If you love spending time on the water, and are trying to decide which sport to spend your time on, there’s some huge benefits of kayaking you should consider in your choice. Whether you plan to take up kayaking as a leisurely pastime, or extreme rafting sport, it’s one of the coolest, yet critically underrated activities there is, especially if you’re spending the day at the lake. Read on to learn about all the benefits of kayaking!
I know what you’re thinking – who in their right mind is going to choose kayaking over sunbathing? But hear me out.
The benefits of kayaking extend far beyond what the eye can see, and it remains one of the most enjoyable, low-impact activities you can do.
It’s been linked to improved happiness, reduced stress, and even increased strength and stamina. It promotes well-being and it can be as large or as small of an adventure as you make it.
Want some company? Grab a tandem! Seeking thrills? Check out whitewater kayaks.
Kayaking is a versatile and perfectly adaptable experience well suited for any explorer at heart.
So tell me about those benefits:
Benefit of Kayaking #1: Strength and Stamina
Strength and stamina allow the body to perform for extended periods of time, which actually helps reduce stress and other physical discomforts commonly experienced during, or after strenuous activity.
And while everybody wants strength and stamina, not everybody is willing to work for it.
It’s tough to justify running 10 miles on a cold winter’s day or hot summer’s eve, but that’s where the benefits of kayaking come in.
Kayaking is one of the best and easiest ways to improve both, as you consistently engage the body for several hours. Walking or running, in comparison, require significantly more effort in a much shorter period of time.
Building strength and stamina also work your heart muscle – arguably the most important muscle in the body. Why, you ask?
Benefit of Kayaking #2: Keep Your Heart Healthy
Heart Disease is the number one silent killer globally, and responsible for roughly 655,000 annual deaths in America alone.
Your heart is one of the most vital organs working to keep you alive, which is why it’s so important to take care of it.
Improving your heart health can come in the form of monitoring your diet, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing your stress, and/or staying active.
And while kayaking can’t exactly monitor your diet, the benefits of kayaking may help solve the other three.
Benefit of Kayaking #3: Reduced Stress
Fighting against heart disease for the number one spot of silent killers is stress.
That’s right, just like with heart disease, chronic, unregulated stress increases your risk of illness.
And while experts are still on the cusp of discovering just how harmful chronic stress really is, we know for sure that it’s incredibly taxing on the cardiovascular system, and that’s not something to take lightly.
Actively working to reduce, or find ways to eliminate significant stressors may end up saving your life.
Not only does the physical activity from kayaking help release endorphins that make you feel good, but the pure mental bliss you get from floating down the river, only adds to your serenity.
It’s a great way to clear your mind, and an even better way to escape from reality. Plus, it doesn’t cost you much in exchange.
Benefit of Kayaking #4: Increased Happiness
It’s almost impossible to mention bliss, without mentioning happiness.
Happiness is this abundant, yet often fleeting feeling we encounter is the moment we really allow ourselves to feel it.
And when we surrender to the present moment, we shut out stress, enjoy ourselves fully, and feel the weight of responsibilities lift off our shoulders. Out on the water, happiness may very well be found in watching a turtle bask on a rock, or listening to the soft lap of water alongside the kayak, but the lesson you learn in letting yourself be happy in the present moment will extend far beyond those little pockets of peace.
It’s just another one of the many benefits of kayaking.
Benefit of Kayaking #5: Enhanced Memory
As you can imagine, if you’re happy and relatively stress-free, you probably won’t have too much weighing on your mind, and this, my friends, allows for clarity.
New research suggests that aerobic exercises (like kayaking) boost blood flow to two key regions in the brain associated with memory.
This not only allows for easier recall, but may significantly reduce the risk of developing future degenerative disorders like Alzheimers, which is pretty earth shattering, if you ask me.
Benefit of Kayaking #6: Improved Quality of Sleep
For as fun as kayaking is, it also takes a bit of manpower.
Kayaking requires the use of your back, shoulders, arms, chest, and even your abdominal muscles to propel through the water.
And even with a great deal of strength and stamina, your body will still need a recovery period, which means that you’ll be getting a great night’s sleep.
Just make sure you wait for that drop in endorphins before heading off to bed, or you may find it more difficult to drift off.
The Big Picture
It seems too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Quality sleep helps you perform better, which improves your heart health, which reduces stress, which enhances your memory and boots your happiness.
It’s all a cycle in which each component relies on the next.
So, in choosing to improve one aspect of your life by partaking in an activity like kayaking, you’re actually helping the gears turn on a much larger scale.
This is why I personally consider kayaking to be one of the the best sports you can choose to keep yourself healthy.
It can be virtually enjoyed by people of all ages and qualifications, and it gives quite a bit without taking too much in return.
Good for the health and longevity of the mind, body, and soul, the benefits of kayaking are out there and waiting.