By Ed Wrobbel, www.DockCraft.com – April 30, 2019
I was perusing the internet and came across numerous articles associated with the health benefits of kayaking and paddle boarding. Actually, any paddle sport.
The many articles claim 8 to 20 “top” benefits which I found very interesting.
Kayaking and Paddle Boarding skills can easily be learned in a day. And can be improved upon with each trip you take, all while benefiting your physical and mental health. Of course, the more often you paddle, the greater benefit you’ll receive.
A low impact activity – Even if your joints are weak, paddling will help you benefit from aerobic fitness, strength building, and greater flexibility. Don’t risk wear and tear on your joints and tissues, go paddling.
Burn those Calories – Paddling along at 5 miles per hour, without wind and heavy currents, will burn approximately 400 calories per hour.
Fitness – While paddling, every mile you travel it will require approximately 500 strokes.
Core Strength – Every time you complete a stroke, your abdominal muscles contract and do a fair amount of work. Stronger core muscles will help you in all activities, increasing your endurance and changing the way your body looks.
Arm Strength – During a kayaking session the two main by-products of the work is exercising the biceps and triceps. As you are taking a paddle stroke, the bicep in one arm is pulling the lower part of the paddle and the tri-cep in the other arm is pushing the top of the paddle forward thus putting torque on the paddle which creates work for both muscles. Each session will build your upper body strength overall.
Leg Strength – Your legs are an important part of balance within the kayak and the rocking of your board as you paddle. As you learn a better paddling technique you learn to work the legs with the hips to help turn, stabilize or brace the kayak or board.
Cardiovascular – Low impact exercises like kayaking and paddle boarding certainly support heart health. Paddling, even just fifteen minutes per day, will improve your cardiovascular system. You can alter your kayaking or paddle boarding sessions to be as easy or challenging as you want. The faster you paddle, the harder your heart pumps to get moving.
Balance – I recently had an ankle injury and my Physical Therapist had me doing balance exercises while standing on a semi hard foam pad. Similarly, the more you practice paddle boarding, the better your balance will be both on and off the water. Paddle boarding develops your sense of stability which helps in daily life as well as in other sports.
Vitamin D – is something that our bodies need to function properly. Those who don’t have a healthy amount in their system are prone to fatigue, depression, bone weakness, chronic pain and more. Being outside in the sun helps your body get that special vitamin it needs to function properly. Just remember to bring sun screen!
Stress Reduction – It’s a long day at the office, you are thinking of all those emails you have to send and the demands of your deadlines. Well forget all of that stuff and jump into a kayak after a long day of work! Truth is there are lots of ways to de-stress … going to the gym, going for a walk …but none of them can compare with the tranquility of floating on the calm water and being in the great outdoors. Spending a few hours under the sky, on the water watching the colors of the blues, the greens, the grays, and the browns is enjoyable. When you add the physical activity of paddling it can greatly reduce stress allowing you to think clearer and giving you a better night’s sleep.
Emotional – The time spent in nature is probably one of the most surreal things you can experience! If you are a couple kayaking with a favorite activity such as fishing or touring then it increases your positivity tenfold! It also provides the opportunity to bring people closer together such as families, couples or friends!
Mental Clarity – It has been proven time after time that doing some sort of physical activity then returning back to work helps you get through the day with more focus and determination. This is no different when kayaking! Being out in the open water is very meditative and allows your brain to release those thousands of thoughts that are racing through your brain and instead, enjoy the moment. In fact, many people make it a routine to do some kayak exercise after work as it helps them de-stress and enjoy being in the moment. When you’re paddling over the lake or the sea, you might find that your daily stress and worries are left ashore. While paddle boarding, your brain is focused on the physical movements and environment of paddle boarding, leading to mental clarity and a chance to disconnect from the world of social media, work, and other everyday details.
For those waterfront owners, spend your energy on your paddling journey.
Use the DockCraft Industries Kayak / Paddle Board Lift and Dock Storage Rack
Stow your gear until your next journey.
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