Kayaking has quickly become both a recreational pastime as well as an aerobic form of exercise. The calming effect of being on the water, mixed with the aerobic benefits of paddling a kayak, has become a go-to relaxation and exercise form for many.
With all the popularity, many are left to wonder, how does kayaking affect me mentally and physically?
Physical Benefits of Kayaking:
Kayaking is known to improve overall body strength, especially in the arms, legs, and core. Paddling the kayak through the water takes a large amount of arm strength. Your arms are essentially moving your body weight, and the weight of the kayak through the water. At times water can be rough or have waves, and if that is the case, you are using even more strength with each paddle.
How Kayaking Benefits the Core
Core muscles are tested and strengthened while kayaking. Those muscles are what keep you upright in the boat. You are also working ab and oblique muscles with every paddle. Your arms do a majority of the work to guide you through the water, but your core muscles are engaged and providing stability right along with the arms.
Kayaking is also providing a cardiovascular workout every time you are in the water. It takes a lot of work on your body to paddle a kayak down any type of waterway. Your muscles are working and your heart rate is increasing, giving you an overall total body workout. A true total body workout can easily be achieved when taking a long paddle. Most people who like the outdoors will find a kayak workout much more exciting and interesting than being inside a gym. The change in scenery and physical benefits have many people ditching the gym and getting in a kayak workout a couple of times a week.
Mental Benefits of Kayaking:
Calming the Senses
Kayaking provides most people with a serene environment to relax and calm themselves. Most kayaking is done on calm waterways, without motorboat interference. The water is typically still and quiet. This environment leaves many people feeling relaxed, and in an almost meditative state. It allows a brain to slow down thoughts and enjoy the environment around it.
Kayaking With a Partner
People will also kayak in groups or duos, which can also easily calm someone down mentally. The feeling of freedom on the water, mixed with close friends or family can leave a person in a calm and relaxed state without even thinking about it. To find out more on the mental benefits of kayaking, many people will take guided kayak tours or speak with a long-term kayaker to get tips and tricks on how to mentally relax while enjoying a paddle.
Kayaking is both fun and relaxing all at once. Most people find their body exercised and their minds calmed when they finish kayaking. If you have never been in a kayak, you should try it to see all the benefits you can get from a quick, or long, paddle down your nearest waterway.
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