Kayaking is a superb way to keep fit and loose weight whether you are clenching white knuckles whilst white water rafting or cruising along a smooth glassy sea’s surface, this sport will pretty much work every muscle in your body, whilst shifting around 400 calories an hour.
Kayaking is often overlooked as a good form of exercise, but with so many health benefits this really shouldn’t be the case. Kayaking increases strength, improves fitness and helps with flexibility with very little impact. This means you’re able to enjoy your time out on the water without feeling as though you’ve worked out at all.
There are a few different ways you can take up kayaking, either as a soloist or as part of a group; both are equally enjoyable. It’s very easy to spend hours upon hours kayaking, and it’s never long before new kayakers realise what they’ve been missing out on. If you’re considering taking up kayaking or need a little convincing that it’s really as beneficial as we say, keep reading.
Here are the top health benefits that come with kayaking:
It’s Good for Cardio
We’ve all heard that cardio is key when it comes to staying healthy and, luckily, kayaking is great for improving the health of your cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular health is improved with every stroke and continuous movement of the paddle, and so, as with all cardiovascular exercises, as the heart rate increases the heart and the lungs grow stronger and more efficient. Even those who are used to the level of activity kayaking requires can benefit by increasing the length of time they spend out on the water, upping the pace or trying an area that requires more paddling.
It Reduces Stress Levels
A busy work and home life could see you suffering with stress and exercise is one of the best ways to reduce this. Kayaking reduces stress levels a lot more than other sports, simply because it benefits your mind and body at once. As well as getting your body moving, kayaking allows you to explore serene waters and tranquil areas. It is this level of calm that is hard to find with other activities. Plus, it’s hard to beat the relaxing sounds of the great outdoors.
It Keeps Emotions In Check
We all know that emotions can run riot sometimes and it’s not always easy to centre yourself back to feeling calm and collected; this is where kayaking comes in. Kayaking provides a meditative state for many as its high levels of peacefulness and tranquility create a feeling of serenity. Plus, it’s hard to think about worries or negative thoughts when there’s all of nature to explore.
You Lose Weight and Increase Stamina
Impressively, kayaking can increase your stamina and this can help you to live a more active lifestyle in general. Plus, with all the extra movement and work being done by your muscles, you’re likely to notice you lose weight and gain strength.
You Improve and Tone Core Muscles
Though it may look like you’re only working your arm muscles when paddling a kayak, all of your core muscles are actually being used too. When you’re using a kayak, the core area of your body needs to work hard to turn the kayak and ensure you keep your balance and utilise your power. This means that it leads to toned muscles in the legs, chest, shoulders and upper body, as well as defined muscles in the arms.
You Tone and Strengthen Abs & Legs
As you will have read above, kayaking works many muscles you may not have realised - this includes your abs. As paddling a kayak requires you to move the paddle from side to side, ab muscles are worked out. This leads to ab muscles that are more toned, defined and strong than they were to begin with.
Applying pressure with your legs against the inside of the kayak also assists in the turning and balancing of it and as such the continuous contraction of your legs muscles act as an isometric exercise which increases the strength and tone of your legs.
It Improves Your Mental Health
In the same way that kayaking reduces a person’s stress levels, it can improve your mental health. By getting your mind and body to work as a team, kayaking helps you to feel more connected to yourself. Exercising in this way boosts ‘positive’ chemical production in the body and this in turn boosts confidence, mood and wellbeing. Additionally, there’s rarely time for unwanted or negative thoughts when you’re focusing on being the best kayaker you can be.
The challenges that you face by being on the water, along with the mindfulness that being so close to nature delivers encourages a sense of well being that has little comparison to any other outdoor activity. The chance to cover the sort of distances and explore the sort of surroundings and different environments that kayaking offers, be it on a lake, river, sea or ocean, will broaden your horizons, quite literally!
It Builds Overall Body Strength
As we mentioned above, kayaking has an impressive effect on the body and its strength. However, this isn’t limited to arms, legs and core muscles. In fact, there are very few parts of the body that aren’t made stronger through frequent kayaking. Whether you’re looking to strengthen your thighs or tone your bottom, kayaking could be what’s needed.
It’s an Alternative to Aerobic Workouts
It’s often said that aerobic workouts are some of the best workouts you can do for your body; this is because they lower sugar levels, improve heart health, lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and strengthen your lungs. However, not everyone likes aerobic workouts so what’s the answer? Kayaking! Kayaking is ideal and it's a great alternative to other aerobic workouts.
It Creates a Fitter You
Lastly, and arguably the most important, kayaking creates a fitter you. Whether you're looking to drop a few extra pounds or want to maintain your current weight, kayaking is ideal. When you’re kayaking you burn a lot of calories and as it’s relatively easy to kayak for a few hours at a time, these quickly add up.
Low Impact Workout
The great thing about kayaking is that you can achieve a superb low-impact workout without inflicting the same afflictions that other, high-impact fitness activities can cause to your body, such as the hammering your knees can get from excessive running. Which not only means that it is a great option for people who have existing problems with their hips or knees, but it is also a great activity to introduce into your fitness routine along side other, high-impact activities to give a good balance to your regular exercise regime and reduce the potential effects of long term, high-impact exercises.
This would be particularly true if you were training for an event such as a Marathon, Triathlon or Iron Man competition. Introducing kayaking into your training regime would help work and tones all areas of your body in preparation for the final hardcore, all round tournament.
For example, paddling and executing a good, solid stroke when kayaking will incorporate every muscle in your upper body, and at 3mph, in one hour you can expect to achieve around 1,500 reps of low-impact, upper body training and toning.
So, check out the extensive range of Leisure, Fishing and Sea Kayaks available from Galaxy Kayaks.
By introducing this spectacular sport into your regular fitness regime you will not only reap the extensive physical rewards it will bring to the table, but also relish the opportunity to explore the waters, inland and sea, and embrace this new and exciting challenge that will take your physical and mental world to a whole new level!