We live in a world that is changing by the minute and that often leaves us feeling stressed and anxious, not knowing what the future holds can be a pretty daunting thought. Luckily, we have developed many ways in which we can try and control our feelings and calm ourselves down. Whether that be playing a round of golf, having dinner with a friend, or getting out in the great outdoors, there will be something to help you. There for one have always enjoyed kayaking as an activity to de-stress, so here we look at 7 remarkable benefits of kayaking for your mind and body.
Related Read: Top 9 Best Places to Go Kayaking in the United States
Benefits of Kayaking
Pulling your boat up to the river, canal, or launch point, jumping in, and setting yourself free along the flowing water is pretty special. We feel at one with the movement of the water and get to relax in it. More often than not you’ll be kayaking around some pretty beautiful places, and it’s this, being surrounded by nature, in a calm environment, that’s so good for us. De-stressing is such an important thing for us to do, and what better way than hanging out with mother nature. Give it a try if you haven’t done it before.
Not only will it help you de-stress, but it will also continue to help you in other areas. Mental health is becoming a topic so important to our survival that we can’t ignore it, maintaining this aspect of our lives should be a priority but is often put by the wayside. Exercise is known to help us with feelings of depression and anxiety, which is why kayaking is the perfect blend of relaxation and exercise. Whilst you paddle down the river looking at your surroundings, your brain is releasing endorphins that feel amazing. These endorphins are only released when you’re exercising, it would be amazing if they were around all the time!
Cardiovascular Health and Your Heart
Keeping our heart healthy is the same as keeping the engine in your car healthy or the processor in your computer. If we didn’t have it, we wouldn’t be alive. Whilst there are many benefits of kayaking, this one is up there with one of the most important. As the heart is a muscle, to keep it going strong we need to exercise it, and we do this by taking part in cardiovascular exercise, or things that get our heart rate up. You’ll find you can work up quite the sweat whilst in a boat, so it’s a fantastic way to improve your cardiovascular health, and the best thing is if you’re tired you can float for a little until you have your breath back.
If we want to lose weight, we have to exercise and eat healthily. It’s unavoidable, however, if we can find something that we love to do and lose weight at the same time, then we’re onto a winner. It’s a tough journey that often starts with huge amounts of discomfort and anxiety, but that’s where kayaking steps up and shows it doesn’t always have to be difficult. It’s going to take time no matter what, so feeling like you’ve had a brilliant workout, and you’ve had fun is the best way to keep going.
Kayaking is an upper-body sport, you use your arms and your core to move the boat along the river with a double-sided paddle. Losing weight is one benefit, but what if I told you that it could give you some amazing muscle tone? Building muscle and getting toned is about repeating movements with some resistance to them, which is why you see so many people in the gym doing the same exercise over and over again. It’s the same in the boat, you’ll be paddling down the river and every stroke is a repetition, except you’ll be having a whale of a time (pun intended).
You can of course get out for a paddle by yourself, but kayaking is often done with a group of people. Even some of the prep work, like hauling a kayak on a truck, can be done more easily with some help from friends or family members. There are plenty of clubs you can join, you’ll find one somewhere down the river, or you can get a group of pals together and set off. Kayaking is often done over an entire day, or at least several hours, so there’s plenty of time to hang out with your friends and have a chat whilst exercising. On top of it all, it’s great to get out and see your friends.
Vitamin D is essential for the development of so many aspects of our body, yet it’s something we often disregard and forget. We need it for our bones, and our immune system, aids brain development, assists muscle function, and helps keep your heart healthy. We can get vitamin D from a few different foods, mostly fatty fish, and other animal products, but the best way to lap it up is from the sun, and kayaking is a sport that’s made for the outdoors. Spending a healthy amount of time in the sun will help us in many ways, but it will fill us up with vitamin D.
Get yourself out there and onto a river, there are plenty of places you can hire boats and if you’re uncomfortable going alone then have some lessons. It’s such a great sport with a huge number of benefits. Anything that can help both mental and physical health, whilst losing weight and toning our body, has to be a good thing to do, right?