Melissa Rambin, R.Ph.
Stand-up paddle boarding uses just about every muscle and has the ability to burn up to 800 calories an hour. It’s not a sport for the weak. Melissa Rambin has been doing it for the last three years, along with sprint triathlons, cycling, swimming, strength training and boot camps.
Have you always been active?
I’ve always been active and into some sport. About two years ago, I started competing in sprint triathlons. I also do fun runs for charity. I try to switch up my activities. Most recently, I’ve been stand-up paddle boarding. I started doing it for fun about two to three years ago. This last year, I got serious about having the right form and increasing my speed.
Switching up activities also helps keep exercise from getting boring. If you become too comfortable, you sometimes quit growing.
What inspires you?
To be honest, I believe being active is the greatest medicine for your mind and soul. From a mental attitude standpoint, if you have endurance and continue to do it, you can do anything. When I first started paddle boarding, at first I was scared to move around because you have to balance on that board. My instructor said, “If you’re not changing you’re not moving.” Even though that was for technical purposes, it applies to life, too.
Exercise is a great stress reliever. If I have a tough day, one of the key things that helps me to focus is a good workout. It alleviates whatever stress and anxiety is associated with what you’re trying to do. And it helps keep things in perspective and grounded.
What’s your typical pattern of exercise?
My usual pattern is a combination of boot camp and running three days a week during paddle boarding season and paddle board training on the weekends. I’m working out five days a week. We do 6 to 10 miles of paddle boarding on Saturday and additional miles on Sunday if there’s not a race.
Do you follow a special diet to keep your energy up for all the physical activities you do?
For diet, I mainly stick with protein and vegetables, although I do have a sweet tooth that’s well known. I try to limit that or make sure that if I do have dessert or chocolate, I’m counteracting that with good food during the day. You have to be careful about following a strict diet because if you have a hectic schedule, you may not be able to stick to that.
What do you think the biggest stumbling blocks are for people trying to become healthier or fit?
I’d say trying to do too strict of a diet. I think you’re more successful if you set a goal for something small, like not eating after 7 p.m. or not drinking sodas.
The second stumbling block is not having patience.
As active as you are, is weight ever an issue for you?
Even though I’m active, I have been heavier at times during the year than what I should be, but I can still run at least a 9 minute 3-miler. A lot of it has to do with stress levels and busy times of the year. I have my share of struggles. When my weight creeps up, I reset goals and make adjustments.
What are your long-range goals?
There are two things on my bucket list. One is I’d like to complete a half-ironman and the other is I’d like to do a long-distance paddle board race.
What advice can you offer others who want to be healthier?
I firmly believe anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Keep things in perspective and set small goals. Start small and work up from there, gradually increasing in small increments. Have no fear and never give up. Set a small goal and go for it!