Ricky's Favorite Activity: Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

By: Ricky Buoncore

I have a hard time sitting still. Even now as a yoga instructor, sitting quietly in meditation is a struggle for me… my body craves movement. And while “exercising” is definitely a passion of mine, I think one of the biggest misconceptions about health and fitness is that you have to workout constantly.

What I have found to be a bigger indicator of health is simply finding movement. Staying active can be just as crucial to your long-term health as regularly getting to the gym. I played pretty much every sport growing up… soccer, baseball, basketball, track, etc… and as I’ve gotten older, I have come to appreciate the balance between higher intensity activities like strength training and the more “leisurely” activities like hiking. I don’t workout 7 days a week… normally closer to 4 or 5… but I supplement my “exercise” by regularly including lots of physical activity in my week. Lately, the activity in which I have found the most joy has been stand-up paddle boarding.

Last summer (in the midst of the pandemic) I was searching for something a new hobby that would get me outside, and I stumbled across an ad for paddle boards. It looked like something I would enjoy so I pulled the trigger. The first time I went out, I was surprised at how natural it felt. I was a little wobbly at first, but after a few minutes I got the hang of it and explored up and down the river out at Rocky River Reservation. The next day I actually felt sore in my whole body! It never felt that hard on the water, but paddle boarding uses your entire body. The legs keep you steady on the board, the arms obviously pull the paddle, and the core helps with both. I found a full-body workout that didn’t even feel like working out.

I started going out paddling a couple times a week for the rest of the summer, anytime I had time and decent weather, and I have never felt more one with nature. Out on the water, there is a very calming feeling as you flow with the water. I was hooked.

If you are looking for a great way to spend an hour or two out on the water, I would recommend giving paddle boarding a shot! You can try it out by renting a board either out at 41 North at Rocky River Reservation, or at Great Lakes Watersports down in the flats. And if you see a goofy looking guy covered in tattoos, give me a wave! (no pun intended)