7 Awesome Health Benefits of Kayaking
Most people feel they could use more exercise but don't think they have the time or aren't motivated to fit it into their schedules. But we all know how important exercise is for a healthy life. That's why it's so important to find a type of exercise that you enjoy and look forward to on a regular basis.
Many successful regular exercisers have turned to unconventional methods to get their workouts in, like kayaking. It's a fun activity that doesn't feel like work but can improve your overall well-being immensely.
There are many health benefits of kayaking but we've created a list of our 7 Awesome Health Benefits of Kayaking to help you see what it can do for you.
1. Vitamin D Exposure
An obvious reason to kayak is that you get to be outside, in nature soaking up the sun. Not only does it feel good, but there are also tremendous health benefits. The vitamin D that your body gets from the sun is so important and the only other way it is readily available for our bodies is through supplements.
Vitamin D plays a key role in bone strength and regulates other processes throughout the body. When you have a vitamin D deficiency you're more prone to broken bones, cancer, diseases, and regular pain throughout the day. But spending even an hour outside a day can make a big difference in the amount of vitamin D you can store in your body.
While sun rays are good for you, they can also be harmful so don't forget the sun protection steps as well!
2. Improve Upper-Body Strength
There are several different types of kayaks available to try out but they all involve using a paddle to get around on the water. Upper body strength is required to maneuver the kayak the way you want it.
The most common type of kayak is a sit-in kayak that has you almost exclusively using the muscles in your arms, chest, and back to control the movement through the paddle.
You can consciously choose areas to kayak through that will require you to use a lot of this strength. But also just continual, regular kayaking trips will build up these muscles naturally.
3. Increase Stamina
Similarly, one of the benefits of kayaking on a regular basis is that you eventually start to build up more stamina and endurance for physical activity.
The great thing about this type of exercise is that you can customize it to your exact needs and preferences. So you can choose how long and how difficult of a kayaking excursion you go on. Over time you can choose harder and longer trips to build up those muscles and strength.
As you kayak you're getting both sides of exercising, the cardio and the strength training, making it a great full-body workout.
4. Tone Core and Leg Muscles
While upper body strength is a major kayaking benefit, you can also tone your core and leg muscles at the same time. The whole body is at work as you move towards your final destination.
It takes a lot of flexing in your core to hold yourself upright while using the paddle. You have to keep your core tight for maximum performance and to avoid tipping over and falling into the water in extreme situations. This repeated activation of the core muscles trains them to be tight and engaged.
There's a similar reaction for your leg muscles as well. Your legs can be used to brace against the kayak for increased performance, better tracking, and more efficient turning. Of course, if you are on a relaxing trip you can also kick back and prop the legs up while you ease down a river.
Kayaking mostly relies on your upper body for the power behind the movement, but the whole body is involved and will feel the benefits.
5. Boost Heart Health
Even your heart will feel the benefits of buying a kayak and making it a regular part of your life. There are three main types of exercise that will boost your heart health and kayaking fits into those types very easily.
Obviously, if you choose a strenuous path on the kayak you'll work up your heart rate and get that breathless cardio that can strengthen the heart muscle. But even if you choose a more easy-going pace, your heart will still see the benefits. The excursion all of the muscles have to do to move the boat creates that cardio experience even if you don't feel breathless.
6. Promote Good Sleep
If you've ever had a really active day, you know there's nothing really better than that good night's sleep that follows. A good reason to kayak is to wear yourself out enough to get into that deep, restorative sleeping pattern.
Kayaking uses your full-body and can be exhausting, especially for beginners. But it's so fun you'll hardly notice how much you're working out until you fall into bed at night and wake up in the morning refreshed and ready to go.
7. Reduce Stress
Daily life has so many points of stress and difficulty, it's easy to become overwhelmed which takes a huge toll on a person's mental health. Finding ways to de-stress is critical to overall well-being and a happy life.
One of the biggest benefits of kayaking is the improved mental health many participants feel.
Being on the water is often a relaxing place for many people. A kayaking trip can feel almost like a meditation session as you take in the quiet and feel the peace of nature. But it can also be a more social activity if that's what you need. Groups often meet together to explore new areas.
The best part of kayaking is that you can completely customize the experience you have to fit your needs and desires.
Health Benefits of Kayaking
Taking good care of yourself doesn't have to be a boring chore you dread every day. The health benefits of kayaking are comparable to a strong gym session but much more enjoyable to get through.
With so many options for kayaking, you'll never be bored and be more well-rounded in your health journey. Not to mention the social aspect you can build into your kayaking trips. It's a great hobby to pick up that will add so much richness to your life and benefit you for years to come.
If you're interested in purchasing a kayak and getting out on the water, contact us today! We would absolutely love to help you find the perfect kayak for your adventures.
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