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9 Awesome Health Benefits of Kayaking by Tim Fox (Guest Post for CASS Fitness)

I have a feeling that like most of us, you at always thinking of ways to embrace the great outdoors and have some fun while keeping fit at the same time. It goes without saying that we all should get out more often and just become adventure junkies. Well kayaking is one awesome way to have fun and enjoy immense health benefits!  Do you want concrete reasons why you should get into the waters more often? Here are 9 awesome health benefits of Kayaking. 
 
Benefit of kayaks on health:  
The most obvious benefits of kayaking are health related. Kayaking is more of a physical outdoor aerobic activity. The activity is entirely low impact and goes beyond benefiting you physically to priming your mental disposition while also improving your social life. Some of the health benefits of kayaking include; 
 

1. Weight loss 

Who doesn’t want to maintain a healthy weight, right? Weight loss is albeit one of the greatest health benefits of kayaking. Research by HealthFitnessRevolution shows that you can easily burn up to 400 calories an hour just paddling at a comfortable speed of 5mph. A whole afternoon of kayaking can therefore burn a minimum of 1,600 calories. 
 
This rate of burning calories per hour may seem to be low as compared to intense work outs like swimming or running. However kayaking makes up for the low rate since it is usually done for several hours on end. It is rare that many people would run for so many hours while kayakers will more often than not go for fun filled adventures that will last for hours. 
 
2. A great source of Vitamin D 
 
Often overlooked is this great benefit of Kayaking. This should be quite obvious though. Spending all the hours outside will greatly increase your intake of Vitamin D from sunlight. Dietary Vitamin D is usually not sufficient and must be supplemented by what we get from the sun. In fact, 80% of the Vitamin D in our bodies comes from the sun. It therefore goes without saying that jumping into your kayak and paddling away will be of tremendous help. The only thing you need to keep in handy is your sun screen; especially if your skin is the sunburn prone type. Otherwise, you also get to turn heads later with an amazing sun tan. 
 
3. Cardio workout 
 
Since kayaking is aerobic in nature, you get to keep your heart healthy. A healthy heart is very important if you are to keep away maladies like hypertension, stroke and heart attacks. Your usual cardio workout regime can turn out to be quite boring due to the monotonously repetitive nature. Not so with kayaking, which is packed with adventure and great opportunities to socialize. 
 
4. Lower stress levels
 

Stress should be treated as a stranger. Peace of mind is inherent to humanity; that is why it is the greatest desire that man has whether consciously or unconsciously. Stress is unhealthy and can attack anyone at any stage of life. Kayaking is one of the best remedies for high stress levels. The kayaking is quite relaxing and very enjoyable. There is something very soothing about floating on water with the sound of your paddles splashing against the water. 
 
5. Improved mental health 
 
Kayaking is known to greatly improve mental health. With the coordination that is required from your whole body to navigate the water, your mind is profoundly engaged. The activity also helps to release chemicals and hormones that will help you feel good about yourself thus greatly increasing your self-worth, enhance good moods and confidence. Kayaking is a great remedy for depression and anxiety. 
 




 
6. Kayaking strengthens your lats 
 
To build muscular strength, you must work the muscles out. There are various muscle groups that benefit greatly from kayaking. These include lats (lower back muscles), thighs, abs and so forth. 
In order to move forward (which is quite a reasonable direction when kayaking), you need to engage your back, arms and shoulders. These are the main groups of muscles that come into play when paddling. An average kayaker will do an average of 500 strokes for every mile. This means that paddling for three miles; which is the average for an hour’s worth of kayaking will have you doing 1,500 repetitions. This will have a profound positive effect on your back and upper body. 
 
7. Leg toning 
 
It is a no brainer that kayaking greatly benefits your upper body muscles. It is less intuitive however that it is of any benefit to the legs. That doesn’t mean that your lower body is left out. You also get to use your legs while kayaking. Your legs are important as they supply the necessary pressure to secure your kayak by helping you balance and maneuver the kayak. You will find that you will often tighten and loosen your leg muscles thousands of times, which will increase your leg muscle strength with every adventure. 
 
8. Core muscle strength 
 

Kayaking requires that you sit upright which means that you have to engage your core muscles; commonly known as abs. It is your abs that keep your body upright. Kayaking easily becomes one of the best exercises for your abs. 
 
While in the cockpit, you need to move your chest from one side to another as your puddle to turn your kayak. This is done by engaging your core muscles. Every paddle is somewhat of a series of mini-crunches that will increase your muscle strength with each repetition. 
 
9. Increased stamina and strength 
 
Participating in kayaking regularly will help you improve body strength and stamina which will in turn help you increase a healthy lifestyle. A stronger body ensures that you live a productive life while remaining disease free as your defense mechanism against illnesses is enhanced. 
 
Common uses of Kayaks:
 

The popularity of kayaking is fast increasing. Although it is known to many as a recreational sport, it was in the times past a necessary means of survival for the Inuits of Greenland. The Inuit people used kayaks to hunt for seals and whales which were for them a source of food and clothing. Kayaks have presently evolved and are used for fishing, sports, touring and rafting. 
 
The various uses of kayaks demand that kayaks are designed differently depending on where and what they are going to be used for. 
 
Final word:  
 
There is no doubt that kayaking has myriads of health benefits. Apart from just being a leisure activity, it is an activity that helps you become healthier while doing it. Have you ever considered kayak tours and destinations or Kayak fishing? Well, this is something you should seriously doing with family and friends. Become a fitter and self-motivated individual by harnessing these 9 awesome health benefits of kayaking while getting many more advantages through pure adventure and fun.
 
Bio:
 
Tim Fox is Co-founder of The Elite a blog that strives to help you enjoy your life in the outdoors.

 
EDITOR’S NOTE:
 
Recently, we received an excellent resource guiding you through the process of choosing a kayak so you can enjoy the 9 health benefits of kayaking mentioned above. Check out https://www.jenreviews.com/kayak/. It is a detailed, up-to-date 7,000 word guide on how to choose a kayak according to science that is packed with tips and advice.

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Tim Fox
Tim Fox is Co-founder of The Elite, a blog that strives to help you enjoy your life in the outdoors.
August 10, 2017 | Abs and Core, Cardio, Guest Posts, Strength Training, Weight Loss, Workouts | 0

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