Kayaking isn’t just a fun way to get out into nature and explore, it is a way to heal your body, mind, and soul. Now more than ever, it is important to improve your health, fitness, and stay mentally focused on the greater things in life, and kayaking is an excellent way to do this. There are many benefits of kayaking from the more obvious physical benefits to the less obvious positive effects on your mind and social life. In this article, we will be revealing the 10 Benefits of kayaking that may just turn your life around for the better in 2021.
Kayaking Keeps You Fit and AthleticOne of the main benefits of kayaking regularly is the impact it has on your fitness. Kayaking provides excellent cardio which improves your fitness and helps you become more athletic. You will notice your stamina improve and day to day tasks and exercise will become much easier. Cardiovascular exercise keeps the heart healthy and your body functioning as it should, so if you row regularly you will certainly notice your health and fitness improve drastically.
Kayaking Burns Calories and Helps You Lose WeightKayaking is a great way to lose some extra pounds because it burns through a staggering number of calories. You will burn through just as many calories kayaking as you would jogging, and it is great fun too! If you are constantly fighting your weight and can’t find a form of exercise that gets you motivated enough to drop the pounds consistently, then kayaking may be the best option for you.
Kayaking Builds Muscle and Helps Tone Your BodyKayaking is a great way to build muscle and tone up. If you kayak regularly you will notice the benefits on your physique. Rowing tones up your entire body from your legs to your shoulders and will help you sculpt an athletic-looking body. You will see your back, shoulders, arms, and core build tremendous strength and definition. If you would like to find out more about how kayaking can help you physically, be sure to check out our article on “getting fit, strong, and losing weight by kayaking”.
Kayaking Gets You Outdoors and Under the SunKayaking is a great way to get out in the sunshine. This is especially good for you if your job has you trapped indoors all day. Getting out in the sunshine especially in the autumn and winter months is vital to your health. UVB rays from the sun force the body to produce vitamin D which helps build strong bones, teeth, and muscles. Vitamin D also strengthens your immune system which will help your body fight off illness, infection, and disease – something that we all need at this moment in time.
The sunshine also “lifts the spirit” and is a big factor in leading a happy and stress-free life without depression. Just 30 minutes of sunshine per day can help you focus your mind, stay mentally stable, and reduce your stress levels considerably. The sun’s rays will even help you sleep better at night because your body creates the hormone Melatonin when the sun sets. Getting out in the sun helps your body-clock work as it should and realise when it is time to release the natural Melatonin that helps you fall asleep.
Kayaking Makes You Happy and Helps Relieve StressAs mentioned earlier, the sun’s rays can help you fend off depression and help you lead a happier and fulfilled life. It is not just the sun that lifts your spirit while you’re kayaking either. Getting out into nature has been proven to positively impact our mental health and help to calm and focus the mind. Add in the cardiovascular exercise that releases endorphins to the brain, and you have the perfect cocktail for a happy, fulfilled, and stress-free life.
Kayaking also helps to relieve stress. Similar to how the sun’s rays, the fresh air, and the cardiovascular exercise impacts your happiness positively, they also help ease your mind and relieve stress. Getting out on a kayak also gives you a clear space to organise your troubling thoughts or take your mind completely off of what it is you may be stressed about. Taking a few hours out of your week to get out on the water and away from the strains of life can cut your stress levels in half and improve your mental state at home and work.
Kayaking is a Great Way to Build ConfidenceKayaking helps you become more confident in yourself. To start, if you are not so confident with socialising kayaking can bring something interesting into your life that you are passionate about. Having a passion-based hobby fills your life with excitement and gives you the urge to talk to people about it. Your experiences while kayaking also fill your mind with intriguing stories to talk about which makes for easy speaking.
As well as building social confidence, kayaking also helps you build confidence in your actions. This is the type of confidence that helps you make certain decisions that will affect your life without a second thought or worry. You will develop this by tackling obstacles and making quick decisions on the water. You’ll quickly learn that the confidence you develop on the water is transferable and will help you in day to day life as well. Confidence building leads us on to our next benefit, problem-solving…
Kayaking Helps You Become Better at Problem-solvingIn the same way that kayaking helps you build confidence in yourself it also helps you think on your feet and solve problems faster and more effectively than the average person. If you encounter a set of rapids on a river, you will need to select your line well, so you come out the other side unscathed. Sometimes, you will not have time to get into some slack water before the rapids to assess the situation so you will have to read the water and select your line as you progress toward the problem!
This can put you under immense pressure which not only makes you brilliant at problem-solving on a whim, but it helps you learn to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment. These skills can be applied to other areas of your life as well. Working under pressure and problem-solving effectively is one of the most valuable life skills you can possess.
Kayaking Builds CharacterThe person builds character through effort and endurance in something that takes skill and perseverance. Kayaking is excellent for character-building because it requires you to endure the forces of nature and find the will to push on to hit goals and reach your desired destination.
Getting out on the water can be both peaceful and serene as well as challenging and demanding. This is what makes kayaking as a hobby, sport, and past time so dramatically beautiful. You will experience the most relaxing and tranquil moments in your kayak while out in nature, but you certainly won’t avoid a bit of hardship…
Like most things, the greater the reward the greater the challenge and this is no different with kayaking. If you want to experience the most beautiful and remote corners of Ireland and the rest of the world, then you must endure and conquer the distance, weather, and terrain that lay ahead of you. It is this challenge and reward aspect of canoeing that makes it so brilliant for character-building.
Kayaking Improves Your FocusKayaking aids your focus. Getting out into nature to float on the water is a meditative experience. The peace along with the fresh air, sunshine, and exercise help to bring your mind back into focus. Having some time out in the wilderness to take your mind off the more mundane things in life like work and home, gives your brain a “vacation” which allows you to regain focus when you get back to the reality of working life.
Staying focused also has a lot to do with rest. Kayaking gives you an opportunity to rest your mind and take your thoughts off the things you may be baffled about (this is why kayaking is also great for stress relief). Kayaking also helps you get a full and well-rested night’s sleep, which allows you to fully regain energy and focus once you awaken. As we mentioned earlier, being in the sun helps you sleep during the night that follows, but exertion from rowing and the fresh air also help you get a good night’s rest.
All of these factors improve your focus in every part of your life, and we believe getting outside and away from the hustle and bustle of day to day life at least once per day is essential. If you are keen on focusing your mind and becoming more productive in every aspect of your life, then taking some time out to reenergise in nature will help you massively. We are not saying kayaking is the only way to do this, but it is certainly one of the best.
Kayaking Can Help You Make Friends and Build a Social CircleKayaking can help you build a circle of friends that have many similar interests and passions in life. Chances are, if you are interested in kayaking or already head out regularly on the water, you love the outdoors, nature, and/or exercise. Funnily enough, this is the same with most people that enjoy kayaking, so if you are looking to find some friends with similar interests, then get out there on the water!
I have made several acquaintances by simply heading out for a casual paddle. I have got talking to many people that have been out doing the same thing, some that have stayed as a friendly chat and some that have become extremely important friends in my life. The point is, kayaking brings people together, no matter how lonely it can seem out in the wilderness sometimes!
If you aren’t one for waiting for a group of new friends to come rowing by, it is worth finding a kayaking club in your area. This way, you can jump in at the deep end and start making friends in the kayaking scene. Not only will expanding your social circle help you enjoy life more, but it will also help you learn faster if you are a beginner. Friends teach each other a lot and if you are a beginner it can be extremely helpful to befriend a seasoned kayaker! We’re not saying make friends just to learn but this is certainly another benefit!