If you’ve ever gone kayaking, then you know the fun and excitement that a trip on the water can bring. The sights and sounds fly by as you propel yourself forward, dodging boulders and zipping through rapids one minute and pushing through calm waters the next. The trip is exhilarating, and hardly feels like a workout at all. All you know is the enjoyment you feel in the moment. Then the next day, your muscles ache and you wonder why. You might even think you didn’t work that hard. The truth is you really do work hard when you go kayaking. It provides a full body workout, although you may not even notice. Here are just some of the benefits to this sport.
To propel forward, you have to paddle. This means a unique motion that you are unlikely to get in the gym. You use literally your entire upper body to paddle. Your shoulders, back, and arms will do the most work. Those hard-to-reach triceps will get worked out as well. If you’ve ever seen a professional kayak, you will notice zero arm fat jiggle. Your abdominal muscles will also see a benefit.
The leaning and tightening you have to do to paddle correctly, as well as steer your vessel, will tighten up your tummy in no time. Don’t worry; it’s not just your upper body that will see improvement. Your legs will also see an improvement as you apply pressure to help steer or slow your boat. It only takes a few times out on the water to really start seeing results. Still not a believer? Just try it once. When you wake up the next day, your tune will change. Those aches are a sign that you’ve done your body a huge benefit. And you will get stronger the more you do it.
It may seem difficult to believe that this sport offers some aerobic benefits. It just looks like a bunch of arms movements. While it may not seem like your classic cardio workout, like running or swimming, it does get your heart pumping. You would not believe how fast your heart rate goes up as your work harder and harder battling rapids or just trying to go faster in general. As your arms paddle, your muscles are losing oxygen.
Your heart compensates by beating faster to deliver more oxygen to your moving body. That’s all a cardio workout really is. How few exercises are there out there that offer a cardio workout alongside a muscle building routine? The best part of this exercise is that there are no buttons to push, settings to remember, or malfunctioning equipment to battle. The intensity depends entirely on you. How fast or slow you choose to paddle directly determines the benefits you’ll see. There is no beginner, intermediate, or expert levels here; only the water and your own athletic ability.
By now, we all know that a huge component in weight loss is exercise. Obviously, eating right has a lot to do with how much you drop. But exercising is the right thing to do for weight loss and for your body overall. Strong muscles can help you live a longer life. Not to mention that exercising now can keep you independent, strong, and help avoid scary diseases when you have reached an older age. If you have a little (or a lot) to lose, you will start to see the pounds come off as you progress. It’s pure science. If you burn more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. An average hour on the water will burn anywhere from 300 to 500 calories, depending on your stroke level and weight. Make sure you have the right kayak for your comfort level so you get see the most results.
It’s hard not to think about what our bodies look like these days. But one of the most important aspects of our health is our stress level. High stress can cause ulcers, panic attacks, and just overall crankiness. None of these things are good for you, and you deserve to have a happy life. Kayaking is a great way to achieve stress relief. From a scientific perspective, exercise releases endorphins, which is the most natural drug you can get. Beyond that, just being out there on the water will instantly calm you. All the troubles of a busy life just don’t exist out there. Once you’re out on the water, all that exists is nature. The colors, the sounds, the sights of everything beautiful and untouched in the world will make everything disappear.
Kayaking is a really versatile activity that can provide any benefits you may be looking for. Even social benefits come from owning one, because kayakers often travel together in groups. Try a tandem kayak, like the Sea Eagle SE370 to get the full benefit of social interaction. Whether the benefit is for your body, mind, or an additional enjoyment of life, you can find it all at once in a kayak.