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Whether you are looking for a new activity to add to your current exercise routine or you simply want to find an enjoyable outdoor activity during the warm summer months, kayaking may be a great option for you. The basic skills of paddling are uncomplicated to learn for recreational needs, but can be perfected over time to increase efficiency for more serious kayakers. Kayaking can also provide many health benefits for both those who appreciate the competition of sport and those who just want a fun, social activity.
The repetitive action of paddling over a long duration of time improves both aerobic and muscular endurance. The continuous paddle stroke and physical effort required to propel the kayak through water should keep the heart rate elevated and the muscles challenged. Because kayaking focuses primarily on the upper body for the basis of the movement, it should affect your cardiovascular system very differently than many standard aerobic activities, such as jogging or biking.
The added variety and emphasis on upper body musculature through hundreds, if not thousands, of repetitions will not only build muscular endurance, but strength as well. Kayaking provides great emphasis on the back, shoulders, arms and torso. Depending on your skills as a kayaker, the lower body can also become very involved. The added difficulty of working in an unstable environment, in addition to the trunk rotation necessary for this activity further increase the significance of core strength in the abdominal and lower back muscles, as well as the hips.
Similar to any aerobic activity, kayaking can also be used as a tool to achieve weight loss. Depending on your physical abilities and intensity of paddling, kayaking at five miles per hour burns roughly 400 calories per hour. Better yet – You are able to enjoy the benefits of creating a significant calorie deficit while appreciating the pure and simple, stress-reducing perks of being outside to enjoy the weather and the scenery. Being with nature will allow you to clear your mind and relax your body without the bothersome interruptions of everyday life.
Before you begin, be sure to invest in the proper safety equipment necessary for most water sports. In addition, finding an appropriate training program that will help you improve your core strength, upper body strength and endurance, aerobic conditioning, flexibility and balance will allow you to enjoy the sport of kayaking for many years.
-Paddle Bum
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