These 5 benefits of kayaking for exercise give the sport a sense of legitimacy. Whether you are looking for additional exercise or looking for a reason to hit the water on the kayak, the benefits are measurable and indisputable. If you are taking up kayaking for the first time, get some proper training. For any exercise routine, consult with a doctor before beginning.
- The first benefit of kayaking for exercise is the building of strength in the core section of the body. The core, made up of the upper and lower abdominal muscles, is strengthened in the sport through the control and balance part of participation. Turning the kayak relies on the shifting and turning of the core area of the body. Each turn of the kayak results in the use of these muscles and, over time, builds this area. To increase the muscle-building in this area, turn the kayak left then right repeatedly across the water.
- Another exercise benefit of kayaking is the isometric effect on the legs. Pressure applied by the legs assists in turning and balancing the kayak. The tightening of the muscles in the legs for this purpose acts as an isometric exercise. The constant squeezing over time increases the strength of your leg muscles.
- Stroking the paddle in the water adds another exercise benefit to kayaking. The shoulder and arm muscles are used to push the paddle through the water for movement. The repetitive motion increases the muscle mass and the tone of the arms and shoulders.
- Kayaking for exercise can benefit your cardiovascular health. The brisk movements involved in the sport are another benefit of kayaking as exercise. The continuous movement raises the heart rate and increases cardiovascular health.
- There are mental health benefits to exercising with a kayak. A benefit of kayaking for exercise that may go unrecognized is the mental health aspect. Peaceful exercise in a natural setting allows the mind time to collect its thoughts or forget about the world around it for the time spent exercising. This leads to stress relief and an improved mental state.