A kayak can be used for all kinds of reasons. Reaching a remote fishing spot is one of them. But just having a nice tour on the water without any fishing can be wonderful as well. Being so close to the water surface, paddling on a lake surrounded by high mountains, might give you the feeling of being "swallowed" by the immense power of nature. A wonderful, easy to get and low budget feeling, because kayaks are relatively light, easy to transport and, compared to (motorized) boats, very cheap.
Kayaking can physically be as hard as you want. Beginners won't paddle immediately in wild streams. A placid lake, not much wind and the sun shining on your head are perfect circumstances for the first trips. Want to reach remote fishing spots? The kayak is your ideal means of transportation for that. So just strap one to your car and hit the road: a world of kayaking waits for you!
Kayaking Health Benefits
1. Weight loss
Weight Loss is the reason why you're here, right? Well, then keep reading, because next to the great time you'll have in a kayak you will also lose your extra pounds while paddling. Moving the kayak at about 5 mph requires 400 calories per hour. For many of us this means the equivalence of more than 20% of the daily calorie intake ! When you want to know your exact numbers then use the calculator below.
2. Reduces stress
Just imagine this: you in a kayak gliding through the water. Nature is around you. Apart from occasional sounds of animals it's totally quiet. The sun is shining and you enjoy the beautiful colors of nature. Perhaps you can catch a fish in this silence. Nobody around to bother you. Isn't that the perfect recipe for hours of relaxation?
3. Upper body workout
Although relaxing, kayaking still needs paddling to move forward. It requires effort of every muscle in the upper body. To reach a 3 mph speed you'll need about 1,500 repetitions of low impact upper body movements.
4. Mental health
William Walsh, Ph.D., president of the Walsh Research Institute Illinois said that “Most people who are depressed have something wrong with their brain chemistry". What they need are feel good chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Aerobic exercise, the kind that brings a lot of oxygen to your brains triggers the release of feel-good goodies. Kayaking is such kind of exercise. Being in the open doing exercise and breathing faster than you normally do results in the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. The reason why you feel great after a tour on the water.
Kayaking is for everyone. Doesn't matter whether your physical state is awesome or poor. And for every effort and social level there is a community: from gentle senior groups till fanatic wild water diehards, from singles to families.
6. Vitamin D, the sunshine supplement
Unless you're a real diehard, you won't be kayaking in bad weather any time soon. Kayaking is usually done in nice weather, at least when it's not raining. On a kayak tour, when the weather is bright, your body gets the required 10-15 minutes of sunlight to produce vitamin D. A vital vitamin for our physical health. Extraction of vitamin D from our food is hard, if not almost impossible. So on days when we can't "fill up" with sunlight we will have to take vitamin D as a supplement.
7. Builds positive self-image
It goes without saying that your achievements in life significantly can improve your self-esteem. Paddling a longer distance than the day before is one example. Seeing the muscles in your arms getting stronger or noticing that endurance is improving gives this feel-good mood and encourage you to get into your kayak over and over again.
8. Core strengthening
Even at low speed your body has to work in a kayak, simply to come forward. And for that your body has to use muscles it hardly uses in daily life. They are not just the arm muscles that have to do efforts. Controlling your kayak and balancing strengthens the core because you have to shift and turn it constantly.
9. Tones legs
It is a mistake to assume that only your upper body would be active during kayaking. The legs play an important assist in turning and balancing the kayak. You'll be surprised how "heavy" your legs will feel after your first day of kayaking. The constant squeezing over time increases the strength of your leg muscles.
10. Improverd Cardiovascular Health
Independently from the level of your kayaking, you heart rate will raise while paddling. The blood gets pumped faster through your system. With the blood all the goodies in it get delivered in every cell of your body. Your brain gets a boost while getting more oxygen. Even after exercise your brain gets supplied with 40% more oxygen than normal levels.