which makes you more likely to stick with it in the long run. So, whether you’re looking for a new way to stay fit, lose weight, or boost your mood, paddle boarding is an excellent choice.

Can An Overweight Person Paddle Board?

Paddle boards come in a variety of sizes and designs, with larger boards capable of supporting more weight. It’s essential for an overweight person to choose a board with the appropriate weight capacity to ensure stability and safety on the water.

Paddle boarding can be an excellent low-impact activity for overweight individuals, offering a full-body workout without placing excessive stress on the joints. However, as with any new exercise routine, it is advised to consult with a healthcare provider before beginning.

Paddle boarding is not only a fun and engaging activity, but it also promotes weight loss and overall physical fitness.

Is Paddle Boarding Better Than The Gym?

Paddleboarding and gym workouts each have their unique benefits and could be better than the other depending on personal preferences and goals. If you enjoy being outdoors and prefer a workout that combines strength, balance, and endurance, then paddleboarding might be the preferable option. It provides a full-body workout, targets a wide range of muscle groups, and offers mental health benefits such as stress reduction and improved mood.

On the other hand, a gym workout offers more control over the specific muscles you want to target and can be adjusted more precisely to suit your fitness level and goals. Gym workouts can also be more convenient, especially during bad weather when paddleboarding may not be possible. 

In conclusion, both paddleboarding and gym workouts can contribute to improved fitness and health. The choice between the two often comes down to personal preferences, convenience, and enjoyment.

What Burns More Calories: Walking Or Paddle Boarding?

Comparing the calorie burn of walking and paddle boarding depends on several factors, including intensity of the activity, individual fitness level, weight, and body composition. On average, walking burns around 100 calories per mile for a person weighing 180 pounds. This can vary depending on walking speed and terrain.

On the other hand, paddle boarding burns significantly more calories due to the involvement of more muscle groups and the added challenge of balancing on the board. A person weighing around 180 pounds can burn between 300 and 500 calories per hour while paddle boarding, depending on the intensity and environmental conditions. 

Therefore, while both activities offer health benefits and contribute to calorie burn, paddle boarding is generally a more intense full-body workout and can burn more calories than walking over the same period of time. However, it’s important to note that the specific calorie burn can vary widely between individuals and sessions, and either activity can be part of a healthy, active lifestyle.

Does Paddle Boarding Tone Your Arms?

Paddle boarding can significantly help tone your arms. While paddle boarding, you primarily use your arms to propel yourself through the water. This constant movement against the resistance of water works the muscles in your arms, particularly the biceps and triceps, leading to increased strength and toning over time. 

In addition to your arms, the rotational movement used to paddle also engages the muscles in your shoulders and upper back. Therefore, paddle boarding can be an effective way to tone not just your arms but your entire upper body. 

This arm toning benefit is even more pronounced if you are paddling against current or wind, further increasing the intensity of the workout.

Final Thoughts

Paddle boarding is an incredibly versatile and enjoyable fitness activity that provides a multitude of benefits. It offers a fun, effective, and low-impact full-body workout, engaging diverse muscle groups from your arms to your legs and especially your core. 

Paddle boarding not only aids in weight loss and tones your body, but it also enhances your mental wellbeing by offering a form of moving meditation and an opportunity to connect with nature. 

Compared to gym workouts, it may potentially burn more calories and provide a more varied and enjoyable fitness routine. However, the exact benefits and results can vary widely depending on your personal characteristics, effort, and the specific conditions during each paddle boarding session. 

As with any fitness endeavour, consistency is key, and it’s essential to choose activities that you enjoy and can commit to in the long term. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast looking for a new challenge or someone starting your fitness journey, paddle boarding could indeed be a great option to consider.

Emma Moore

Hi, I am Emma, and I am obsessed with all watersports, from swimming to surfing and everything in between. I spend my free time in the water or preparing for my next water travel adventure.

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