Kayaking is not only a great way to enjoy our waterways, but also a low-impact activity for improving aerobic fitness, flexibility and strength. Kayaking involves paddling a small, covered vessel where you sit inside the craft and use a double-bladed paddle to push the boat through the water. It can be done as a fun activity, competitive sport or hobby, but also can be used to improve overall health.
So what are the health benefits of kayaking?
- Full body workout: Paddling is an effective cardiovascular exercise that engages all the major groups of muscles in the body, including the muscles in the arms, legs, hips, abdomen and back. It can elevate your cardiovascular health, strengthen the major groups of muscles in your body, and work both the upper and lower segments of your body.
- Improves overall health: Paddling is a healthy and efficient form of aerobic exercise. It helps to increase endurance, boost heart health, lower blood pressure, improve the regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and enhance lung strength.
- Impact-free activity: Kayaking can either be peaceful and meditative or a thrilling and exhilarating activity, depending on where and how it is done. Nevertheless, it generally provides a smooth, rhythmic motion with minimal risk of wear and tear on tissues and joints.
- Great way to burn calories: Kayaking is an effective way to burn calories and lose weight. Generally, paddling at a speed of 3 to 5 miles per hour burns almost 400 calories while 4 hours of paddling cuts about 1,600 calories. In fact, research has established that kayaking burns calories quicker than biking.
- Increased strength training: Repetitive motions of paddling engage the legs, arms, shoulders, chest and back, resulting in increased torso, leg and muscle strength. Kayaking increases strength training because a lot of effort is used to power and control the craft, particularly when rotating the torso and applying pressure with the legs.
- Improved joint flexibility: Paddling causes smooth, rhythmic movements on the joints, keeping the joints fluid and lubricated. The low-impact activity also protects the joints from wear and tear.
- Close to nature: Paddling is a great way to enjoy the waterways and get a chance to be close to nature, relieving stress and soothing the mind. As an aerobic exercise, kayaking triggers the release of various brain chemicals that clear the mind and boost your mood. The physical and psychological benefits of kayaking also result in a higher self-esteem.
- Time-saving: Kayaking is time efficient because it provides many health benefits within a very short duration of time.
Are you looking for a low-impact activity that can improve your overall health quickly and effectively? Would you like to spend your leisure time engaged in a fun and entertaining activity that is also good for you? By choosing to engage in kayaking you can have a wonderful time and improve your health significantly. If you do not have a kayak of your own, start by renting one. At Captain Mike’s Kayak Academy we offer some of the best kayaks you can find in the market. We also teach our clients how to choose the right kayaks for their needs and how to use the kayaks. For more information, visit the “Captain Mike’s Kayak Academy” site.
- Bram Reusen. (2017). The Top 10 Benefits of Kayaking. Retrieved from https://www.theadventurejunkies.com/benefits-of-kayaking/