Fit­ness on the wa­ter

New Zealand Fitness - - FROM THE EDITOR -

It is not hard to find a birth­day gift for peo­ple who are fit­ness fa­nat­ics and so for my re­cent sig­nif­i­cant birth­day, my fam­ily de­cided to sur­prise me with not one standup pad­dle­board, but two. The idea be­ing that I would go out on the stand-up pad­dle­board (SUP) with some­one else, to make it more fun. The fact that my el­dest son and his lovely wife were the first to try out the boards, led me to think the birth­day present was more of a fam­ily fit­ness item for my ever-grow­ing fam­ily to use when they visit our Wai­heke Is­land beach house.

I am not the great­est stand-up pad­dle boarder, but I am def­i­nitely a “give it a go” per­son. And so the birth­day gift was per­fect to add va­ri­ety to my week­end war­rior work­outs.

My very first ex­pe­ri­ence on a SUP was on a beach in Fiji a few years ago. The beach op­er­a­tor was of­fer­ing SUP boards for hire, but was not of­fer­ing any lessons. The waves were com­ing in and I was find­ing it dif­fi­cult. Peo­ple frol­ick­ing in the wa­ter were, how­ever, let­ting me know what I should be do­ing.

The fol­low­ing sum­mer in Queens­land, I de­cided to take a les­son on the Noosa River. The river is def­i­nitely a bet­ter place to learn SUP, than on a surf beach with desta­bi­liz­ing waves com­ing in. A very pa­tient in­struc­tor demon­strated ev­ery­thing I needed to know, in­clud­ing what to do when a speed­boat whizzes past and nearly knocks you over. I think what I learnt the most was to just re­lax and take it easy – and not to tense up. The in­struc­tor couldn’t have been more re­laxed, as in ad­di­tion to giv­ing me lessons on the board she was mer­rily glid­ing along and talk­ing on her cell­phone at the same time.

For those who have never been on a SUP board, I strongly rec­om­mend hav­ing a oneon-one les­son. It can make the dif­fer­ence be­tween be­ing ter­ri­fied and be­ing re­laxed.

I can also vouch for it be­ing good for your abs and for your to­tal fit­ness. Af­ter half-an-hour on the SUP board you def­i­nitely no­tice you have been work­ing out.

And if you want to ramp up your fit­ness you can al­ways try SUP Yoga. I have had one ses­sion at this and found the down­ward fac­ing dog and upward fac­ing dog poses to be easy. Oth­ers, like the tree pose on one foot – more chal­leng­ing! Nev­er­the­less I am up for another ses­sion. Ev­ery now and then I see a keen in­struc­tor of­fer­ing a class on the beach in front of our beach house.

So next time I see the class, I am go­ing to be out like a shot!

Lor­raine Thom­son Pub­lisher / Edi­tor

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