Health benefits of kayaking for your body and mind

Megan Smith
 min read

Kayaking can be an exciting activity and the health benefits of kayaking are undeniable.

health benefits of kayaking for your body and mindIf you’re overweight and trying to discover ways to stay fit and enjoy yourself, then you certainly should consider kayaking.

This fantastic water sport offers physical and mental benefits and people of all ages and body weights can enjoy it.

Read on to discover the benefits of kayaking:

Health benefits of kayaking

Kayaking is a low-impact exercise that enhances your aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility.

Looking for some health advantages of kayaking? Here you are:

Low impact fitness activity

Kayaking is enjoyable because paddling is a low-impact activity.

Simply put, kayaking allows you to exercise without wear and tear on joints and tissues.

Build your muscles

Kayaking strengthens your muscles, especially in the back, arms, abs, shoulders and chest areas simply by using a paddle.

It increases your upper body and leg strength, as the strength to power a kayak comes from using and rotating the upper body with the help of your legs.

We all know that muscle use is essential to become stronger. The lower back laterals are the group that benefits the most from kayaking. The muscles contract and expand with every stroke.

As one of your arms is engaged for pulling the paddle back, the other is extended and eventually contracts as you paddle with both arms simultaneously.

Tip: Change your rowing speed

To make your lats exercise more efficient, you could change your rowing speed. You can paddle quickly for a brief period and slow down while keeping a hard stroke.

After a few kayaking trips, you’ll notice the increased strength in your lower back.

Beautiful abs (six-pack)

Kayaking is also excellent for burning abdominal fat and reinforcing your abs.

Go ahead and ask any fitness trainer what the most challenging muscle group to exercise is… The answer will most definitely be ‘abdominals’.

Developing your abs can be particularly challenging, especially if you consider that the belly is generally characterized by stubborn fat.

Kayaking makes that six-pack a definite possibility. The rotational movements in kayaking demand a lot of work from your core.

So you can just imagine how much exercise this muscle group gets out of it. The necessity for balance and stability can likewise add to the improvement of your abs.

Kayaking strengthens your arm muscles

Kayaking can give you strong, attractive arms as it undoubtedly improves arm muscles.

So if you’re looking to tone your arms and build up strength, you’ve found your ideal outdoor activity.

Take a look at people who kayak regularly! Whether pros or simply amateurs, you’ll notice that their arms are wonderfully toned and defined.

Both biceps and triceps are worked, as one arm rows in and another arm counters with a forward thrust.

And if paddling isn’t your area of expertise, don’t worry. The exercise is still great, also for beginners.

Ideal method to reduce stress levels: Health benefits of kayaking

Kayaking can be peaceful and meditative or challenging and exciting… It all depends on where and how you practice it.

Tension and stress are commonplace and can afflict any age group.

Something beginning kayakers should definitely know if they are often stressed is that kayaking is found to be an extremely effective stress relief exercise, especially if you’re experiencing high levels of tension and stress.

Everything about kayaking is enjoyable and relaxing. Beginners get to enjoy the sensation of floating on water.

Absolutely nothing can beat the feeling of enjoying the view as a breeze caresses your face.

The auditory experience is also to be savored. Hearing your paddles strike the water is a beautiful experience. Your workout itself will condition your body to deal with negative feelings.

Undoubtedly, kayaking has many mental health benefits. It may be just a hobby, but you can definitely reap so much more healthwise!

Perfect activity to lose weight

Kayaking is a great way to shed those extra pounds. In fact, anyone who has been trying to lose weight should consider it.

Just an hour of kayaking can burn up to 400 calories. In other words, 3 hours of kayaking can quickly burn off more than 1000 calories!

For this reason alone, kayaking is among the top calorie-burning workouts, topping the standard weight loss exercise of jogging.

In any case, make sure you have the right equipment if you want to lose weight with kayaking. Do you have a plus size or are you very tall? Then a high weight capacity kayak can provide extra comfort and safety.

If you want to get that summertime, bikini-ready body, then kayaking is the way to go.

This sport can help make shedding those pounds a lot simpler and certainly more enjoyable.

Enhanced cardiovascular health as additional advantage

Kayaking is an excellent cardio exercise.

A cardiovascular workout is essential to keep your heart healthy and strong. If you don’t exercise, over time, your heart will weaken.

Obviously, a weak heart can be the reason for a variety of problems. Kayaking can undoubtedly provide you a good cardio workout while paddling through the waters.

Cardio exercises can be pretty dull because of their repetitive nature but not so with kayaking!

It is one of those great cardio exercises that will undoubtedly keep you going.

Your heart, in addition to your lungs, will undoubtedly be worked in the best way possible.

Safety guidelines for kayaking

  • Never paddle by yourself. Inform someone about your plans, including where you’re going and how long you’re going to be kayaking because maybe you’re planning and packing for an overnight kayak camping trip.
  • Check the weather and avoid kayaking in stormy weather.
  • Make sure that your planned route matches your expertise and experience.
  • Know your first aid and how to use your first-aid box. If necessary, try to take a first aid course. It can save lives.
  • Learn how to paddle from experienced teachers. Contact your local club to learn from experienced paddlers.
  • Avoid dehydration: Take enough water with you to keep you up to the exertion and possible heat.
  • Are you plus-size and do you want to lose weight without too much risks? Then you should invest in decent equipment such as a kayak for big and tall people, good clothing and a decent paddle.
  • Adapt your clothing to the conditions. Apply 30+ SPF sunscreen (or higher) to all exposed areas of the skin.
  • Make sure you understand the potential risks in the proposed waterway. If it’s new territory, check with the locals. Consider air and water temperature levels, currents, tides and wave strength.
  • Maintain your equipment in excellent condition.
  • Make sure that you are visible to other vessels, boats and kayaks. Put reflective tape or fluorescent paint on your helmet, life jacket and canoe or kayak in order to be extra visible.
  • Always wear your flotation device and helmet.
  • Pay attention to the weight limitations and investigate how much weight a kayak can hold before buying it.
About Megan Smith

Megan has been fighting overweight and her plus size since her teenage years. After trying all types of remedies without success, she started doing her own research. Megan founded Plus Size Zeal to share her findings. She also developed various detailed buying guides for plus-size people in order to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Read More