POST-VACATION MODE: KEEP IT GOING EARNED RUNS RETURNED FROM VACATION MONDAY, BUT it’s already Friday and our brains wish to remain in vacation mode. It’s hard to change focus so quickly. Seven days ago we had ‘de-trained’ our minds. To relax, forget daily routines, and declutter work-task-related headspace in order to make room for creative mental roaming.
By Thursday of last week, we were just getting into the swing of enjoying fun-centered days rather than dreading performance-measured work shifts.
In the same way that we attempt to maintain gains made in physical training, perhaps we should try to not lose the spirit of relaxation achieved in vacation. Instead of returning to the same-old-same-old fitness regimen why not continue to explore new activities? At least through Labor Day. Make summer the season of exploration when it comes to fitness.
“Cross-Training 101: Stand-Up Paddle Boarding” by Julie Kailus for Competitor.com explains how great this surging sport is for improving running. It’s terrific way to get in a total body workout, for developing balance, she claims, and getting outdoors!
SUP may not do EVERYTHING its supporters say it will in all who take a board out on the water, like improve balance. In an article, “The physiological, musculoskeletal and psychological effects of stand up paddle boarding”, authors Ben Schram, Wayne Hing, and Mike Climstine of Bond University in Queensland, Australia begin by indicating that evidence to support claims of physical benefit from SUP training is mostly anecdotal. It seems “previous studies have shown that high levels of fitness, strength and balance exists amongst participants of this sport.” In other words, people who enjoy SUP tend to be fit in the first place.
To get a better handle on SUP benefits to those not in great shape, they studied 13 previously sedentary, untrained participants who initially received one instruction in SUP and then completed 3 (one-hour) sessions per week over 6 weeks. The scientists concluded that in all three health areas, NOVICES can expect to achieve improvements when “utilizing SUP as a training tool”. Specifically, in aerobic and aerobic fitness, multidirectional trunk endurance, and self-rated quality of life measures.
Thus, although many who take up the sport are already physically healthy, those who aren’t may get the most out of it!
It took the untrained study participants 19 SUP sessions to show improvement. Thus, one weekend trial SUP session cannot be expected to result in a personal fitness transformation. However, that one trial lesson can excite and motivate additional regular sessions, maybe as many as 3 per week over 6 weeks.
Without that first adventurous lesson, though, the remainder will not occur.
If training for a mere 6 weeks can start to have a positive effect on self-rated quality of life in terms of physical and psychological health, it seems worth trying SUP in the final weeks of summer.
No nearby lake, you moan? SUP rental and instructions have been offered on relatively shallow bodies of water that are found in big city parks! There’s likely an opportunity within a short drive of your home or work location.
Yes, you can alternately kayak or canoe, but possibly SUP will be better cross training for running and other sports that are performed standing upright (more scientific research is needed, it seems). Another SUP advantage it that unlike kayakers or canoers, SUP-ers can call themselves surfers.
REI also ran an article in 2015, “Kayaking and SUP: Training Tips and Exercises” that provides a guide “designed to help you focus on the most essential aspects of fitness for completing a paddling adventure: cross training and strength training.”
Perhaps by deciding to train now, before attempting SUP, you’ll sufficiently build foot, lower body/hip, and core and upper body strength to confidently take on the sport in the fall. Beautiful summer-like weather often extends well into September and October, even into November, some years.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
NOTE: Wear a life vest to be safe!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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