The first time I went kayaking I was only 10 years old, and I loved it. It was fairly easy to learn, and I enjoyed the feeling of gliding across a tranquil lake. While I've managed to enjoy a number of kayaking trips, mostly on fairly calm waters, as summer approaches I've decided to purchase my own kayak and make paddling part of my weekly exercise routine.
Kayaking is so much fun it often doesn't feel like you're getting a workout, but your muscles will tell you differently the next day.
If you're an avid kayaker, or just considering this great activity, here is a look at three of the health benefits you'll enjoy:
One of the best benefits of kayaking is the reduction of stress. While on the water, it's difficult to focus on your worries, and much easier to let go, breathe, and enjoy one of life's many pleasures. The water itself is relaxing, as the repetitive motion you'll use to propel yourself through the water is almost like mediation.
The average 125-pound person will burn 300 calories per hour kayaking. Those who weigh closer to 185 pounds can expect to burn as much as 444 calories per hour. With many other exercises, you might look forward to finishing as quickly as possible. With kayaking, I find it hard to want to get out of the water! Time goes by quickly, and it's easy to spend several hours paddling, which can add up to nearly 1,000 calories or more.
While paddling, your body will use nearly every muscle in the upper body and some lower body muscles. It works your arms, shoulders, upper body, and core muscles and can strengthen your legs as you apply pressure in order to propel your kayak forward.
Of course, kayaking will also work your heart muscle, as it's an excellent aerobic exercise, elevating your heart rate for an extended period of time.
There is a special bonus for women. By increasing your lean muscle growth in the upper body, you'll be rewarded with perkier breasts. Kayaking is the ultimate workout for preventing your breasts from sagging.
What are you waiting for? If you're lucky enough to live by the water, take advantage and check out kayaking!
K.C. Dermody has been an avid runner, hiker, and yoga enthusiast for twenty years, and as a trained yoga instructor she taught a variety of students from senior citizens to competitive athletes. She also has an addiction to disc golf - especially promoting the sport to others, and enjoys combining her passion for sports, emotional and physical well-being with her love of writing.
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