Kayaking is a popular outdoor activity, and it also provides significant cardiovascular, joint, and upper-body strength benefits. As such, kayaks have a great deal to offer for your wellbeing and health, whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional athlete. So, whatever you need to discover about this calming water activity is right here.
What Exactly Is Kayaking?
Kayaking and canoeing may appear to be identical at first look. Kayaking, on the other hand, has certain distinct characteristics. For instance, riders are secured into individual seats in the kayak, a smaller, more streamlined boat than a canoe. A double-sided paddle is better for steering a kayak because of its smaller size. And as you kayak, you’ll use both hands to hold this paddle and dip it into the waters on alternate sides to move you forward.
Many kayaks are designed for solitary riders, but you can also get a tandem kayak that can accommodate two people. And when kayaking with a companion, the person in the front maintains the paddling rhythm, while the person at the back follows their stroke pattern.
Health Benefits of Kayaking
Kayaking provides a superb all-around workout by combining cardiovascular activities with low-impact weight training. As such, some of the beneficial properties of spending time on the lake include:
Cardiovascular health improvements: Looking for a fun method to meet your weekly requirement of an hour of moderate aerobic activity? If so, kayaking could become your new favourite pastime. Meanwhile, the speed and strength of your paddling are entirely up to you as you cruise your preferred body of water. And the more you paddle, the higher your heart rate will be (but lighter bouts of exertion have their benefits). Besides, keeping a constant rhythm will get the heart racing, making this a great low-impact exercise for heart health and fat burning.
Strengthening the upper body: In Kayaking, your upper body witnesses the bulk of the action. The motion of lifting and lowering your paddle, as well as the force of the water, work to develop your back, shoulders, arms, and chest muscles. And unsurprisingly, a survey of Olympic kayakers discovered that their physiques tended to favour a higher upper body girth on average.
Glutes, legs, and core strength are all improved: Despite its obvious concentration on the arms and shoulders, Kayaking provides a good workout for the lower body. The back-and-forth action of seated paddling activates your core as well as your leg and glute muscles, resulting in stronger, leaner abs. And the motion of rowing to the right and left activates your oblique muscles, which are responsible for turning your core.
Spending time outside: Who can’t use more fresh air in this high-tech, fast-paced world? According to research, spending just 20 minutes outdoors can help lower stress levels. As such, taking a kayak out on a river, lake, or pond can be a welcome diversion from the stresses of everyday life.
You may revive your adventurous spirit and curiosity as you set out with your paddle in hand. Additionally, alone time can be a great technique for re-centring and engaging with your inner self due to the silence of head-clearing.
Low-impact exercise that’s gentle on the joints: High-intensity exercise is not for everyone. Low-impact workouts are, in fact, a considerably superior choice in specific seasons of life or for persons with certain health conditions. And unlike tennis, running, and many team sports, Kayaking does not require you to pound your limbs on the ground. As such, this low-impact workout is mild on the bones, making it appropriate for people with arthritis or people at risk of serious injury.
So, consider taking up kayaking as a low-impact exercise that will get your heart pounding and your muscles toned. Meanwhile, it may necessitate a financial outlay upfront, but the overall health advantages may be well worth it.