Do you want to see the world from a whole new angle? Take to the water! Grab a kayak and go exploring. Kayaking is great exercise and gives you an intimate view that really immerses you in nature. Great for rivers, streams, rapids, and lakes kayaks are versatile watercraft that are also lightweight and easy to transport. A kayaking journey can be a tranquil outing on a placid lake or a white knuckle white water rafting adventure. Just strap one to your car and hit the road: a world of kayaking awaits! Here are Health Fitness Revolution’s top 10 health benefits of kayaking to get you ready to go.
Weight loss: To move the kayak at about 5 mph is going to require about 0.1 hp of effort, which is going to burn about 400 calories per hour. And so, four hours of paddling is going to burn up about 1,600 calories!
Reduces stress: Watching your boat move through the water by your own effort, spending a few hours under the sky, on the water, watching the colors of the blues, the greens, the grays, and the browns, this is all a relaxing and enjoyable experience. A couple of times a week for a few hours, getting this kind of exercise is going to make anyone feel better!
Upper body workout: Placing the paddle in the water and executing a good stroke is going to incorporate every muscle in the upper body. This means that in one hour at 3 mph you are going to do about 1,500 repetitions of low impact upper body movements, so no matter what your fitness goals are, you’re going to get great exercise and tone your body.
Mental health: Aerobic exercise, notes Harvard Health Publications, triggers the release of brain chemicals that can quickly improve your mood. If you’re depressed, stressed or just need to clear your mind from the hectic nature of your day, paddling a kayak can provide a relaxing workout.
Community: There aren’t too many sports that provide the opportunity to meet other people (or paddle in solitude, if you so desire…). Kayaking is unique because it incorporates nature’s beautiful sites, great physical benefits, and is suitable for singles, couples, and friends of course.
Great source of vitamin D: Time spent outdoors comes with a major bonus: vitamin D intake. Boston University Medical Center professor Dr. Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D., previously explained to HuffPost that the “sunshine vitamin” can be one of the toughest to get from foods, and many of us actually take in over 80% of it from those golden rays.
Builds positive self-image: Overcoming extreme challenges like whitewater rapids or practicing paddling a longer distance than you did last time, is a way to build confidence and positive self-image. Research by the Journal of Leisurability found that kayaking leads to increased social skills and sense of self, as well as an overall boost in self-satisfaction.
Core strengthening: The core, made up of the upper and lower abdominal muscles, is strengthened through the control and balance of kayaking. Each stroke you make in the water twists your core and you’ll definitely feel that burn when you get ashore.
Tones legs: Pressure applied by the legs assists in turning and balancing the kayak. As subtle as it might be in this arms-focused sport, the constant contractions of the muscles over time increases the strength just like your arms.
Improves heart health: The brisk movements involved in the sport are another benefit of kayaking as exercise. The continuous movement raises the heart rate and increases cardiovascular health.