Why Canoeing And Kayaking Is Good For Fitness?
Ever heard of canoes and kayaks? Before we proceed, let me tell you what they actually are.
Canoe– A canoe is an open vessel in which an individual sits or kneels inside the boat and pushes the craft through the water using a single bladed paddle.
Kayak– A kayak is a covered vessel in which an individual sits inside the boat and pushes the craft using a double-bladed paddle.
So, canoeing and kayaking basically involve paddling the small boat through the water. It is done as a sport, hobby, as a holiday adventure or for fitness. Both canoeing and kayaking require power for paddling and rowing. This makes them a good workout.
Here are the health benefits offered by canoeing and kayaking:
It is a full body workout
Canoeing and kayaking involve paddling and rowing, which are forms of cardio exercise and it works out the major muscle groups of the body including the ones in the legs, back, arms, abs and hips.
It helps in burning calories
Moving the boat at the speed of about 3-5 miles an hour helps in burning about 400 calories. Recent studies show that rowing and paddling burn calories faster than cycling!
It is an impact free activity
The motion involved in paddling and rowing is very rhythmic and smooth making it impact free.
It is a wonderful form of strength training
Paddling and rowing have repetitive motions that work out the shoulders, chest, arms, legs and back to a huge extent. You control the craft with the strength that comes from rotating your torso. This way your torso gets strengthened.
It improves the flexibility of the joint
The impact on the joints in paddling and rowing is low, thus protecting them from wear and tear. The movements in this activity have a pattern that helps in keeping the joint lubricated.
It gets you close to nature
Sitting amidst the serene lake and rowing your way through the water helps you get close to nature. This helps in relieving stress and soothes the mind.
Preparation for canoeing and kayaking
You have to expend a lot of energy in preparing to paddle your canoe. You have to lift the boat, carry them into the water and then back out after you have finished canoeing. You also have to wear the canoeing gear. This may seem to be a hassle but is there an activity that needs preparation? If you love doing this activity, you wouldn’t mind the preparation needed. After all you are also getting a great workout in the process.
Maintaining proper technique
It is of utmost importance to maintain a proper technique while paddling especially if it is for exercise. You need to stretch properly before and after paddling. The nature of the sport is such that it can cause joint wear and tear if proper posture and paddling techniques are not followed. There can be serious injuries like shoulder dislocation in whitewater paddling. At times there can be injuries while lifting and carrying the canoes. You need to learn the right lifting posture and lifting technique to ward off muscle soreness and injuries.
Kayaking and canoeing is healthy as well as fun if you do it with the right technique. It can be a fun filled group activity. So, ask your pals to join you and get ready to paddle and row in picturesque locations!
Going to try some canoeing or kayaking this weekend?
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