Both of these small boats bring a lot of health benefits, yet there are a couple of subtle differences when you look at a kayak vs. canoe.
This is enclosed, and you sit with your legs extended. A double bladed paddle is used for paddling.
This is open, and you either sit or kneel inside the canoe. A single bladed paddle is used to paddle from alternating sides of the canoe.
Either vessel is an excellent way of having some adventure while keeping fit, and you will also find. It is a beautiful way to escape those overcrowded gyms. After a while, you will also see that you can exercise your spiritual and mental side as well as you’re physical.
Not only is canoeing and kayaking a fantastic solo sport, but it’s also great to do it with partners or friends and make it a social event which helps to build a sense of community between you all.
Here are the top 5 health benefits of kayaking and canoeing:
Losing Weight and Gaining Stamina
There are many places where you can kayak or canoe. From a sedate lake, a river to in the sea, and no matter where you do it, they all help you to lose weight and gain stamina. On the ocean or up a river may increase your muscles strength and endurance more than on a lake, yet that is not to say paddling around a calm surface is any less beneficial.
Regular paddling will burn around 400 calories per hour, so, you can see how beneficial a few hours can be to your overall weightless. On the stamina side of things, paddling is a continual motion you have to do to maintain speed.
Complete Body Workout
When you watch someone in a kayak or a canoe, it seems they only use their arms. This is a misconception, and after your first time, you’ll see how much of your core strength has been exercised.
Both kayaking and canoeing are low impact exercises which use all of the muscles in your body just to paddle. From your arms, shoulders, abs, legs, and chest you will feel all of them being used.
Exercise can reduce symptoms of stress and depression for up to 12 hours. When you are out in the open surrounded by nature, the effects will be significantly enhanced. The amount of time might not be extended, yet the calming effect you feel will be so much better.
Exercise creates endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers. It is these that help reduce stress. Breathing deeply also produces endorphins, so as you are paddling, your breathing will be deep, and you will be producing endorphins this way.
Not to mention the calm waters and the sounds of the birds. It will be almost trance like. There is no healthier way or sport that improves mental health on such a global scale.
Cardio Vascular Health
Paddling along with rowing is one of the best exercises you can do for cardiovascular health. This overall improvement in cardiovascular health is achieved in a couple of different ways.
Cardiac muscles are strengthened which helps circulate more blood due to your increased heart rate. As your heart becomes stronger, your blood pressure will reduce, as will your heart rate while resting. You also feel you have an increase in overall energy levels.
The exercise of this type gives a great upper body workout which goes a long way in increasing your overall health by starting with your cardiovascular system.
Kayaking and Canoeing are great ways to increase your social circle. If you find you have to join a club to take part, all the better. You will find many like-minded people who are in the same boat so to speak. When you begin to tackle rougher waters upriver or on the ocean your confidence grows.
This has an overall impact on your self-esteem. You can also find, if you take part with friends or in a club, you naturally increase your social skills while gaining a much better sense of self-satisfaction.
Overall, kayaking and canoeing are fantastic ways of interacting and not just an exercise that improves your heart health. Kayaking is also a sport that you can do with a partner in the same vessel. (Kayaking is also great exercise for kids too)
There are many options for kayaks that seat two people. All you have to do is find the best tandem kayak for your needs, and you can spend some quality time with your partner paddling around a serene lake, or pause for a while and do a spot of fishing for your lunch.