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learning how to kayak

Fitness and Health Benefits of Kayaking

5 Great Reasons to Try Kayaking

Kayaking is a fantastic outdoor sport and recreational activity that offers numerous fitness and health benefits and that can be enjoyed by anybody at any age.  If you like the water, love the outdoors and are looking for a fun new activity to keep your body fit, your mind calm and your days fun, then kayaking may be worth trying out.

Below are five great reasons to put on your lifejacket, grab a paddle and head out for a day on the water.

1. Core Fitness Workout

Exercise does not have to be boring.  There are numerous fun activities that will workout your body and keep you fit and lean.  Paddling works your entire upper body and especially your core muscle group.

The core muscles are extremely important in keeping your body balanced, stable and functioning at its best.  Having a strong core will help with every other sport and activity that you do.

2. Calm Mind

Different types of kayaking will provide different effects on your mind.  Flat water recreational paddling will bring your mind peace and relaxation.  Running the whitewater rapids will bring your mind adventure.  However, you will likely find that with all types of kayaking your mind will completely calm as you tune into the environment and the task at hand.

For me one of the greatest benefits that I get from kayaking is that my mind chatter stops.  In essence it is very much like an outdoor meditation.  With every paddle stroke you slip further from the stresses of daily life and end up deep breathing along with the rhythms of the water.  Although you might feel physically exhausted after a day of paddling, your mind will feel relaxed and refreshed.

3. Fun, Adventure and Great Discoveries

Whether you are kayaking alone, with a buddy or with a  group of people you can always count on having fun.  Kayaking allows you to explore new areas that you would not have been able to see by land.

Whether your idea of fun is to discover new terrain and interesting wildlife or to race to a finish point, there will always be adventure for every person of every age to enjoy.  Kayaking can be thrilling and exciting and each new body of water will bring with it new things to discover and enjoy.

4. Nature, Wildlife and the Environment

The great thing about kayaking is that it is a very quiet sport.  There are no loud motors or noises to scare away the wildlife.  Depending on where your kayaking adventure begins, you may very likely come across any number of beautiful animals and sea life along your journey.

It is not uncommon to see moose or deer along the shorelines, eagles and hawks as well as numerous fish, turtles, geese and ducks.  If you have a waterproof camera, bring it along with you as you may come across a couple of fantastic wildlife shots.

The fact that a kayak has no motor also means that it is good for the environment.  There is no wear and tear on the water or the shore.  Whether you are into hard shell or inflatable kayaks, it is a fantastic eco-friendly recreational sport that allows you to connect with the elements and enjoy the beauty of the natural world.  If you are just looking into it, a good starter inflatable kayak that can be recommended is the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame as it is a good quality kayak and relatively inexpensive.

5. Family Fun

Any person of any age can take part and enjoy kayaking.  Even if you do not feel you can paddle far, you can always go on a tandem kayak that seats two people so the other person can take over if you are feeling tired or unable to paddle.

It is not uncommon to see whole families along for the ride and it is a wonderful way to stay in shape, have some quality fun family time and enjoy a nice beautiful day outside.  Even your dogs can join you if they have their own lifejackets.

Kayaking Options

Paddling will help you to lose weight, get a great workout, relax, tone your muscles and have a lot of fun while doing it.  There are several options to get you started and out on the water:
  • Rent a kayak for a few hours or for the day.
  • Try out a friend's kayak to get the feel for it and see if you enjoy it.
  • Purchase your own hard-shell kayak if you have room to store it.
  • Get an inflatable kayak which is easy to transport and store in small spaces.
There is a huge range of different models to choose from. Which one you get will depend on the type of kayaking you will be doing most -  for example, lake kayaking, ocean kayaking or whitewater river kayaking.  Whichever type you choose there is a model that will fit every person’s budget and needs.  The great thing is that once you make your initial purchase there are no additional costs.

The benefits to kayaking are numerous and include an awesome core workout, a clear and calm mind and not to mention so much adventure and fun.  All of the above are excellent reasons to make kayaking a part of your life.

About the Author:
Sam Walker writes numerous quality health and fitness articles and online Gear Reviews.  His latest comprehensive kayak review is the popular Advanced Elements Advanced Frame inflatable kayak.

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