Mental health and stand up paddle boarding (and falling cows).

We’ve talked about mental health and SUP in previous articles. In the world we now live in, with post-COVID anxiety a real issue (just one example and cause), it’s never been more important to find a way to get respite and release. It mightn’t necessarily be stand up paddle boarding you use as your ‘tool’ of choice. It could be anything; going for a walk in the fresh air may serve to cleanse just as efficiently. But for a good many stand up paddle boarding does help those kerfuflled brains deal with life. (Of course, we appreciate there are levels of seriousness with mental health; some problems may need medical intervention).

Matt Loftus – a good friend of McConks, is a mental health specialist and paddlesports instructor. This blog post is a really interesting insight into exactly why SUP and paddlesports are beneficial for mental health. And it involves a falling cow, which always brightens up anyone’s day! Check it out here.

If you’re in the West Midlands and are looking for SUP instruction or an introduction SUP, contact Matt via his website, or via @outdooradventureman on Instagram.

There’s a lot of discussion surrounding the mental health of our children at the moment. Again, with a global pandemic having unsettled us all, the growth and stability of our children is one area of concern. Lack of social interaction, for instance, with friends of the same age group is deemed not being brilliant for kids. We’ve heard about a bunch of stand up paddle boarding initiatives to help with this. Kent Surf School – one example – are about to start offering socially distanced group paddles to help children enjoy a ‘real’ pastime as well as some company in their own age bracket.

And then there are the soothing benefits of surfing which charities have used to help counter such mental health conditions as PTSD. Encouraging feelings of joy is a positive way to manage moods and also encourage things like better sleep, which beneficial properties then knock on to all aspects of life. Stand up paddle boarding, as a distant cousin of surfing, can also help in similar ways. We quote from ‘There’s medical evidence that movement and physical effort are able to encourage metabolic processes to occur within the brain.’

We’ll reiterate again that we’re not suggesting SUP is the be all and end all cure for mental health problems. But we do believe it can help. If you’re having mental health issues we’d suggest you speak to a medical professional first. And when/if you can, get out for a float…

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