Kayaking is a fantastic hobby that can keep you fit, healthy, and out in nature. But, could it be the answer to reducing stress levels in the everyday person?
This sport ticks all the right boxes when it comes to stress reduction — activeness, fresh air, a turn of focus, and relaxing peace but does it really work? Kayaking is definitely a good way to keep your body and mind active while also giving you time to reflect, relax, and take your mind off of daily life.
Whether you’re stressed from financial troubles, your career, or family life, kayaking may help you take the step back that’s needed to solve your problems and live a healthier life both physically and mentally.
In this article, we’ll be looking at whether kayaking is a good way to reduce stress. We’ll go in-depth about the keys to reducing stress as well as how kayaking could be the answer to your stress and anxiety-related problems. Enjoy!
What is the Key to Reducing Stress?
Reducing stress isn’t a simple task but it can be easier than you may think. There are several keys to reducing stress in your day-to-day life. Some of these factors are as simple as taking a few moments for yourself each day and others are more complicated such as removing the stressful factors from your life (not always so easy).
Let’s takes look at the most common factors associated with reducing your stress levels. Then, we’ll look into how kayaking can be used to fulfill some of these factors and ultimately make your life more enjoyable and far less stressful.
- Taking time away from a stressful situation to focus on yourself
- Removing the stressful situation from your life
- Improving your physical fitness
- Improving your diet and/or consuming supplements
- Getting plenty of fresh air
- Turning your focus away from the stressful factor and on to something more relaxing
- Reducing alcohol, caffeine, or other drug consumption
- Spending time with valuable friends and/or family
- Spend more time in nature
- Meditation and/or yoga — alternatively spend some quiet time without overthinking in nature
What Benefits of Kayaking Can Help Reduce Stress and Improve Mental Health?
Now we have assessed the main key factors in reducing adult stress levels we can look at how kayaking can be used to achieve these. As you now know, some of the keys to reducing stress are taking time out for yourself, improving your physical health, getting plenty of fresh air, and taking yourself out of stressful situations. All of these points can be simply achieved by putting paddle to water in your kayak in a natural beauty spot out in the wilderness.
1. Kayaking Improves Fitness & Keeps You Active
Kayaking is a fantastic way to keep active and improve your physical fitness. It is an excellent cardiovascular activity and it works several muscles throughout the body. Your arms, legs, and core will receive a good workout while you’re on the water paddling without overstraining or fatiguing your body.
You may wonder what keeping fit by kayaking has to do with stress or mental health. Have you ever heard the phrase “a healthy mind resides in a healthy body?” this phrase is 100% true. If you keep in good physical shape, stay active, and eat the right food, then it’s easier to keep stress down, depression away, and anxiety levels at bay.
It’s not only physical fitness that makes kayaking the perfect natural stress-reliever though. Getting out into the fresh air in nature goes hand in hand with this factor, which brings us on to our next point...
2. Kayaking Gets You Out into Nature
Kayaking gets you out into nature and breathing in fresh clean air. While being outside on the water is a great form of physical exercise it’s also great for the mind because you become isolated and absorbed by nature. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life and into nature can sometimes be enough to reduce your stress levels. This is especially true if the source of your stress relates to busy city life, an office job, or constant family issues.
Research shows that spending time in nature as much as possible is an antidote for stress. The more time you spend time in nature the lower your blood pressure and stress hormone levels become. It can also reduce nervous system arousal, increase self-esteem, improve mood, and enhance the immune system. Combine this time in nature with the physical aspect of kayaking and you have the perfect cure for stress and anxiety. But still, there’s more to it than this...
3. Kayaking Focuses Your Attention
Kayaking takes your mind off stressful situations. If there’s something in particular that is the route of your stress such as a busy schedule or work environment, getting out and focusing on nothing but the view in front of you can be an excellent way to detach and unwind.
When you’re out paddling in beautiful surroundings it’s easy to take your mind off of what’s stressing you out. By focusing purely on paddling and navigating a waterway it becomes almost impossible to think about other things. Combine kayaking with another activity such as fishing and it further takes your busy mind off of your busy life. Doing this on particularly stressful days can release some tension and allow you some sleep to rest up for tomorrow.
4. Kayaking Can Form New Relationships
Another great stress-relieving factor of kayaking is the ability to form new friendships and relationships. If you find yourself feeling stressed through work or family issues, making some new friends with similar interests is a great way to unwind. Having friends to head out on the water with not only takes your mind off things, but it also gives you the opportunity to talk about what’s stressing you out.
Making friends is an extremely healthy way to combat stress and get new perspectives on your situation. Of course, kayaking isn’t the only way to make friends but the friend you make through kayaking will likely have a calm and centered nature. It’s definitely a better way to find friends than heading down the pub and drinking away your stress.
5. Kayaking is Extremely Relaxing
Finally and perhaps the most obvious stress-relieving factor of kayaking is its relaxing nature. Yes, kayaking is an extremely valuable form of exercise that works a variety of muscle groups but it’s also very relaxing. Although you put your body through a workout when you put paddle to water, the nature of kayaking also relaxing for your body and mind — giving you time to relax and remove the tensions of a stressful day.
Overall, kayaking is a fantastic way to improve physical health, get out in the fresh air, take your attention off of what’s stressing you out, and potentially create new relationships that could help you beat your stress once and for all. If you’re looking for a way to relax that’s not only an instant stress-reliever but also a healthy long-term solution to stress then kayaking is definitely a wise solution.