Is Kayaking a Good Exercise? – Staying Healthy


Is kayaking a good exercise to add to your workout routine? Absolutely!!

is kayaking a good exercise

There are numerous health benefits of just getting off our butts and moving around, so it should be obvious that kayaking would just help a bit more.

Main Health Benefits of Kayaking

  • Increased Cardiovascular Health – A healthy heart is important
  • Improved Muscle Strength 
  • Increased Mental Health
  • Social Benefits – Meet new people
  • Reduced Stress
  • Low Impact Exercise
  • Weight loss
  • Core muscles are strengthened
  • Vitamin D Exposure  – boosts energy and mood!

Check out our previous post about the Health Benefits of Kayaking for more detailed information. You’d be surprised because a day out on the water can have a very positive effect on your body both mentally and physically.

How Intense is Kayaking?

Kayaking is a low impact sport that works muscles in the core, arms, and back. Your lower body won’t get much out of a trip upriver on a kayak.

Just how much of an impact kayaking will have, however, depends on a few things.

Are you paddling upriver or down? How fast is the current? What is the wind direction and speed?

If you’re out at your local lake on a calm summer day, you’re probably not going to experience as much resistance as you would paddling upriver while the wind is gusting at 20mph downriver.

Above all, the intensity of the paddle will be up to you. You’re the one who’ll decide how far away to drop in or how fast you’re going to paddle.

So, Is Kayaking a Good Exercise?

As beneficial as kayaking is, alone it will not be enough to get a full-body workout. It should be fit into your normal fitness routine just as you would any other low impact cardio workout.

Get Fit

Your heart rate will typically not stay elevated for prolonged periods when simply lounging on the lake. However, you could use your kayak and do some type of High-Intensity Impact Training by paddling hard for 30 seconds, pause for 30 seconds, paddle for 30, and so on. HIIT is a great way to elevate the heart, but you really gotta give it everything you have for those 30 seconds.

We live on a lake so we’re very close to the water. We have a neighbor that has some pretty serious leg issues. His movement is severely limited and because of this he always walks with a cane. However, he’s on the lake kayaking just about every single day. Summertime through winter he rarely misses a day.

Therefore I do declare that kayaking is indeed a good exercise!

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Jamie Wilkinson

I'm a fervent lover of the great outdoors, having spent countless hours soaking in the tranquility and beauty that nature offers. My passion for kayaking and camping has led me to explore numerous waterways and campgrounds, each journey adding to my treasure trove of experiences. Through KayakCampingWorld.com, I aim to share these adventures and insights with you. My hope is to inspire fellow outdoor enthusiasts and provide valuable guidance, whether you're paddling your first kayak or setting up camp for the hundredth time. Dive into my articles, and let's embark on this outdoor journey together!

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