Benefits of Kayaking

Whether you are new to kayaking or an experienced paddler, sometimes it is good to remind ourselves why we started, or are thinking of starting this recreational sport. There are so many benefits to learning to kayak and keeping those benefits fresh in our mind can help us stay motivated as well as to feel good about ourselves.

Some of the Greatest Benefits of Kayaking Are:
The Outdoor Experience (lowers stress)

We all get busy and usually our jobs will keep us indoors for most of the day. Between balancing work, family, pets, obligations and all the responsibilities that make up life, it can sometimes be difficult to discipline ourselves to set aside the time to get outside with nature. It is so important for our well being to experience the peacefulness and/or the rush of paddling on the water. Being outside, being one with the water, taking in all that nature has to offer has been proven to significantly lower our stress levels and leave us with a feeling of peacefulness and accomplishment. In my opinion it is pretty hard to top the outdoor experience.

Builds Core Strength

Many people have the misconception that to paddle a kayak you need strong arms and shoulders. While it is true that paddling will build up your arm and shoulder muscles it is really your core that will get the most workout. Power in paddling comes from the torso from trunk rotation first, then leg pressure second and the arms are actually third. Sitting so low in the water it is our core that becomes the power source of maneuvering the kayak. Having a strong core will help us with just about everything we do in life and can very much help to protect and support the rest of our body.

Breathe Fresh Air

Depending on where you live you may just about never get the opportunity to really breathe in some fresh air. Our cities and towns are more polluted than ever from vehicle pollution, factory pollution, chemical sprays, etc. etc. It’s scary to think about. One thing about being out on the water is that usually it is in a more open and natural space where the air is circulated better and the trees are providing fresh oxygen. There is nothing like arriving at a beautiful lake nestled amongst a forest or being out in the ocean to allow us to really gulp in some fresh air. This is extremely important for our health.

Wildlife Viewing

How often do you get to see a moose grazing the edge of a lake? A hawk or an eagle soaring just overtop your head? Deer watching you from within the trees? How about dolphins swimming around your kayak? Depending on where you are, all of these things are not only possible but very common. Each place will have its own thriving wildlife community and often we don’t get the pleasure of seeing these animals, much less sitting silently to watch them within our normal daily lives. Being out on the water in a kayak affords us the luxury of excellent wildlife viewing. Some of my most amazing kayaking trips have been filled with wild animals living in their own habitat. Because I have been in a boat that has no motor, I have been able to watch them without scaring them. There is no better experience and it will definitely enrich your life!

Spending Time with Friends, Family, Partners or Your Favorite Furry Friend

Kayaking can be a great bonding experience no matter who you are with. Especially if you are in a tandem kayak together it allows everyone to work together for a common goal and enjoy all of the benefits of kayaking together. It can be a very special time to spend with children, with friends, family members or your dogs (please see post on Kayaking with Your Dog). Kayaking is something that everyone can enjoy no matter what the age and will create memories that will last forever.

Explore Destinations Not Accessible or Seen by Land

There is so much to see by water. So many hidden spots, nooks and crannies, places you could never get to by land or even know they exist. If you are into boating (on motor boats) a kayak can allow you to leave your larger motor boat behind and explore areas you would never have seen otherwise. If you are traveling abroad, a kayak gives you the freedom to see so much more and to have a much more complete traveling experience. From my own personal experience, I have been able to kayak up a river in Kauai and go within the rainforest jungle where no one can get to by car. I have seen waterfalls, hidden hikes not accessible by foot, canyons, wildlife and lush foliage that are practically impossible to explore if not in a kayak. The opportunities for exploration are endless and very exciting.

The Thrill of the Rush

Depending on what type of kayaking you plan on doing, you may get a real rush from the experience. I find flat water paddling to be extremely peaceful and great exercise. Whitewater paddling can be much more of a thrill. To have to focus so completely on maneuvering yourself and the kayak attached to you within the rapids can be an absolute rush. Also if you happen to have the opportunity to surf ocean waves in a kayak while in a tropical setting, the feeling is unreal. The thrill of the rush keeps you feeling young, exhilarated and alive! Who wouldn’t want that?!

Good For the Environment

Can you imagine a more perfect ride? Being outside, being one with your kayak, enjoying the scenery, the wildlife and the fresh air. To have a mode of transportation that can take you through any water condition anywhere in the world, without a motor to pollute the environment. Motor boats exude a high amount of pollutants in the air, not to mention noise pollution. With a kayak you rely on your own strength, your own core to transport you through the water. There is no noise, no pollution – just pure environmental bliss.

Knowing that kayaking can provide all of these benefits to our lives, it is simply a matter of setting aside the time to enjoy them. Kayaking is also a very economical sport, especially with inflatable kayaks. There is not much upkeep, no gas tank to fill and once you have your inflatable kayak and your gear, they can last you for years. So get out on the water and start reaping the benefits.

Read our comprehensive reviews of inflatable kayaks to learn which kayak will best suit your lifestyle.