Recreational activities entice people to embrace the great outdoors, particularly in summer. Stand-up paddling is one such activity that has become more popular in recent years.

Recent research from the Physical Activity Council, a collective effort on the part of eight leading trade associations in sports, fitness and recreation, found that 3.5 million Americans participate in stand-up paddling. Participation in the sport is split up almost 50-50 by gender (51 percent female, 49 percent male), indicating that stand-up paddling is equally attractive to both men and women.

In addition to serving as a relaxing way to enjoy the beauty of nature, stand-up paddling gets some of its appeal from its relative ease of participating. The PAC notes that minimal equipment is needed to engage in stand-up paddling, participants typically spend minimal time and effort preparing for an outing. That makes stand-up paddling an ideal respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and a perfect way to spend some time outdoors for people whose schedules suddenly clear up.

Would-be paddlers who are curious about the availability of places to paddle should know that more than half of all stand-up paddlers travel less than 10 miles to paddle, proving that just about any body of water provides an opportunity to engage in this activity.

People interested in stand-up paddling but unwilling to make any significant financial commitment before trying it out should know that 42 percent of people who do not own paddleboards rent them from local businesses such as on-site rental providers at boathouses or marinas and independent outdoor specialty stores.

That makes stand-up paddling among the more accessible activities for people looking to enjoy the great outdoors this summer and beyond.