sport kayaking

How to kayak your way to fitness by engaging in recreational or sport kayaking

Majority of people will plunge to the waters for the fun of it while others will be there for adventure, fishing or sports. There is yet another category of people who will take too kayaking for health reasons.

The effort required to a kayak requires a lot of energy. Kayak paddling is a serious workout that does wonders to the body of the kayaker. Science estimates that a one hour kayaking session can lead to burning of over 350 calories of energy. Obviously this depends with how much zeal one puts into the paddling.

I am a kayaking enthusiast and I have a beautiful Pelican Apex 100 kayak that I adore. Apart from just enjoying the sport I also use the kayak for keeping fit. While kayaking I realize that I am able to use multiple muscles at the same time. Below are some of the muscles that are used while kayaking.

Shoulders and arms

Paddling involves movement of the arms and the upper body parts. Any time one is doing a back workout; there is the movement of the shoulders, more specifically the rear head of the deltoid. When kayaking, the shoulders are more actively involved than any other part of the body. With each stroke, the paddle is brought up and to the front side. This movement leads to the transfer of load from the lat muscle to the shoulders.

Back muscles

This is another set of muscles that will benefit from the paddling strokes. Just like in the shoulders, every stroke will cause one arm to row back while the other stretches to perform the stroke. The resulting stretching and contraction will lead to back muscle workouts. The effectiveness of these exercises usually vary depending on one’s paddling speed.

Abdominal muscles

Paddling involves a lot of action from the paddler as they perform the strokes. This motion heavily impacts the muscles of the abdomen. The resulting work outs will not only improve the abdominal muscles but other muscles in the paddler’s torso. These will include the chest and the neck muscles.

Cardiovascular muscles

Heart diseases contribute to a large percentage of deaths and other health complications. One major way of avoiding such health complications is through regular exercises. Kayaking provides an excellent avenue to achieve these exercises. Kayaking is a rigorous activity that requires a lot of energy. This therefore means the heart will be required to pump harder so as to provide oxygen and transport the required nutrients to all body parts. This strengthens the cardiovascular muscles resulting to a healthier heart.  Research indicates that regular kayakers have healthier hearts and lungs as a result of the kayaking exercises.

Kayaking results to a healthier mind

Kayaking is one great way of clearing the mind of stress. It reduces the stress causing hormones and in turn increases the ‘happy’ hormones in the kayaker’s body. Kayaking also offers a great opportunity to meditate. The serene quiet environment provided on the open waters is a great remedy for a troubled mind. The solitary peace and the opportunity to view beautiful landscapes and different bird species is a very good avenue for bringing tranquility to stressed persons.