Kayaking isn’t only a relaxing pastime, it’s also a great way to get in your daily dose of exercise. Paddling on the water strengthens your muscles and provides a great cardio routine. We all know that kayaking can be fun and relaxing, but many of us don’t realize how kayaking can help keep us in shape.
Here are just a few reasons as to why kayaking is an effective exercise:
This one is the obvious pro of kayaking. When kayaking, you’re literally propelling yourself forward using your arms and shoulders, which means you’re directly working and toning those muscles. The resistance of the water is what gives you a gym-quality upper body workout in a short amount of time.
There are a variety of different ways to paddle your kayak, some of which include twisting your upper body for maximum speed. When you twist your upper body back and forth over and over again, you’re getting an awesome core workout that’s more fun and effective than doing 100 crunches.
When you think about kayaking, you probably think you’re only working your upper body and core rather than your legs. Even though your legs aren’t technically moving while kayaking, your legs help you keep your balance on the water. You need to add different amounts of pressure to each leg depending on what the water is like, so you’re effectively improving your balance by keeping your kayak afloat.
Though it’s not the most calorie crushing workout out there, kayaking burns about the same amount of calories that fast walking for an hour does. Frequent kayakers notice that if they go on a half day trip or full day trip, they may have burned off half a pound from just that day of exercise. Though counting pounds and calories isn’t the main purpose of kayaking, if losing weight and toning your muscles is a goal for yourself, kayaking is a great sport to pick up.
If running on a treadmill is not your thing, kayaking can count as your cardio for the day. Kayaking at a moderate pace gets your heart pumping, which revs up your metabolism and starts burning those pesky calories. Keeping cardio in your workout routine is important to maintaining heart health, so it’s convenient that something as enjoyable as kayaking gets the job done.
There's a bunch of other exercise options as well. For example, you can park your kayak near shore to take a quick hike or jog, or you can anchor your kayak in the middle of a lake for a swim. The possibilities of adding exercise to your kayak trip are endless. Just think outside the box and most of all, have fun!
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When it comes to being outdoors and enjoying life, the mid-Atlantic region has it all! Centered between the more tropical southeastern states and the cooler, more varied seasons of the north, this area offers dozens of excellent paddling sites for all skill levels.
OK, so you’ve got your kayak, your sleeping bag, a tent and some bug spray. And you’re looking to go camping along a river for a couple of days. The key? Pack light and take only what you truly need. Remember that every ounce you pack is weight you’ll be moving as you paddle. Plan to conserve energy where and how you can.