Kayaking isn’t just great fun; it also offers a fantastic range of benefits. To see why so many people are dipping their toes in the water, take a look at these seven surprising benefits of kayaking.
1. Improved Cardiovascular Fitness
Although kayakers remain seated in the water, paddling gives you a great cardiovascular workout. Once you’ve gained experience, you can even increase the impact on your cardiovascular fitness by taking up marathon running or sprint kayaking.
Improving your cardiovascular endurance enables your heart and lungs to pump more oxygen around the body. In particular, your muscles receive more oxygen and are able to utilize it more effectively. As well as noticing improvements in your lung capacity, boosting your cardiovascular fitness will help you to feel stronger, fitter and more energetic.
2. See New Places
As well as kayaking in local lakes and flat waters, you can enjoy exploring any location as a kayaker. Rivers, rapids and oceans are ideal for kayaking and you’ll get a unique view of new places when you explore on the water.
Many people take multiple kayaking trips throughout the year, so it’s a great reason to get off the beaten track and discover new destinations. With plenty of places to hire equipment, you can transport your own kayak and paddles or simply rent what you need when you arrive.
3. Increased Muscle Strength
Although kayaking is a low impact sport, it’s a great way to increase your muscle strength. As well as using your biceps and triceps in your arms, your pectoral muscle in your chest and trapezius muscle in your back will get a great workout.
4. Reduced Stress
Exercise is known to be a great stress reliever, so you can look forward to an increase in endorphins. However, kayaking is a particularly effective way to minimize stress. By combining the benefits of exercise with the advantages of being in the open air in tranquil surroundings, kayaking is one of the best ways to beat stress.
Sport is a great way to meet new people and strengthen friendships. When you learn how to kayak properly you’ll meet a wide variety of people and have something in common with all of them. With dedicated kayaking holidays and excursions on offer, kayaking can be as sociable as you like.
6. Toned Leg Muscles
People tend to assume that kayaking only increases muscle strength in your upper body, but this isn’t the case. When kayaking, you’ll need to use your lower body to help you balance. In addition to this, your legs are critical to maneuvering the kayaking when you’re changing direction. This means you can tone your leg muscles and increase strength here too, as well as boost muscle strength in your upper body and core.
7. Weight Loss
If you’re looking for fun ways to lose weight, kayaking should be at the top of your list. Paddling at around 5mph burns approximately 400 calories, so a full day on the water can help you burn off a staggering number of calories. What’s more – focusing on your balance and enjoying the scenery means you won’t feel like you’re working out at all.
Learning How to Kayak
Kayaking can be great fun and offers a variety of benefits, but it’s important to learn how to kayak safely. By taking part in classes and group activities, you can learn the basics in a safe environment and with support on hand. Whether you’re eager to become a sprint kayaker or you simply want to enjoy the local coastline, training classes and beginner’s lessons will give you all the experience you need to enjoy yourself on the water.