I was stunned to come across a couple of numbers the other day: Nearly 50% of all adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. Of those, almost half are not being treated for it – and that’s if they even know there’s a problem!
That makes high blood pressure one of the most widespread – and least controlled – diseases in the world, scientists say.
We all know the rest of the story. Hypertension can really do a tune on our bodies, especially as the years roll on.
From what I’ve read, prescription medication, diet, quitting smoking, and other things can improve the situation, too.
Then I got to thinking…
Ancient Practices Refresh the Mind
What about doing mindfulness meditation…while kayaking?
Could that possibly be a simple combo that could lead to better health for some people?
After all, meditation has been called a “promising” option when used as a way to lower blood pressure.
Mindfulness — a calm awareness of one's body, mind, and environment while focusing only only on the present moment – has been used for thousands of years by people seeking inner calm.
It’s only logical, then, to imagine that an ideal time to practice these techniques is while sitting in a kayak, enjoying the experience of being outdoors, in nature and in motion.
Next time you’re heading out for a paddling adventure, try these simple steps:
✔️ Right before you board your kayak, stand on shore with your feet firmly on the ground, facing the open water.
✔️ Relax your body and let your arms dangle loosely at your sides.
✔️ Gaze out to the water, clear your mind, and take a long, deep breath.
✔️ Hold that breath for 7 seconds. Exhale gently. Repeat and remain relaxed.
✔️ Now, while paying close attention to every movement you make, climb into your kayak and get settled with your paddle and other items. Secure your PFD.
✔️ Take another breath. Hold it for a few seconds. Exhale, noticing how your body feels.
✔️ Think consciously of how fortunate you are to be able to experience this moment.
✔️ Shove off and into the water.
Staying in Tune Enhances the Experience
Here comes the cool part…While you’re paddling, focus your attention directly onto your paddle strokes.
Notice how the water looks when you dip into it. The expanding circles on the surface.
Notice the feel of the paddle in your hands. Notice the sky, the clouds, the breeze.
Do not attach any emotion to what you observe.
Just look, listen, and feel everything going on.
Take deep breaths every few minutes and hold them before exhaling slowly.
Paddle and glide while taking note of your surroundings.
Hear the birds on shore. Feel the warm sunshine. Relax……
Now, doesn’t that sound like a great way to get healthy? Try it soon and let me know how it goes!
I look forward to hearing from you.
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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.