Look, y’all, so being a kayaking enthusiast, I know that kayaking is plain fun for me, but have you stopped to think about how beneficial this activity is for your body and mind, both? In this article, we broke down 14 health and social benefits of kayaking so if you weren’t aware of how great it can be for you, now you know:
1. Cardio Workout For Weight Loss
One of the most direct and predictable benefits of kayaking is the burning of calories for weight loss. Kayaking might look nice and peaceful in pictures, but rest assured it is a lot more demanding than it appears with the constant paddling, whether it is with or against the current. The constant isotonic movements as you paddle acts as a form of cardio that burns calories and helps you to lose weight.
2. Improves Muscle Tone
In addition to burning calories, paddling during kayaking offers you the benefit of improved muscle tone. The same principle of isotonic movement applies here and the resistance from the water more or less acts in the same way as weights and resistance machines at the gym would. The best part about kayaking for improved muscle tone is the fact that pretty much all of your muscles are engaged. However, it is the arms, legs and the core that benefit most from the toning.
3. Improves Endurance
If you are one of those people who cannot go up a flight of stairs without stopping about a hundred times to catch your breath, then kayaking is probably something that you should try. The slow and steady pace on still waters gives your body time to adapt to the increased metabolism and oxygen demand. This is in contrast with other workouts that do not allow slow and steady buildup of endurance. With kayaking, the slow approach ensures more long lasting endurance and exercise tolerance which is good not only for your muscles, but for the overall health of your heart.
4. Improves Joint Flexibility
It seems that paddling in your kayak is responsible for all the benefits and improvement of joint flexibility. The constant forward and back movement of the shoulders, wrists and elbows helps to improve joint flexibility gets rid of stiffness. This also applies to a few other joints not involved in the paddling, including the hip joints and the knees. The result is the elimination of stiffness and rigidity which can not only be painful, but also debilitating in severe cases.
5. Exposure To Fresh Air
Whether you live in a leafy suburb or a pollution ridden metropolis, there is no denying the fact that nothing on earth compares to the benefits of clean fresh air. Kayaking is one of the best ways to experience this beautiful gift of nature. The fresh air helps to clear the lungs and detoxify your body by increasing the concentration of oxygen in your blood. Kayaking helps you enjoy this not only by exposing you to nature, but also by forcing you to breath deep through constant physical exertion.
6. Sun Exposure For Vitamin D
Kayaking is an outdoor activity and being outdoors means that you are exposed to the sun directly. This is a major health benefit, as it ensures that your body absorbs one of the most important ingredients in synthesis, vitamin D. This vitamin has several functions in the body, but the promotion of calcium absorption in the gut and bone formation are without a doubt the two most important.
7. Improves Mental Health
Kayaking offers the perfect combination of exertion and relaxation. It’s almost like someone joined yoga and aerobic workouts, threw in a bit of outdoor love and voila! Here, the slow and steady motion is again to thank as it promotes relaxation and contributes a lot to stress relief. Exposure to the beautiful and quiet outdoors also contributes to improved mental health. The release of endorphins during physical exertion is the icing on the cake, making this one of the very best ways to relax and free your mind from all stress.
8. Improves Aerobic Capacity
In simple terms, kayaking improves your body’s ability to adapt to low oxygen conditions without having to turn to anaerobic metabolism. This means that you have less to worry about in terms of muscle cramps and fatigue as a result of lactic acid build-up in the muscles.
9. Adrenaline Boost
Kayaking is usually done on slow moving water. However, it can be done on fast moving streams and rivers, in which case it is referred to as whitewater kayaking. This is every adrenaline junkie’s dream as it is one of the best ways to get an adrenaline boost. It has several health benefits including improved mental clarity, improved heart function and burning calories as a result of increased adrenaline in the system.
10. Improves Reflexes And Hand-Eye Coordination
These benefits also apply with kayaking done on fast moving water. In this case, you have to make fast decisions and act on them with just as much haste and agility. This is how kayaking contributes to improved reflexes, ensuring that you recognize threats and act on them quickly, even in ordinary day to day activities.
11. Team Building And Bonding
Kayaking is never fun when done alone and is therefore one of the best ways to enjoy the company of friends, family or even colleagues. Whether you are paddling lazily through a still stream or pretty much paddling for your life in whitewater kayaking, it is bound to be a team building activity that everyone will enjoy.
12. Oneness With The Outdoors
A good number of people these days spend very little time interacting with nature. In fact, for most people, the routine is home, car, work, repeat. Kayaking helps eliminate the monotony of this routine by giving you a chance to enjoy the outdoors and get in touch with nature.
13. Productive Pastime Activity
It is said that idle hands are the devil’s playthings. Therefore, instead of wasting your free time with pointless activities, you should give kayaking a try. It is more or less the ideal pastime activity with the perfect combination of health benefits and outdoor exposure that anyone can enjoy.
14. Improves Self-Esteem
Finally, kayaking indirectly contributes to your social life by improving your self-esteem. This is made possible through many different means including weight loss and toning, adrenaline boosts among thrill seekers, and the joy of overcoming different fears as with whitewater kayaking.