There is a lot more to get from paddling than a tan. The benefits of paddling for your physical and mental well being go far beyond skin deep.
It is about a healthier, richer, and fuller life, as you bask in the benefits of being out in the great outdoors and engaging in exciting exercise.
So, if you’ve never tried kayaking, canoeing, or stand up paddle boarding (SUP) before, here are 8 incredible health benefits to pick up a paddle. Let’s get right to it.
- No training needed: Anybody, at any age, and at any fitness level, can get into paddling. It’s relatively easy for beginners to get started in this fun sport.
- Burns calories: Depending on your weight, age and time spent paddling, you could easily burn a couple of hundred calories doing this activity. In fact, independent research by SUP World Magazine did on a group of SUP paddlers weighing between 75 –90 kg, showed that a leisurely paddle could burn between 305–430 calories.
- Fun Workout: Many kayakers jump in their boat to unwind on the water, without really realizing the positive effect paddling has on their fitness, muscle development, and flexibility. But as you’ll see below, paddling can be a serious workout that builds lean muscle and torches calories.
- Mental health: Paddling has been proven to combat depression, reduce stress, and lower anxiety in numerous studies
- Good for the Joints: Low impact exercise reduces the forceful contact (impact) the body has with the ground. Unlike running, jumping, and contact sports, paddling has a positive influence on your joints – it’s good for suppleness of the joints and overall mobility.
- Great for the Core: Proper paddling technique actually utilizes the muscles of the back and abdominal just as much, if not more than, the arms. Many sports and workout programs neglect core conditioning, whereas, in paddling, it’s activated most of the time.
- Vitamin D: Getting active and spending time outdoors takes more effort, but it is much more rewarding, plus, sunlight on the skin helps our bodies to produce that much-needed vitamin D. Those little rays of sunshine not only feel good to bask in, but also play a critical part in our physical and mental health.
- Personal Growth through Skill Development: Learning these skills provides and an enormous sense of achievement, self-worth, and satisfaction. The fact that you put yourself out there, embraced the uncomfortable, and ended up being proficient in a new skill, shows a lot about your character.