Why Kayaking Is Awesome For Your Health


10 Reasons to Start Kayaking

If you are looking to get out and really have some fun on the water, there are few better options than kayaking. As kayaks float low in the water, it gives you that almost immersed feeling. Also, if you are looking for ways to improve your health, lose weight, or just strengthen up your muscles and improve your fitness level, kayaking is perfect.

You may have thought about kayaking just as a great way to kill time on the water or as an exhilarating way to traverse river rapids, but here we’ll share 10 reasons kayaking is awesome for your health.

Weight Loss

It obviously takes a lot of effort to paddle a kayak through even the calmest of waters, but how does this equate to actual weight loss? Well, in order to move a kayak at just 5 mph, you need to use around 0.1 hp of effort, which involves burning around 400 calories an hour. Therefore, after 4 hours of paddling continuously you will have burned off an estimated 1,600 calories.

Stress Buster

If you are prone to stress because of work, school, or just other life circumstances, one great way to fight this stress is by getting out on a boat. Watching your kayak moves through the clear water by nothing but your own strength, under the sky, taking in the sights and sounds, can do a lot to chase all that stress away. The more you do it, the more you will benefit from it. Even just getting out on your kayak once a week for a couple of hours will do wonders for your mood and stress levels.

Workout For Your Upper Body

Obviously, paddling involves using your arms, but you may not know how good a workout this could provide your upper body in general. When you place the paddle into the water and stroke it through the water well, it actually uses every muscle in your upper body. Therefore, when you paddle for 1 hour at 3 mph, you are doing about 1500 reps of low impact upper body exercises, and no matter what your current fitness state and goals are, you will tone all those muscles up just from doing this one action.

Improves Mental Health

Chemicals in the brain are released when you take part in aerobic exercise that can improve your mood dramatically. If you are feeling down and depressed, kayaking can provide a good mental boost.

Make New Friends

Loneliness can affect your overall mood and life. Kayaking is quite a unique sport as there are not many others like it that are suitable for anyone regardless of fitness level and offer the chance for you to meet new people, while enjoying the physical benefits and beautiful surroundings. Kayaking is great for groups of friends, family, and singles.

Source Of Vitamin D

Along with everything else mentioned on this page there is the fact that getting outside means your body gets a large intake of Vitamin D. The nutrient known often as the “sunshine vitamin” is one of the hardest to get from foods, and the easiest way to actually up your body’s levels is by taking it from the sun.

Improves Your Self-Esteem

When you overcome tough challenges such as paddling further than you did last time or taking on whitewater rapids it can do a lot to build your confidence and self-esteem. Studies have shown that kayaking can even increase your social skills and boost your overall satisfaction with your life.

Strengthens Your Core

It is through the balance and control part of sports that your lower ab muscles and upper body muscles which make up your core are strengthened. When you turn your kayak around, you need to shift and turn your core area, with each turn therefore you use these muscles again and again, building them up.

Tones Your Legs

Although you paddle with your arms, you use your legs and apply pressure using them to balance and turn your kayak. Muscle tightening in your legs when doing this works like an isometric exercise. Constantly squeezing over a period of time will increase the strength and improve the look of your leg muscles.

Improves Your Heart Health

When you make the brisk movements to kayak successfully, you increase your heart rate and challenge it to work harder, which boosts your cardiovascular health.

This post was written by Simon Barker of Kayak Life, a website where you can find lots of information and reviews to help you find the best inflatable kayak.


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The mission of Outdoor Sports Guide Magazine is to inspire and educate endurance athletes and outdoor enthusiasts in the Mountain West through well-written content on adventure, travel, gear, health, fitness, nutrition, industry news, profiles, and ski resort information.

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