Canoeing and kayaking are low-impact activities involving the paddling of small crafts through water. As a hobby, fun activity or competitive sport on lakes, streams, rapids, rivers or the sea, kayaking and canoeing can bring you into harmony with the water and wildlife as you improve strength, fitness and flexibility. If you are looking for an exciting way to get active, whether for family outing, workplace bonding, health or fitness, then canoeing and kayaking will deliver that delightful adventure.

What are the health benefits of canoeing and kayaking?

1. Improved cardiovascular health

The brisk movements involved in canoeing and kayaking raise the heart rate continuously and boost cardiovascular health. When you’re out on the water and paying attention to your heartbeat you’ll notice a gradual increase in your heart rate as you paddle. Canoeing and kayaking have similar effects on the heart rate as other kinds of exercises, except it’s more enjoyable than riding a bike or running on a treadmill.

2. Mental health benefits

Spending hours paddling a boat through water is not only an enjoyable and relaxing experience, but the exercise also reduces stress and releases endorphins that improve mood and relieve depression. Canoeing and kayaking boost the levels of dopamine, serotonin and nor-epinephrine in the brain, which in turn improve attention and focus. Paddling also ensures the release of chemicals that boost the production and health of brain cells, improve sleep quality and enhance self-confidence.

3. Helps with weight loss

Paddling at a speed of 3-5 miles per hour (using about 0.1hp effort) burns almost 400 calories per hour, with 4 hours of canoeing or kayaking capable of burning up to 1,600 calories. Combining paddling with proper calorie intake cuts more weight faster than biking and many other exercises. So with regular canoeing or kayaking, you’ll improve your stamina and muscle strength, which will help you have a healthier and more active lifestyle.

4. Wonderful upper-body workout

Paddling your boat with good strokes usually incorporates every major muscle group of the body, including the back, legs, torso, hips and abdomen. One hour of paddling at 3 mph involves about 1,500 repetitions of low-impact upper-body movements, which helps to tone upper-body muscles, improves overall health of the core, and strengthens and tones the torso. Using the body to control and maneuver your boat requires considerable amount of strength, which in turn helps to develop those muscles. Rowing and paddling offer smooth, impact-free rhythmic motion that keeps the joint fluid moving, ensures joints are properly lubricated and shields them from wear and tear.

5. Source of vitamin-D

The time spent outdoors paddling and rowing comes with the bonus of vitamin-D intake. Since the “sun vitamin” is difficult to get from foods, most people usually get up to 80 percent of their vitamin D through exposure to the rays of the sun, which are often plentiful when out canoeing or kayaking. Now, with an estimated 45-75 percent of people having vitamin-D deficiency, it’s highly likely that you may be one of those who really needs more sun exposure. And through a canoeing or kayaking venture, you can be sure of boosting your vitamin D levels.

6. Improved overall health

Canoeing and kayaking are great aerobic workouts, which can really be key to any fitness regimen. Regular paddling and rowing ensure improved regulation of cholesterol levels, enhanced blood sugar control, better lung strength, lower blood pressure and increased endurance. And when performed three times a week, these moderate-intensity exercises can minimize fatigue and boost your energy levels by up to 20 percent.

Are you planning to go out on a canoeing or kayaking trip? At Captain Mike’s we can help you get the most out of your paddling venture. With our stable, comfortable and safe crafts, you can confidently get on water with a boat that suits your quest. We also offer the training and support you need to have a thrilling and memorable time out on the water. For more information on our boats, boat prices and tips for achieving the best possible kayaking and canoeing trips, visit the “Captain Mike’s Kayak Academy” site.


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