5 Health Benefits of Kayaking

Kayaking is a fantastic way to improve your general health as it combines cardiovascular activity and low-impact strength training, providing a complete full-body workout. In this week’s blog, we at Lifestyle Online will be guiding you through the numerous health benefits kayaking can provide you and your family.

Cardiovascular Health

Cardio is one of those activities that your average joe dreads week in, week out, but it does not have to be like that. The implementation of kayaking into your weekly/monthly schedule can be a fun/exciting way to ensure you are maintaining your cardiovascular health. Health experts recommend we complete at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity per week, with a typical kayaking session taking on average 120 minutes per session, this activity could be an easy way to reach this target. Kayaking is also a great form of cardiovascular exercise as it is extremely easy to dictate your pace and intensity, the harder you paddle, the more you’ll increase your heart rate, making it accessible to most.

Upper Body Strength

Kayaking provides an all-round body workout but with most of the emphasis on the back, bicep, and shoulder muscles, it is a fantastic way to build balanced upper body strength. The motion of pulling through the water with the paddle replicates a lot of movements you would typically see in the gym, whether it be bodybuilding machines or free weight exercises, so you get all the benefits of a gym workout without attending a gym! Win-win! A great example of this is your typical kayaking athlete’s physique with the majority having a very well-defined upper body.

Lower Body & Core Muscles

Although kayaking is primarily focused on the upper body muscles it does also have tremendous benefits on the lower body muscles too. The perfect kayaking technique requires the participant to push through the legs, placing the load on the glute and leg muscles. The rotation movement required to place the paddle in the water also requires effort through the oblique muscles, therefore working your core muscles. Kayaking really is one of the most enjoyable full-body workouts out there!

Low Impact Activity

One of the main benefits of kayaking over other exercises such as running is it has minimal impact on the participants’ joints and muscles. There is a direct correlation between high-impact activities and injuries, running puts a major strain on the knee and ankle joints with participants often getting injured. The movement of pulling a paddle through the water is smooth and gentle on the joints, which is great as injuries can cause exercise downtime which will be detrimental to your long-term health goals. A 2015 study in the journal Sports Medicine Open even found that low-impact exercise promoted cognitive health in older adults.

Outdoors

The fact kayaking is an outdoor sport provides multiple health benefits itself. Most of the Irish population is deficient in Vitamin D, kayaking can be a great way to ensure you are getting the recommended daily dose. Being outside also improves your sleep as it affects your body’s internal clock which follows the sun, improved sleep will aid recovery and your overall health.

Overall, there are many health benefits to kayaking, so why not pick one up from our store and give it a go for yourself! Thanks for tuning into this week’s Lifestyle Online blog, speak soon!

Kayaking and its Mental Health Benefits

Kayaking and its Mental Health Benefits

Keeping your mental health in check is one of the most important things we can do in the modern era, with so much noise coming from external factors such as phones, social media and newspapers it can be challenging at times. Getting out into nature is one of the most effective methods to de-stress and take stock of one’s overall health and well-being. There is something about being outside in nature that can offer a form of escape and release that cannot be found in any other aspect of life. Kayaking can provide a sense of calm and tranquillity to improve your overall mental health.

Physical

Yes, exercise such as running on a treadmill or lifting weights is beneficial to your overall health but nothing can compare to being outside and exploring nature. Kayaking is a fantastic source of exercise, providing benefits both physically and mentally. A large part of keeping your mental health in check is not only to do with the mental aspects but the physical aspects too.

Kayaking whilst being relaxing can also be extremely strenuous if the correct technique is applied.  Some studies have shown that in extreme cases kayaking can burn up to 600 calories per hour, kayaking is a great way to train the bicep, back, shoulder and core muscles all in unison. Also, with the adrenaline rush this activity provides, you will hardly notice you are exercising!

Adventure

Kayaking will bring you to places you have never been before, you will see the world from a point of view seen by so few, and the sense of adventure from this form of exercise is unparalleled. Grab your kayak and find the home you were raised in, your old school or somewhere that means something to you, seeing these nostalgic places from the water will be sure to release some endorphins!

Mental

Exploring a nearby lake or river by kayak is a great excuse to rekindle with a few old friends, kayaking is a team sport at the end of the day and best done with a group. There are only a number of physical activities which can be enjoyed as a team and kayaking is one of them, so why not text that old friend or family member and begin your adventure now.

Kayaking releases certain “feel good” chemicals, including serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. These chemicals, called neurotransmitters, will put you in a better mood and boost your overall mental health and improve all aspects of your life. With its ability to make people feel happier, kayaking is a recommended activity for individuals suffering from depression. Kayaking enables you to switch off, forget about all other aspects of your life and just focus on the task at hand.