Something I love about the current age of fitness is the innovation behind all the businesses that pop up within it. One might say that’s it’s just about finding a new trend, exploiting it, and capitalizing on the fitness crowd to make more moula. And although that may very well be true, I think it’s so amazing that there is now a huge plethora of options. Gone are the days where you’d have to slug yourself out of bed to hit machines at the gym (unless that’s what you love). But there really is something for everyone – whether you have a blown patella or love being on the water, there’s a fitness activity to suit your needs and keep you interested and motivated.
I had the amazing pleasure of trying so many new fitness adventures this summer, but I think this one takes the cake. I got the chance to step on a paddle board with WSUP Toronto and Bench Canada and drift into our humble Lake Ontario for some splashing fun.
You Torontonians know, but for everyone else, let me tell you that Lake Ontario is hella cold and before this, I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I was in it. I definitely haven’t been swimming in it (it does get a very bad rep of being horribly polluted and dirty ). So this fitness experience really gave me a new found opportunity to respect and admire the beautiful waterfront that I have in my backyard.
At first, I didn’t know how hard of a balancing act stand up paddle boarding would be and was fervent that I would fall into the water at one point or more. So it was no brainer to wear my Bench Kaysie Paper Weave Bikini. I thought about keeping a cover up on but nah, I was defo not looking for any funky tan lines. Surprisingly though, your weight is actually dispersed really well and it’s almost hard to make yourself fall in. I still sported the full on bikini with pride
If you’ve never done it before, they start you on the board on your knees. You get used to gliding and paddling (there is such thing as proper paddling form) and then you slowly get up.
Paddling is definitely more of a fitness challenge than it looks. If your form is correct, you really engage your arms. You should always keep yourself in a slight squat, with your feet shoulder width apart, and keep your leading arm straight… or at least that’s what I picked up.
The only drawback for me is that you’re often working against the wind to stay closer to shore and I found that I definitely got more of a workout on my right arm than my left arm. Other than that, it was an amazing full body workout that really tests your core.
Plus, once you kind of get the hang of the movement, it’s actually incredibly relaxing and totally an awesome activity to do with your girlfriends. The ground beneath you moves and you’re gliding through a fresh breeze with nothing but blue in front of you. You let out a couple nice deep breaths and you feel like you’re floating in the sky (what’s a Mel Inspired post without a bit of cheese ).
In sum, I kind of wish that Toronto got more than a measly 2 months of summer so I could stand up paddle board more often. I have no doubt I’d be sporting a yoga crow pose on it in no time
What was the coolest fitness adventure you’ve had? Have you tried stand up paddle boarding?