As one of the most challenging recreational sports out there, kayaking has a huge range of health benefits, and here’s how it can positively impact your life as well! 

So you love kayaking. You’ll take on flat waters and even the rapids. You’re keen on the idea of angling from your yack, but most of all, you love the feeling you get once you get out of the water.

Not many folks are aware of this fact, but kayaking offers so many health benefits.

In this post, we’ll be discussing the many positive effects that kayaking can have on your life, and we’ll also be explaining how and why it’s a great sport to help you stay in great shape and health.

Health Benefits of Kayaking

Benefits for Your Body

It May Help You Shed Unwanted Weight

When kayaking at a pace of roughly 5 miles per hour, your body burns about 500 calories, which is the equivalent of a can of soda. Now imagine kayaking for 4 hours. That adds up to 2000 calories burned, which is an entire meal and a drink.

 

It’ll Boost Your Vitamin D Levels

Getting out in the sunlight is a great idea if you’re looking to up your body’s supply of much-needed vitamin D. Getting your daily dose of Vitamin Sunshine is as easy as grabbing your yack and paddles and heading out to explore the waters of the wild.

 

It May Promote Your Body Toning Efforts

When you’re out kayaking, you’re paddling at roughly 500 strokes per mile, which also engages all of the muscles in your upper body as well as some lower body muscles. An hour of low-impact “training” will help tighten and tone almost all of your muscles. We reckon that’s one hell of a workout!

 

It May Improve Your Heart Health

Yet another great health benefit of kayaking is the fact that it may improve heart health. Since paddling gives you an aerobic workout, it raises your heart rate and improves your cardiovascular health.

 

Benefits for Your Mind

It May Reduce Stress Levels

Not only is paddling your kayak something you may find enjoyable, it may also help relieve stress. Getting out on the water, allowing yourself to reconnect with nature, that’s the key to stress relief, and that’s exactly what kayaking offers…no psych fees charged!

 

It May Improve Your Mental Health

Aside from the fact that kayaking is a great stress buster, it may also help boost your mental and emotional health, improving your mood at the drop of a hat. It’s both a relaxing and stimulating workout, great for the body, mind, and soul.

 

It May Help You Foster Better Relationships and Build Kinship

Kayaking is a great opportunity for you to meet new people, like-minded folks, and the best part about it is that they’re going to become your friends for life. It’s a sport that can be practiced by couples, singles, and even families looking to strengthen old relationships or start new friendships.

 

It May Promote Your Self-Confidence

In a study done on the health benefits of kayaking, it was found that kayaking may be able to boost your social skills as well as your sense of self. Paddling is a great sport which can actually help you overcome your fears while you’re battling the white waters and paddling long distances, essentially improving your self-image and boosting your confidence skills.

That being said, we understand that some folks need a helping hand when it comes to finding the best and most effective workouts. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best workouts you can do while kayaking! Check them out and then pick one that best suits your preferences…

 

Best Exercises with Your Kayak

You Want To: Boost Endurance Levels
Try This: Land Paddling

In order for you to conquer paddling longer distances, you’ll need great strength in your upper body, which is why you’ll need to boost your endurance. You can start the process by paddling on dry land while sitting on an elevated surface. Extend your legs to the front, the same way you would be doing while in your yack. You’re going to want to do at least 3 to 5 sets of 3-minute rowing sessions and also ensuring that you’re switching from paddling and cross-stroke positions on each side of your body.

 

You Want To: Master Rolls
Try This: Torso Rotations

Most kayakers know that one of the perks of overturning in rough waters with your kayak is the fact that you can flip the vessel right back over, but only if you have the core strength required to perform the move. You can improve your core strength by lying face-down on a Roman chair and holding a 5kg dumbbell with both your hands. Next, bend your body at a 90-degree angle so that your upper body is pointing towards the floor. Now hold the weight in front of you and then lift your upper body up, twisting to one side so that your body and arms become parallel with the floor. After the lift, lower your upper body again and then repeat on the opposite side. 10 to 15 reps on each side should suffice.

 

You Want To: Strength-Train
Try This: Modified Lat Pulldowns

You’ll need the exact same motion stimulated by modified lat pulldowns in order to paddle successfully. To strengthen your muscles for maximum efficiency, try standing in front of a cable stack and then reaching up and pulling the rope down to one side of your body, keeping your posture straight and your abs contracted. You’re going to want to drive the cable in the same way you would be doing with your paddle. Opt for 10 to 15 reps on each side of the body.

 

Final Thoughts

Not only is kayaking a great way to relax and unwind with the help of Mother Nature, it’s also a great low-impact exercise that can greatly benefit your health. In this post, we’ve shown you 4 amazing benefits of kayaking for your body, and we’ve also shown you 4 ways in which kayaking may help improve your mental health. As an added bonus, we’ve even thrown in a few easy and very practical exercises that you can try in order to up your paddling game. All that’s left to do now is strap your kayak to your roof rack and hit the road, there’s a world of benefits just around the bend!

Author: dwthompson