The benefits of kayaking include: 1. Help build strength, flexibility and tone the body. 2. Help to reduce weight. 3. Provide a great source of stress release. 4. Help with mental and emotional feelings.
Kayaking is a low-impact exercise that is perfect to participate in the open sea, or on lakes or rivers. Plus, kayaking is an activity open to most and is fun on a vacation or as a competitive sport.
Benefits of kayaking
Specific health benefits of kayaking include:
- Great exercise to improve cardiovascular fitness
- Paddling action helps to increase muscle strength, especially in the region of the chest, shoulders, arms, and back
- Up leg and torso strength which results from the constant need to rotate the upper body and apply pressure using the legs
- Low impact activity that puts minimal pressure on the joints and tissues
- Hand and grip strength is enhanced by kayaking
- Kayakers have great heart strength and ability to pump blood through the system more efficiently
- A regular paddling session helps to improve mental health, confidence, and self-worth. Plus, the ability to tone the body means it’s possible to feel better in relation to physical appearance
- Lean body muscle mass and low body fat are positives of a regular kayaking session
- The body’s core strength is significantly improved
Kayaking is a recreational activity that is open to all fitness levels. Paddle sports make it possible to push the body as much as you want, from a relaxed paddle on a quiet river or lake to a more strenuous paddle on the open waters.
Ability and speed can vary greatly with the pursuit in recreational or competitive kayaking. Whether it is light paddling or more competitive, it is still a great form of exercise to improve the all-round well being.
Even if quite fit and actively involved in other sports, kayak gives the opportunity to engage muscle groups that aren’t so frequently used in mainstream sporting events.
Kayaking is that much more enjoyable if able to get properly prepared before entering the water – this helps both physically and mentally. A proper warm up routine and a positive mind-set is certain to help minimize issues with underperformance or potential injury.
Long-term enjoyment of kayaking is possible when able to listen to the body and able to match the form or duration of paddling to the physical condition.
General tips for a safer kayaking experience
Here are several health and safety tips to help stay safe in the open waters:
- Sign up for lessons (and first-aid course) from an experienced club or instructor
- Only paddling in water that matches the skill level and preparation
- Use waters that make it easy to be visible to others
- Wear a life jacket or helmet with fluorescent or reflective tape
- Make sure to carry (and preferably wear) a personal floatation device (PFD)
- Prepare for a planned trip (consider wave or tidal action, currents, water temperature, air temperature, etc.)
- Get a weather report on the day of the trip
- Kayak with a companion
- Let someone at home know the intended location, course, and time of return.
- Wear clothes to match the conditions. Use sunscreen with 30+ SPF or more on areas of exposed skin
- Pack enough fresh drinking water to match the duration of the paddling adventure
- Maintain the condition of the kayak and related equipment