Health Benefits of Kayaking


My boyfriend’s parents just bought a house on the water and four kayaks and two WaveRunners. I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to go down there every weekend. I’m really scared of the WaveRunners, because I picture myself flying off of it and it landing on top of me, I literally cannot help it. SO I kayak! And I love it!

When I go to the gym, I use the rowing machine (only sometimes, because it hurts, because it is hard, obviously). Lagoon kayaking is similar to gym rowing in that my arms hurt relatively quickly. I can kayak about four lagoons before my shoulders start to feel the work. I decided to look up the health benefits of kayaking and this is what I found out (via Livestrong):

  • Paddling is a form of strength-training primarily in your upper body. Paddling works arms, shoulders and core muscles and strengthens yours legs as you apply pressure to propel the kayak forward. Muscle strength is important as it increases an athletes endurance.
  • Paddling is also considered to be a low-impact exercise that can improve joint heath in some people. The movement patterns may improve range and motion and flexibility of the joints.
  • Kayaking increases you heart rate, which strengthens your cardiovascular system and reduces your risk for heart disease.
  • The constant paddling burns calories which helps maintain a healthy weight and/or shed unwanted pounds.
  • Kayaking is exercise and exercise of any kind reduces stress.

My personal opinion:

  • Propelling the kayak forward, turning it and balancing it definitely comes from the core. You need to constantly rotate the torso when paddling.
  • Unless you take breaks (I do) or are in very calm water (I am), you will feel the work in your shoulders the most (I still do).
  • Kayaking is peaceful (in the lagoon mainly, when motorized objects are around, not so peaceful). When you feel peaceful, you are not stressed out. And that is an amazing feeling.
  • I like that the kayaks have a cup holder. Sometimes I bring a Limearita 🙂

Does anyone else love to Kayak? Or hate to Kayak?


2 thoughts on “Health Benefits of Kayaking

  1. jmclau17

    Love to kayak! This info is definitely true, glad you hit on the idea that the core is what should get the biggest workout paddling. If you’re doing it right, you should really feel it in your core. And of course it’s great fun/relaxing…even cooler in exotic places (:


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