7 Health Benefits of Kayaking

When you have had a long week, and you want to get away from it all and unwind, there is nothing better than heading into the great outdoors.

Many individuals go hiking, but many love to adventure out on the water.

Paddling a kayak on the weekend can help relieve all the mental health stress, among others.

health benefits of kayaking as an exercise

Anyone new to kayaking can learn the basics in a single day, and with continual use, you can easily find many more health benefits than just a means of unwinding.

Here are all the health benefits of kayaking you will find when you take part in one of the best and most natural forms of exercise.

1. Reducing Stress

Everyone faces different stress levels in their life. Exercise is proven as one of the best types of stress reduction and a way to improve your mood.

Endorphins are released when you take part in any physical exercise, and these last for hours once you finish.

Reducing stress while kayaking not only does this, but it also does so in a peaceful and tranquil setting.

2. Better Heart Health

Following on from stress, there can be a dramatic increase in the health of the heart when you go kayaking. Like any muscle, the heart needs exercising.

When you paddle through the water, you are actually taking part in an aerobic exercise.

This will increase your heart rate depending on the type of kayaking you undertake. Even on calm water, you will see improved cardiovascular health and strength. Improving heart health has never been as straightforward or as enjoyable.

3. Improving Core Muscle Strength

There are many who ask, is kayaking a good workout because you are sat down? Paddling a kayak can be easy, but as soon as you hit rougher waters, it can be very strenuous.

Core muscles do more in the body than just deliver strength. Core muscles are what maintains your posture.

Paddling and rowing of any, kind has always been seen as the best sport to strengthen these muscle groups.

Such is the effect of kayaking on the body core; it is often seen as a better way than undertaking fitness training in a gym.

4. Upper Body Workouts

The only way you can get through the water is by paddling. Even from your starting position, you exert force to get going. The physical benefits are numerous and work almost all the muscles in the upper body.

The equivalent upper body workout in the gym doesn’t come close to what you perform in your kayak.

If for example, you were to carry out 300 repetitions of your paddle in one mile. If you then paddled two miles in one hour, you will have made 600 repetitions.

Each repetition is like a mini-crunch, so muscular endurance will increase, and you will see a physical difference in the tone of your body.

5. Losing Weight

Weight loss is one of the top areas you will see from regular kayaking sessions. Rather than lifting weights, which only uses specific muscle groups, muscles used in kayaking make up the whole of the upper body.

The larger the muscle group which is working, the more calories you burn.

So, how many calories do you burn kayaking? If you paddle at five miles per hour, you can burn around 400 calories in an hour as an average.

If you are on rough water or on the ocean, this figure may be higher.

When you equate this to half a day’s kayaking, you can burn almost 2,000 calories. A kayakers workout does burn less calories per hour than other forms of exercise that are more physical, yet the difference is you kayak for much longer than you can swim or run in one session.

6. Leg Exercises

Many people ask is kayaking good exercise because it doesn’t use the legs. It may appear this way, but in reality, it is far from the truth. Depending on the type of kayak, your legs may be out of sight.

Legs are more important in kayaking than many realize. Legs will get the same kind of workout as they would with strength training.

Every time you put the paddle in the water, you apply pressure through the legs. Leg muscles are also flexed and relaxed every time you maintain balance or turn the kayak.

This repeated flexing and relaxing increases the leg muscles in line with the muscles in the top half of your body.

7. Soaking Up Vitamin D

One vitamin that almost everyone lacks is Vitamin D. While it is available in foods we eat, around 80% of what our body receives is from sunlight.

However, the more time we spend indoors, such as at work, or at home watching TV, the less of this vital vitamin we receive.

When you are out kayaking, you will obtain an abundance of this vitamin, and reap the health benefits of doing so.

kayaking with kids as great outdoors

Summing Up

There is no doubt that kayaking is good for health. All the above make this obvious, yet there are many more benefits you can find.

These benefits are what each person can receive, yet include families and friends, and it does a fantastic bonding exercise which takes little effort.

Kids can learn so much more when they explore the great outdoors by kayaking.

Life skills will remain with them, and they can obtain a different outlook on life without needing to rely on gadgets.

For any generation, kayaking is a great way to get out there and soak up the best nature has to offer. Unwinding in a kayak is one of the most fun ways to forget all about life and just relax.

7 Health Benefits of Kayaking