What combines the tranquility of nature, a powerful workout and a water-based activity that can keep you cool in the warm weather? Kayaking!
Kayaking is an incredible exercise that combines resistance and cardio movement. Add in the endorphins you release from spending time in the great outdoors, connecting with Mother Earth, and you’ve got the recipe for the perfect active activity this summer if you have access to a river, lake or sea.
Health Benefits of Kayaking
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Increased muscle strength, as the strength to power a kayak comes mainly from rotating the torso and applying pressure with your legs
- Reduced risk of wear-and-tear on joints and tissues, since paddling is a low-impact activity
- Calories burned from active paddling (more than a brisk walk!)
- Reduced feelings of stress, anxiety and depression
Tips for Starting to Kayak
Try Before You Buy. Consider borrowing or renting a kayak while starting out to see if you enjoy the activity enough to invest in your own boat.
Brush up on Your Swimming. Since kayaking can involve the occasional dip in the water, make sure you’re a competent swimmer for your safety.
Get Tips and Watch Videos Online. YouTube has videos to help you work on your paddle technique and make the most of your workout. You can also search “Kayaking for beginners” to get paddle tips, advice for renting and buying gear, nearby bodies of water you can kayak on, and much more.
Bring the Essentials. Here are a few helpful things to have with you on your kayak trip:
- Personal floatation device (PFD) such as a life vest or jacket
- Boat shoes/water shoes
- First aid kit
- Drinkable water
- Small pack of high-energy, nutrient-dense foods
- Dry clothes contained in a waterproof bag
- Mobile telephone inside a waterproof container
Hit the Water!
In conclusion, kayaking is a fun and versatile exercise that lets you enjoy nature without exerting a lot of pressure on your joints, such as hiking. Once you get into a nice rhythm, it can also help you get into a meditative state of mind that is relaxing, stress-relieving and great for your mental health. If you are looking for a new way to get active this summer that will engage all your senses and is family-friendly, make sure you give kayaking a try!