11 Physical Benefits of Kayaking
Improves the Cardiovascular System
Paddling a Kayak consistently helps your cardiovascular system which has great benefits for your heart. Doing any physical activity helps with this however kayaking is one that is actually distracting in a good sort of way. How many normal people do cardiovascular exercises is go for a run or on the treadmill but it can be quite boring. Kayaking allows you to be out in nature and explore your water ways. This really distracts you from feeling the burn a lot of the times.
Increased Muscle Strength in your back
Kayaking is like the equivalent of doing a single arm dumbbell or seated cable row in that every stroke you take works the lats. While one of the arms is rowing back the other is being stretched and then contracted. The difference is you are doing this exercise for a longer period of time.
Helps Increase Ab Definition
Not to many people think of this but your abs get worked quite a bit when kayaking! The rotational movements of moving the paddle back and forth for an extended period of time really work on your abdomen and obliques! This puts a huge load on your core as seen below!
Increased Torso and Core Strength
These muscles are being exercised when you are steering and balancing the kayak with every stroke. The longer you go the more work is being done to them!
Increased Strength In Your Arms
During a kayaking session the two main bi- products of the work is the biceps and triceps. As one arm rows in the biceps are hit, the other arm is using a forward extension thus putting torque on the paddle which creates work for the triceps. A similar gym exercise that can be compared to this is very high rep pull ups. Your hands and forearms will be tired after a period of none stop paddling!
Increased Strength in Your Shoulders
Believe it or not shoulders are actually more involved in a kayak exercise than a typical back workout. The motion of the paddle coming up after each stroke and extending forward again really works the shoulders. The muscles being used in that motion are the large lateral muscle up to the shoulders as well as the rear, anterior and lateral deltoids. Your grip also has a part to play in what muscles are being used more just like in the gym.
Increased Strength in Your Chest
The movements involved can be compared to a single arm dumbbell bench press, but different in a way. Anytime you do a rowing motion of any particular kind the pectoral muscles flex to stabilise the shoulder and the arm as they pull in. While not as noticeable as doing a full on bench press over time you will notice a subtle difference.
Helps Increase your Leg Strength
The Legs are an important part of balance within the kayak. As you learn a better paddling technique you learn to work the legs with the hips to help turn stabilize or brace the kayak.
Helps with Weight Loss
Weight Loss is a common problem in today’s society. However with the combination of the above exercises being utilised kayaking actually does help you lose weight. However as with anything you have to be kayaking consistently to start seeing a difference. Paddling a kayak once will not make a difference in that regard. The more seat time you get in your kayak the more weight will shed off!
Helps Bring Vitamin D into your body
Vitamin D is something that our bodies need to properly function. Unfortunately a lot of us don’t get enough of it. It is hard to get Vitamin D in foods so what is the alternative? Go out and get some sun! Being Outside in the sun helps your body get that special vitamin it needs to properly function. Just remember to bring sun screen!
Increases Your Stamina
Similar to any physical activity the more you do it the better you get at it! Kayaking is no different. As you kayak more you will be more in tune with how the boat boat behaves and how much longer you can paddle without getting tired! It is definitely one of the more enjoyable ways to increase your stamina.
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