Kayaking is a great way to bond with friends while enjoying the great outdoors. It is a fun activity that will certainly appeal to those looking for a bit of adventure without having to resort to extreme sports. But apart from the fun and the adventure that goes with kayaking, this water sport also comes with a whole range of health benefits. Some of the health benefits of kayaking are listed below:
1. It is great for losing weight
The amount of calories you will burn while kayaking will greatly depend on the trail and on how fast your are paddling, but just think about this: an hour of paddling at 5 meters per hour can help you burn up to 400 calories. Say, you go on a three-hour trail, that is easily 1,200 calories – and the calories burned further increases the harder the trail is.
2. It is a great upper body workout
Even if you do not want to lose weight, you will still benefit from kayaking in terms of developing body strength. Kayaking, in particular, really works out the upper body. The simple act of paddling works all the muscles in your upper body – from your biceps and triceps to your shoulder and back muscles. And you do not even have to be going hard! A leisurely pace of about three meters per hour will amount to 1,500 paddling reps. It might not be high-impact, especially if you are still a beginner, but the workout can really build up your strength.
3. It strengthens your core
According to the editors over at Kayakroom.com one of the main benefits of Kayaking is that has a very positive effect on a person ability to gain core strength and gain extra balancing ability. That is the first thing you need to learn, otherwise you will end up just swimming most of the time. Since you have to carefully balance yourself on the kayak, particularly in tricky trails, you will inevitably work out your core. Also, turning and moving the kayak requires a lot of core action, so you will really get a good core workout even if you are taking a fairly easy trail.
4. It is a good source of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an often neglected vitamin, especially with most people tending to be holed up at home or in their offices. Since going kayaking entails being out in the sun for hours on end, expect to get a good dosage of Vitamin D. Just make sure to always put sunscreen to protect your skin and to prevent sunburn.
5. It improves your cardiovascular health
You might not be a very athletic person, but there are still merits to going kayaking, especially in terms of your cardiovascular health. Kayaking pumps up your heart and gets it to work more efficiently. And since kayaking is still relatively low-impact, it does not work your heart too hard – just enough to keep you in top shape.
6. It effectively reduces stress
Nature, especially water, has calming properties. This is why a lot of people like winding down at the beach. The scenery coupled with the peace and quiet (especially if you are kayaking alone or at least with only a few people) can certainly help you in finding your center and refocusing your energy.
7. It is good for your mental health
Since kayaking is pretty low-impact, especially for beginners who are still easing into the activity at safer trails, it is a great aerobic activity. According to studies, aerobic exercises help in the brain’s release of mood-improving hormones and chemicals. This activity forces you to sit still and breathe slowly and steadily, thereby allowing you to calm down.
8. It improves your interpersonal skills
The good thing about kayaking is that you get to meet a lot of people – be they instructors, fellow first-timers, or more experienced kayakers. For beginners, it is highly recommended to kayak with a buddy. The necessity of constant interactions like the aforementioned will require you to hone your people skills, but without dragging you out of your comfort zone.
See? There really is more to kayaking than just rapids and adventure! Kayaking will help you enjoy yourself while at the same time help you in squeezing in that workout you might have been putting off for too long already.