No matter what your skill level as a kayaker – beginner, intermediate, or experienced – the feeling you get from recreational paddling is amazing. For many of us, being on the water in a kayak brings a deep sense of calm and relaxation. It’s the perfect solution for anyone looking for peace of mind, clear mental focus and a temporary escape from life’s challenges.
Did you know that exercise can be as effective as medication and psychotherapy? Scientists who study links between low mood states and activities such as kayaking agree. In fact, even just boarding a kayak can lower your stress level!
And there’s more. Take a few minutes to do some easy, deep breathing exercises before beginning to paddle. The result? An awesome feeling of vitality will ripple through your entire body as increased volumes of oxygen boost your system. Instantly, your mind will be noticeably sharper.
When you do this, notice that your muscles are super relaxed and yet ready to flex into action. Thoughts about worrisome things will begin to fade as you gaze out to the water, imagining all the fun you’ll have on the journey ahead.
The transformation away from being stressed out and toward feeling calm, more balanced and aligned has begun. Once you are out paddling on the water, these amazing effects will quickly multiply as you use every part of your body to propel yourself forward while controlling your boat. It’s absolutely incredible!
Some people even use kayaking as a way to achieve a feeling of freedom and mindfulness. By concentrating on the rhythm of paddling and the motion of the waves, it’s definitely possible to discover a renewed connection with Nature.
This feeling can be rejuvenating and refreshing as it clears your mind of worries. You might even find that you sleep better at night after a day of paddling!
Of course, the key to finding this inner peace is being super well prepared before you start out on any paddling adventure. The type of paddle you choose may depend on whether you’re an experienced paddler or just starting out. Either way, match it to your personal style and height for best results. A great storage system for your boat and other gear will also help you feel relaxed.
All kayakers know, too, that wearing a well designed personal flotation device while on the water is a strict rule that everyone should follow. Depending on weather conditions, your paddling destination, the time of day you plan to put in, whether you’re going out solo or with a group and other factors, you’ll need to stay smart. When it comes to getting the most out of your kayaking experience, safety comes first – every time.
So, remember, the water is calling your name. A completely different state of mind can be yours. Soon, you’ll be free, gliding along. The rhythmic sound of your paddle dips will create a sense of peace and tranquility.
The breeze on your face will sweep worry from your mind. Gentle rocking of the waves is sure to lull you into a welcome state of relaxation. You may just discover that kayaking is the very best medicine of all!
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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.