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Can The Benefits Of Paddle Boarding Help Beat The January Blues?

Posted by John Hibbard

From John Hibbard, Founder & CEO at Red

Like me, do you find January one of the hardest months of the year to stay motivated? With Christmas out of the way and another couple of months of winter weather still ahead of us, I can find I start feeling a little downtrodden and lacking in get up and go. 

So, what’s this got to do with paddle boarding? Well, we all know that exercise can boost our mood, but it wasn’t until recently that I considered how the benefits of paddle boarding helped me fight off my January blues. On a nice cool, crisp, calm January day, I have experienced first-hand the positive energy a paddle board session can give me; So much so I thought I’d share some of the positives with you in case it helped motivate you to escape onto the water. 

Reduce Symptoms Of Anxiety & Depression

It’s well known that exercise has been proven to have a positive impact on mental health due to the “feel good” chemicals that it releases in the brain. The release of these chemicals leaves you feeling happier and more relaxed. From that first paddle stroke out across the water I can already feel any stresses or worries washing away. There are other benefits such as the full body workout stand up paddle boarding can give you. Studies have shown the sense of tranquillity that being around water can provide, and so combining this with exercise makes SUPing a fantastic activity for helping to reduce stress and combat a low mood.

Reconnect With Nature

One of the main benefits of paddle boarding is that it provides a unique opportunity to engage with nature and see the world from a different perspective. Just 20 minutes out on the water can make a world of difference to my mood and stress levels. The tranquillity of being on the water, combined with the fresh air and scenery that you encounter along the way, can only be a good thing for staying fit and healthy in the winter. There are plenty of incredible SUPing locations to be discovered around the world, enabling you to discover some of the world’s most spectacular scenery through this amazing activity.

Catch Up With Friends & Meet New People

January tends to be a quiet month socially for me, but I find the same is true of my friends and work colleagues – we all kind of think no one wants to hang out, that we are all tired from the festive season’s social calendar. I’m now actively asking friends to come for a paddle with me, especially those that I didn’t see over Christmas. Taking paddle board lessons is also a fantastic way to meet new people whilst learning a new hobby; many of our Red Paddle Co schools are open year round for lessons. Once you've nailed the basics, you’ll be able to head out with friends and explore new locations - one of the most overlooked benefits of paddle boarding is the sense of community and socialising that it provides.

Keep Fit Without Having To Go To The Gym

As I touched on a second ago, there are numerous health benefits of paddle boarding. SUPing offers a full body workout, but in a fun way, enabling you to get out in the fresh air and away from the confines of the gym. Paddle boarding builds muscle, particularly core strength, whilst providing an excellent cardiovascular workout, enhancing stamina, strength and endurance. You can paddle to suit your own fitness levels, and make it as challenging or as easy as you like. The exercise will help you stay fit throughout January, and ultimately help you to feel happier and healthier. 


When I first started paddling it was only a summer activity but as I improved and understood how to choose safe places to launch I have made paddling a year round activity and one that serves many purposes in my life. I find the benefits of paddle boarding in the winter to be even more rewarding than in the summer, and a great session in calm, cool conditions in January is just what I need to stay positive and focused. Why not give it a go?

If you would like some help on what kit to wear and how to choose a safe launch spot just drop us a line