Kayaking in the great outdoors has numerous fitness benefits for body and brain.
First, the effort of loading the kayak on a vehicle has benefits for the legs and upper body strength.
Taking the kayak off the vehicle and carrying it to the shore will also affect the legs and upper body.
Once you are in the water, the effort of paddling increases muscle strength, particularly in the back, arms, shoulders and chest, from moving the paddle against the natural resistance of the water.
Each paddle stroke rotates the torso which engages and builds core muscle strength. These muscles also help to balance the kayak as you are going along and dealing with waves, currents and wind.
Every time someone goes out kayaking, it increases their leg strength – not only with the effort of loading and unloading, but while paddling the boat.
Paddlers apply pressure with their legs when they turn and balance the kayak, which causes these muscles to tighten and over time builds strength through isometric exercise.
Kayaking helps protect joints as it is a low impact activity while also benefiting cardiovascular health.
Going out kayaking is a great way to boost the mood and lower the effects of depression, anxiety and stress.
Kayaking builds confidence every time you go out, especially if new locations are part of the trip.
Sometimes kayaking is combined with camping for even more benefits.
Kayakers often get skills training in paddling the boats, learning self-rescues, how to rescue others and become aware of water and weather requirements and hazards where they paddle.
Paddlers tend to go out with other paddlers, sometimes with a friend or larger groups so they benefits from the social aspect and camaraderie on trips.
This can build mental confidence and mood as well.
With everything that is involved in kayaking, it is not for lazy people.
However the benefits of being out in the fresh air and on the water can’t be beat.
For many people, getting on the water means leaving their cares behind on shore.
Once their boat leaves the shore, those cares are forgotten temporarily while they are engaged in paddling.
When they’re back on shore, they are in a better mood and a better frame of mind for dealing with their issues.
Herbs can help you give the energy and stamina to enjoy the fitness benefits of kayaking.
Herbal adaptogens such as ginseng, maca and ashwagandha are the best ones to use.
This article was first published in the July’2022 issue of the online Herbal Collective magazine. To learn more, subscribe to get each issue.