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How to Pull Off the Perfect Self-Care Getaway

Article by Jessie Clark with Soulful-Travel.com

In today’s busy world, self-care has become a “must,” instead of just an indulgence. In fact, there’s plenty of science-backed data that illustrates how self-care offers long- and short-term benefits to both the mind and body, so that you have more energy and respond better to challenging situations, which, in turn, makes you more productive, patient, and efficient.

Needless to say, making room for self-care in your life will do you a load of good. But beyond just spending many a lazy hour in bed, self-care may also entail leaving your comfort zone and immersing in the sights and sounds of a new and/or beloved place. It can even be argued that traveling is an essential part of self-care and may be exactly what you need at any given moment. So, without further ado, here’s how you can pull off the perfect self-care getaway.

Turn to Tools

Are you one of the many people who recently started an entrepreneurial venture? If so, it can be a bit scary to step away from your budding business for a vacay. Yet that might be just what you need to stay productive and efficient.

Taking the time to ensure your business is established as professionally as possible can alleviate much of the worry involved with taking time away. In part, this involves making outside services and tools part of your management plan. For instance, your bank can play an important role in helping you financially, thanks to the types of accounts, loans and services it provides. You can also lean on your registered agent to tend legal notices and correspondence, and deadlines won’t even cross your mind if you have a compliance tool in your arsenal of tech goodies. Look into services and tools that set your business up for success, then pack your bags.

Go with the Flow

Traveling is undoubtedly a real treat to the senses. However, the need to do and see everything can add a lot of pressure, which can be counter-productive to your self-care goals. It definitely will not serve to follow a packed itinerary to the letter. Choose, instead, to go with the flow.

Of course, this is easier said than done. When you’re visiting a new place, FOMO (fear of missing out) can be real. However, the truth is that there’s really no need to feel guilty about skipping attractions and activities and choosing to explore at your own pace, nor should you feel bad for choosing to sleep in or while the hours away in your well-appointed hotel room. You’ll find that not stretching yourself to capacity is actually the best way to make the most out of your trip and practice self-care while you’re at it.

Disconnect to Reconnect

Bear in mind that self-care is about reconnecting with yourself and tuning in to find out what it is that your mind and body need to stay in tip-top shape. However, letting in outside noise can interfere with this, so why not take your self-care trip as an opportunity to disconnect?

It’s wise to unplug from social media, turn off your push notifications, and not even think about opening those work emails. These, of course, are just a few ways you can go on a digital detox while on vacation, which is arguably one of the best self-care moves you can make. As a bonus, doing so will also alleviate much of the pressure that social media imposes (unbeknownst to you or otherwise), so you can actually have a good time for real, instead of just looking like it.

Indulge in Something New

Now, self-indulgence (but in a good way) is the very tenet of self-care. Indeed, there’s no better time to shift your mindset and make a healthy change than when you’re traveling, and this is no doubt an important self-care step that you should not miss.

For example, if you love the outdoors and want to try something a little different, give Blazin’ Paddles kayak tours a whirl. Even if you’ve never used a kayak before, this unique tour of the Colorado River could be exactly what you need to relax and unwind. The idea is to go beyond what you’re used to and truly embrace changes outside as well as in.

Indeed, few pursuits are as worthwhile as the pursuit of the best life for your best self. Taking a self-care journey definitely gets you closer to that objective, so start planning yours today.

Photo via Pexels

Top Kayaking Safety Tips for An Unforgettable Excursion

Of all the Las Vegas activities you can participate in, kayaking tops the list. After all, nothing beats a glorious afternoon paddling down the Colorado River with family and friends. To make the most of your Las Vegas kayak experience, you’ll want to know some basic safety tips for when you are out on the water, regardless of whether you are paddling solo or venturing down the river with others.

Use a Life Jacket

According to the American Canoe Association, nearly half of all kayaking fatalities result from not wearing a personal flotation device. For canoers, that statistic is even higher. Simply investing in a life jacket and taking several seconds to put it on before you get out in the water can save your life! If you need help selecting a life jacket, you can always ask the experts at Blazin’ Paddles for recommendations or follow guidelines on personal flotation devices set by the US Coast Guard. No matter what brand of life jacket you choose, be sure to get one that is specifically made for kayaking for maximum safety and comfort.

Wear a Helmet

If you will be kayaking in rougher conditions such as fast-flowing rivers, you may want to wear head protection. Some locations may even require you to wear a helmet when you are out boating. As with a life jacket, you’ll want to look for a comfortable helmet, fits snugly, and is designed for kayaking. A kayaking helmet should also be waterproof, which is important for the helmet’s safety and longevity.

Choose Your Spot


The ideal spot for your Las Vegas kayak outing varies depending on your abilities, experience, skill level, and goals. No matter where you choose to start, your chosen launch spot should have numerous places to go ashore, minimal boat traffic, and easy access for launching. If you are not yet comfortable loading and unloading the boat on your own, ask a friend or fellow kayaker to go with you for assistance. If you’re new to kayaking, it never hurts to have another person out on the water with you, either.

Along with having easy access to the water, look for a kayaking spot that has shallow waters for launching. You should also aim to launch in calmer waters, such as tranquil rivers, ponds, or quiet lakes if you are new to kayaking. As your skills improve, you can start in areas with choppier waters, windy places, and streams or rivers with small waves.

Dress for the Weather

When you’re planning outdoor activities in Las Vegas, it’s important to dress for the weather. Temperatures can get very hot during the day, especially in the summer, but they can be significantly lower in the morning and evening. Therefore, it’s a good idea to dress in layers to prepare for fluctuating temperatures. Additionally, you’ll want to either wear clothing with sun protection or use sunscreen, as you may be exposed to the sun for long periods out on the water. If your eyes are sensitive to the sun’s rays, consider wearing protective eye wear as well. The footwear that you use for kayaking should be comfortable, water-resistant, and not slippery. No matter when and where you are planning to kayak, always check the weather forecast before heading out. If the forecast calls for thunderstorms or severe weather, consider other things to do in Las Vegas for the day and save kayaking for a clear day.

Follow the Rules

As with driving a car, there are “rules of the road” that boaters must follow on waterways. If you’re boating alone, look up the local boating rules in advance. Along with knowing the local regulations, it’s always a good idea to wear brightly colored clothing for visibility and put reflective tape on your paddles. You should also wear a whistle around your neck or otherwise keep it within close reach. If you are kayaking in a spot with buoys, make sure you know what the colors mean.

Practice Re-Entering

Getting into and out of your kayak onshore may not seem that difficult, but re-entering your boat on the water can be a different story. If you fall out or flip your boat on the water, learning to climb back in and turn the boat right-side up can be challenging. Before heading out on a more serious kayaking adventure or kayaking alone, practice re-entering in a safe place with calm waters.

Practice Safety Maneuvers

At the very least, you should know three safety maneuvers when kayaking:

  • Capsize
  • Wet entry
  • Eskimo roll

Capsizing is one of the primary risks when kayaking. If you are kayaking in a sit-in kayak or using a spray skirt, you’ll need to learn how to release the skirt when you’re in the water and propel yourself out of the cockpit. After you’ve capsized, the next step is getting back in. If you are just learning to re-enter your boat, try to find a buddy who can stabilize your boat as you climb back in. The Eskimo roll is a more advanced maneuver that involves righting your kayak after capsizing while remaining in the boat. This technique should be learned by a skilled instructor and practiced in a pool or still waters to start.

Check Your Equipment

Before each outing in your kayaking, check your equipment to make sure it is working properly. That includes giving your boat a physical inspection and checking your personal safety equipment including your life jacket and a helmet if you plan to use one.

Stay Vigilant

Although it’s natural to get caught up in the breathtaking scenery around Las Vegas, remember to stay aware of your surroundings when you’re out kayaking. Before you leave, tell others about your plans and your approximate itinerary.

For kayak safety tips or to perfect your kayaking skills, contact Blazin’ Paddles. Blazin’ Paddles offers half-day to full-day kayaking tours led by experienced professional guides. A tour is a great way to learn about local kayaking hot spots while meeting new people and building your confidence and skills.

10 Amazing Physical Benefits of Kayaking!

Written by: Calvin Furrow
Site: kayakfisherly.com

Are you wondering about such sports that could improve your mental and physical health? Kayaking could offer you these benefits with a lot of fun and enjoyment. You could not only keep your heart, brain and body healthy but also explore the natural beauty as well as discovering new places which you didn’t know existed. These benefits are enough to inspire you for going out on a kayaking experience with the best pedal kayak out there!

Proven physical benefits of kayaking:

1. Helps you achieve an ideal body weight

Kayaking is like an exercise that could help to reduce some weight. Through paddling at five mph, you could burn almost 500 per hour. Maybe you are thinking that you could burn more than this by doing other exercises like running but kayaking is worth the time as you would find more fun and enjoyment than using a treadmill.

Most people do kayaking for the whole afternoon that indicates burning calories about 1600 per session. If you want to lose weight, kayaking would be great for you and keep kayaking a few days per week until you attain your desirable weight.

2. Increases your muscle strength

You have to use your arms when kayaking and thus, your body parts could become toned. The exertion when kayaking would extend the upper muscles like your shoulders, chest and back. Paddling more could help exercising these muscles.

For traveling miles, you would need doing 500 strokes per mile and this depends on some factors. If you just travel two miles, you have done about 1000 repetitions that could increase the strength of the upper body muscles.

3. Develops toned leg

Although your shoulders, back and arms could be developed through kayaking, it could also affect your legs. You use your legs when kayaking and the movements are impactful on your lower limbs like the upper parts.

Your legs should be pressed for keeping balance on your kayak when kayaking. You may loosen and tighten your legs muscles while maneuvering or turn the kayak and you may not know this fact!

4. Strengthens the core muscles

Your oblique, lower back and abdomen are engaged when you do kayaking. You would be contracting the abs in per strokes and contract the muscles on your lower back while you pull. Any twisted motions would engage the oblique. Another effective way for keeping balance is to sit upright or sit on. Thus, kayaking could help to keep the core muscles engaged through the entire activity.

5. Increases endurance

As you do kayaking for hours, it could allow improving your stamina that means you could endure long periods of exertion even without getting fatigue easily. Kayaking for 3 times per week could increase the energy levels up to 20 percent. This may enable you doing your activity longer as well as increase your energy that you could spend on the daily activities.

6. Improves your heart health

Kayaking is a well known aerobic sport that is called cardiac exercise. This workout could strengthen the muscles of your heart and improve the effectiveness to pump your blood. Kayaking also improves the efficiency of the blood circulation and increases the red blood cells amount in your body. It keeps the heart level in control. By doing this workout consistently, you would be working out the heart regularly and make it stronger and more robust.

7. Triggers Vitamin D production

You may find vitamin D in some foods like cheese, fatty fish and beef liver but the area of consuming vitamin D is not limited. We all have vitamin D in the system of our body but they remain inactive. Thus, you need to expose yourself to sunlight for exhibiting its effect.

It is important for making the bones stronger, boosting your immune system, brain development, supporting muscle function and keeping your heart healthy. Luckily, kayaking enables anyone to bask in the ray of the sun that allows the body to exhibit vitamin D.

8. Helps build an optimistic self-image

While paddling a long distance, you could build your confidence level as well as positive self-image. When you face the wilderness of the sea, you find solutions on your own to get rid of problems and this would increase your self-satisfaction and confidence as well as increasing your social skills.

9. Reduces stress

Kayaking is a great way to reduce your stress. You watch your kayak moving by the water through your effort, spend hours under the beautiful sky, see the blue colors of the water, and watch the natural beauty of greens, browns and grays- all of these things could relax your mind and give you an enjoyable experience. You would start to feel amazing even when you are all alone!

10. Improves your mental health

Kayaking positively affects your overall mental health. As your entire body works together for navigating the water, you would be able to clear the mind of negative and unwanted thoughts. Kayaking releases such chemicals into your body that could lift the self-worth, mood and confidence and also provides the sense of keeping your body and mind healthy.

The physical benefits of too many to describe and I have tried to give some of them here. I hope you could easily understand them and start kayaking as a form or aerobic exercise and connect yourself with nature!

Learn to Kayak: Guide to Different Kayaking Strokes

Learning to kayak in Las Vegas is a rewarding and enriching experience. After all, you’ll get in shape, explore fantastic sights, and even make new friends along the way. As with other sports, learning to kayak takes some training. There are some technicalities to master if you want to be a pro on the water, which includes learning the different types of strokes that kayakers use.

Get a Grip

Before you learn the different types of strokes required for kayaking, you will want to learn the correct way to grip the paddle. There are two types of grips that kayakers use, which are called “low-hold” and “high-hold.” A low-hold grip is the type of grip you’ll use for propelling the boat forward and maneuvering. A high-hold grip is used to avoid capsizing the boat, rolling, steering, and other more advanced techniques. Both grips can be used to move the boat forward or backward.

Forward Stroke

The forward stroke is the stroke that you will use most often when kayaking. Therefore, you’ll want to practice this stroke frequently to become comfortable and familiar with it. When you are using the forward stroke correctly, the nose of the boat, which is the front of the boat, will have minimal movement. The type of boat that you use may make it easier or more difficult to control the nose with a forward stroke. Either way, having proper technique is helpful.

There are three phases to the forward stroke, which are:

  • Reach
  • Power
  • Alternating Side

During the reach phase, you will use your torso, or core, to reach forward with the paddle to about the level of your feet. Dip the blade into the water on the same side so that the blade is about three-quarters of the way in the water.

The power phase is next. Using your back, keep the shaft parallel to the boat as you draw the blade in a straight line smoothly back towards the bow, parallel to your body. The blade shouldn’t make any splashes.

Lastly, when you complete the stroke, lift the blade out of the water and place it back in the water on the other side of the boat. Repeat the process on the other side.

Over time, you will learn to repeat the alternating stroke faster and more efficiently. As you are building your forward stroke skills, make your strokes as smooth as possible and avoid excess movement in the front of the boat. Also, remember to use your torso for the stroke movements rather than your arms. Ultimately, you should be able to use the forward stroke comfortably for even a day-long Colorado River kayaking adventure.

Reverse Stroke

The reverse stroke, as the name implies, is used to help move the boat backward. The reverse stroke is generally a short and fast stroke used to respond to a tight situation, such as if you need to reverse your boat quickly for any reason. To perform this stroke, turn your body clockwise so that you are facing to the right-hand side and your shoulders line up parallel with the boat. Then, dip the blade into the water towards the back of the boat. Push the paddle forward and away from the boat. The blade should face the kayak’s side. Finally, pull the paddle towards the boat, which brings the paddle and kayak closer together. The blade should ultimately end up a few inches from the boat. Pull the paddle towards the back of the kayak and repeat the stroke as needed.

Forward Sweep Stroke

The forward sweep stroke is a stroke that’s used to move the boat sideways when you are paddling in a straight line. For this stroke, turn the paddle horizontally and put the blade in the water on the opposite side of your boat from the direction you intend to turn. Then, move the blade in a “C” shape from the tip of the boat to the rear, creating an arc shape as you go. Once the paddle has reached the end of the boat, pull the blade out of the water quickly and repeat the stroke on the opposite side of the boat. Repeat the steps of the forward sweep stroke until the boat has turned in the direction that you want to go.

Reverse Sweep Stroke

The reverse sweep stroke is similar to the forward sweep stroke, but you’ll use it to turn your kayak to the side as you are moving backward rather than forwards. To start, move the paddle over the side of your boat in a horizontal position. Dip the paddle blade into the water on the side of the boat in the direction you aim to turn. Push the paddle’s blade from the rear of the kayak to the nose. As with the forward sweep stroke, pull the blade rapidly out of the water until you have fully turned in the direction you want to turn.

Kayak Spin

The kayak spin is a stroke used to turn the boat around when you are otherwise sitting in stationary water. This stroke uses a combination of the front sweep stroke and reverse sweep stroke. Start with the forward sweep stroke, and then switch to the reverse sweep stroke to move the boat in a circle. Repeat both strokes as often as necessary to spin your kayak in a full circle or your desired direction.

Learning to paddle a kayak correctly takes practice and patience, but it is nonetheless a rewarding experience. Practicing your paddling skills is the best way to learn and continue improving. If you want to know “where can I kayak near me?”, contact Blazin’ Paddles for more information. Blazin’ Paddles offers full-day and half-day tours for kayakers of all skill levels and ages. Even if you are just learning the sport, you can get the hang of paddling through a scenic outing such as the Black Canyon kayaking tour. All tours are led by experienced guides who can help you improve along the way.

Behind the Paddle: How to Prepare Children for a Kayaking Experience

In today’s fast-paced and tech-centric world, it may seem more challenging than ever to find activities that the whole family enjoys. Kayaking, however, is one of them. Kayaking is a versatile sport that’s accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Children can learn to kayak just as easily as adults, and they can have just as much fun out on the water, if not more!

When Can Children Kayak?

Parents, especially those who enjoy kayaking themselves, may be eager to take their children out on the water as soon as possible. While there is no concrete rule for determining when it’s okay to bring your child out on a kayaking adventure, the United States Coast Guard offers some basic guidelines for adults to help them know when the time is right to bring their child along for the ride. According to the Coast Guard, a child must:

  • Weigh 18 pounds or more
  • Be able to float on the water
  • Be able to sit upright and still

Additionally, children must be able to wear a personal flotation device that fits correctly.

Along with these physical characteristics, the Coast Guard recommends a minimum age of at least two for taking a child out on the water. Children aged two and five should ride in the same boat as their parents. Older children can kayak solo, provided they have a boat matched for their size and skill level and they’re wearing proper safety equipment.

Where to go Kayaking

Many parents ask themselves, “where can I kayak near me with my children?” That’s a great question, and the good news is there are many terrific places in the Las Vegas region. The Colorado River is a magnificent destination for kayaking, and it’s one of the most popular tour routes offered by Blazin’ Paddles. If you want to combine a family kayaking excursion with a bit of local history, you can kayak Hoover Dam, which is one of the nation’s most iconic attractions and a registered National Historic Landmark. Lakes and ponds are also a top choice if your children are just learning how to kayak.

Take Lessons

Before heading out on the water, it’s important to have some basic kayaking skills under your belt. At the very least, parents should take a few lessons before taking their children out. Parents can learn basic kayaking techniques and get a better understanding of the best types of kayaks for their children. If you’re already a seasoned kayaker, it’s a good idea to pass along some basic tips to your child. When kayaking with your children rather than going solo, remember that your goals should be adjusted to meet your child’s capabilities on the water rather than your own. If you’re wondering where to go for kayaking lessons, Blazin’ Paddles is a great place to start. Blazin’ Paddles offers kayaking tours of various lengths and in multiple locations for participants ranging from children to adults. The entire family can easily get more comfortable being out on the water and learning about the terrific kayaking destinations in the Las Vegas area through a safe, informative, and educational Blazin’ Paddles tour.

Plan for Emergencies

Accidents can happen on the water, which makes it essential that you’re prepared. Along with taking kayaking lessons, it’s a good idea for parents to take first aid courses before embarking on a kayaking adventure with their children. Additionally, parents should prepare for basic first aid situations before heading out. If a child has allergies, for instance, be sure to take his or her epinephrine injection or other medication prescribed by an allergist. Parents should also bring along sunscreen, insect repellent, and other basics such as food and water for the family.

Out on the water, all family members should wear a snugly-fitting personal flotation device (PFD) at all times. PFDs come in various forms that are ranked according to US Coast Guard recommendations. Generally, PFDs labeled as Type I, Type II, and Type III are best-suited for kayaking. Everyone in the family should also have at least basic swimming skills and be able to float on their own before going kayaking.

Choose Your Boats

To make the most of your kayaking experience, it’s important to have the right kind of boat. There are multiple types of kayaks available to use. One of the most family-friendly and child-friendly is a sit-on-top kayak, which is the widest style and the easiest to get into and out of. Sit-on-top kayaks are also more affordable than other kinds of kayaks, which makes them a good investment for families who are just getting into the sport. If you’re not sure that you are ready to buy a kayak (or fleet of kayaks for the family), you may be able to find a place in the area that offers kayak rentals. This is a good way to try out different types of boats, and the sport of kayaking itself, before making a financial investment.

Document Your Kayaking Trip

Once you’ve figured out all the logistics of your family kayaking adventure, it’s time to get on the water. When you do, don’t forget to bring your camera along for photos. Documenting your time together will ensure that everyone has fond memories of the trip that they can look back on. Photos can also be shared with loved ones and other relatives to show them your outing and the fantastic Las Vegas scenery. Remember to pack your camera in a waterproof bag so that it doesn’t get damaged when you are in the boat.

Kayaking is a fun sport that the whole family can enjoy. Provided your child meets general minimum age and ability recommendations and you have some basic knowledge of kayaking and first aid safety, you’re ready to embark on a transformative aquatic adventure. Don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Blazin’ Paddles to get started with the basics, including booking a Hoover Dam kayak tour for the whole family to comfortably ease into the sport.

7 Best Kayaking Places To Paddle in Texas

Written by: Eric from FlipOutdoor – http://FlipOutdoor.com

Due to the availability of affordable fishing kayaks and the hobby’s unique charm, many people have taken up kayaking. Once you learn the ropes and become a proficient paddler, you’ll want to experience paddling in other places. One of the best states in the US with huge a variety of kayaking destinations in Texas.

Texas is a haven for kayaking and canoeing because it is blessed with several great waterways, lakes, and reservoirs perfect for paddling. If you are a paddling enthusiast and plan on a kayaking trip to Texas, you must become acquainted with some of the must-visit places to paddle.

For those planning to visit Texas for kayaking the following section contains our carefully compiled list with kayaking places that vary from peaceful, urban waters to secluded, rapid-filled rivers. All the places on our list have excellent boarding facilities and are well connected. Our list will help both the beginner to the experienced kayaker to find a perfect place in Texas to kayak.

The list of 7 best kayaking places to paddle in Texas-

1. The Brazos River

Spanning 840 miles, the Brazos River is one of the longest rivers in America. Kayaking in this river is both a peaceful and a scenic experience. This river typically offers a mild, relaxing ride. But during dam releases and storms the river can swell and increase the number of rapids for kayakers.

2. The Neches River

Flowing through East Texas, the Neches River is for you if you are looking for a quiet and private kayaking experience. Texas wildlife like birds, reptiles, and even alligators are known to live in the region.

3. The Guadalupe River

Located near New Braunfels, the Guadalupe River is a popular tubing river also a hotspot for kayakers. This river has calm waters to Class III rapids- something for all! As a bonus, the Guadalupe River is spring-fed. You’ll enjoy cool and crystal clear waters on a kayaking trip in this popular Texas waterway.

4. The Lady Bird Lake

If you are looking for a leisurely float, Lady Bird Lake is perfect. This lake situated in the middle of Austin’s capital city has become a popular place to kayak among Texas kayakers. You don’t have to worry about not having a kayak. Kayak rental places are found around the lake. Enjoy the great city view while placidly kayaking this Austin gem.

5. The Rio Grande

Famous for camping and hiking, the Rio Grande is also home to one of the best kayaking rivers in the state. You can immerse yourself in the breathtaking views on offer while kayaking in this scenic locale. The jaw-dropping canyons to desert mountain scenes will make your trip worthwhile.

Home to both mild rapids and a Class IV rapid, the Rio Grande is perfect for kayakers seeking a bit of a challenge and thrill amid the stunning vistas.

6. The Caddo Lake

At 25,400 acres, Caddo Lake offers a unique environment that wildlife cum kayaking enthusiasts would love. A wide variety of birds, numerous fish and reptiles, and alligators are some of the lake’s denizens that you may encounter while kayaking here. Don’t forget your camera! The Caddo Lake’s gorgeous moss-covered cypress trees make for a picturesque photo op.

7. The Devil’s River

The final place in our list, the Devil’s River is recommended for experienced kayakers. Although it has some nice, flat stretches of river, there are treacherous class III rapids found along the waterway that can take a beginner by surprise and test his skills.

This secluded yet rugged Texas river offers beautiful, blue water and desert scenery for kayakers. The Devil’s River is a great choice if you are an intermediate to an expert kayaker who wants some solitude and peace and also a chance to pit his skills against some challenging rapids.

To wind off

Texas offers some of the finest waters for kayakers with a wide variety of scenery and kayaking locations. A trip to Texas is a trip to remember for any paddling enthusiast. Our list of the 7 best kayaking places is too small to do justice to all the other fantastic kayaking places in Texas. But we’ve covered a wide variety of locations suitable for newbie and experienced kayakers.

As always while planning a longish trip, plan well in advance. Take the season into consideration. Some seasons will be more crowded than others. If you prefer solitude, early or late season will have the best conditions with a comparatively lesser crowd.

If you drive, ensure you have a custom-fitted roof rack for your kayak. This will save you a lot of trouble by keeping your raft secure while transporting it. Research the weather conditions and come prepared with the necessary gear.

Many kayaking locations have certified instructors who offer advanced paddling classes. Taking a short class will help you learn new things and hone what you already know. This will allow you to up your skills and take up a whole variety of challenging rapids. It will also allow you to experience the entire range of conditions that Texas has to offer to kayaking enthusiasts.

A Beginner’s Guide to Kayaking Like a Pro

Learning to kayak in Las Vegas has numerous benefits. From meeting like-minded people to simply having the option to get on the water anytime you’d like, there are many great reasons to pick up the sport of kayaking. As with any new endeavor, learning to kayak takes time and practice. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to safely and confidently make the most of your Colorado River kayaking excursions.

Types of Kayaks

Kayaks come in many forms. They are designed for use in various conditions that range from tranquil waters such as ponds and small lakes to whitewater rapids and the ocean. Some types of kayaks are easier to use than others, which makes them a better option for beginners.

  • Sit-on-top
  • Touring
  • Inflatable
  • Tandem

Sit-on-top kayaks are one of the best varieties for beginners. They are wide and have a good center of balance, which makes them sturdy and easy to maneuver out on the water. Sit-on-top kayaks are typically less expensive than other kinds of kayaks. While sit-on-top kayaks are wide and stable, they are also larger and slower than other kayak styles, which makes them a better fit for calmer waters.

Touring kayaks are generally longer and narrower than sit-on-top kayaks. They are also lighter-weight, which makes them more transportable and a bit faster. Touring kayaks are a preferred choice for more seasoned kayakers or beginners who have a good sense of balance. Because they are narrower, touring kayaks are a bit more challenging to get into and out of than sit-on-top kayaks, especially when you’re out on the water.

Inflatable kayaks are suitable for kayakers of all skill levels. They are most useful for people who plan to hike to their kayak launch point, as they can be easily rolled up and tucked away. Inflatable kayaks are best suited for calmer waters, which makes them a good option for novice kayakers.

Tandem kayaks are kayaks made for two people rather than one. Tandem kayaks are available in several styles, including sit-on-top and touring. Tandem kayaks also come in inflatable form.

As you’re deciding what kind of kayak to get, there are several key considerations to think about. First, will you be kayaking by yourself or with another person most of the time? You will also want to think about where you will be transporting your kayak to for launches, and how comfortable you feel loading and unloading the boat by yourself. Then, you’ll want to think about how easy it is for you to get into and out of the boat on your own, both on land and in water. Many kayak retailers will let you test out different boats first to figure out which one you want to get.

Gear and Accessories

To make your kayaking experience as fun and positive as possible, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right gear and accessories along for the ride. Weather can change quickly when you are on the Colorado River kayaking, depending on the time of day and the season. Daytime temperatures can be much warmer than in the evening or early in the morning, which means you’ll want to dress in layers or bring a change of clothes if you’ll be out on the water for longer periods of time. The sun can also be strong, which makes sunscreen or sun protection essential. If you are bringing your phone, camera, wallet, or other valuables along for the ride, you’ll want to keep them dry and protected with a waterproof bag or pouch. If your eyes are sensitive to the sun, wearing polarized sunglasses with ultraviolet (UV) protection is strongly encouraged. No matter what you wear, your clothing and footwear should be water-resistant or waterproof.

Personal Flotation Devices

For safety reasons, wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) when out on the water is highly recommended. Like kayaks, PFDs are made in various styles to suit the different kinds of water that you’ll be kayaking in.

Type I PFDs are heavy-duty flotation devices made for use in rougher water and the ocean. Type II or Type III PFDs are a bit more comfortable. They are not quite as cumbersome as Type I PFDs, which makes them a better choice for calmer waters where you’ll likely be rescued more quickly. While Type I, II, and III PFDs are made specifically for kayaking, you can also get PFDs made for multiple activities, such as Type V. If you get a Type V PFD, be sure to check that it is suitable for kayaking before making your purchase.

Finding a Suitable Time and Location

Once you’ve found the right boat and accessories, it’s time to get in the water. To kayak safely and successfully, you’ll need to research places to kayak based on your skill and comfort level. Remember that you must find a place that’s accessible to the public, too. Calm waters, which you’ll find on ponds and lakes, are recommended for novice kayakers. Beginners are advised to avoid rivers and oceans as they’re starting due to stronger currents and choppier water. If you are driving to your destination and plan to launch your boat, you’ll also need to figure out parking at the launch spot and determine if there is a launch fee.

No matter where you decide to start your kayaking adventure from, keep an eye on the weather. It’s best to choose a day when skies are clear for maximum visibility. Try to kayak on a day when winds are minimal, and make sure to avoid kayaking if there is a risk of thunderstorms or severe weather in the area.

Blazin’ Paddles | Colorado River Kayaking

Once you’re ready to get started, you may be wondering “where can I learn to kayak near me?” Fortunately, Blazin’ Paddles is here to help you learn. Blazin’ Paddles offers tours for kayakers of all skill levels, which is a great way to safely learn to kayak Las Vegas and get a feel for what it’s like to be out on the water.

Fuel for The Soul: Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Kayaking

When they say kayaking in good for the soul, they aren’t lying.

Research shows that kayaking, whether down on your hometown lake or down the Colorado River in Las Vegas, has tremendous physical and mental benefits.

Why Learn to Kayak?

Kayaking is a popular water sport for people of all ages. Kayaks come in many varieties, including recreational, fishing, whitewater, touring, and sit-on-top designs. Along with kayaking solo, you can also use a tandem kayak that seats two people. Kayaks are specially designed for the type of water-based activity that you’re looking to do, which can range from quietly paddling down the Colorado River to tackling challenging rapids.

Physical Benefits

Along with simply being a fun and enjoyable activity, kayaking has numerous health and physical benefits.

1. Weight Management

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but it turns out kayaking can, too. Kayaking can burn up to 500 calories per hour if you’re paddling at an average speed of 5 MPH. Plus, it’s more fun to be out on the water for 60 minutes than stuck indoors on a treadmill or aerobic machine. If you spend an afternoon out kayaking, such as through a scenic and rewarding kayak tour with Blazin’ Paddles, you can burn upwards of 1,500 calories.

2. Increased Upper-Body Strength

Paddling is an excellent upper body workout that can improve your upper body strength and muscle tone. While you rely primarily on your arms to propel yourself through water, you inadvertently use surrounding muscles as well, including the ones in your shoulders, chest, and back. The more you paddle, the more you use those muscles and build muscle tone and strength.

Physical Benefits of Kayaking

3. Toned Legs

Although you might consider kayaking to be an upper-body activity, it can also help develop your leg tone. You also use your leg muscles for kayaking, especially for balancing or when you need to maneuver and change directions. Over time, those muscles will also become toned as you start to paddle more.

4. More Core Strength

Naturally, as the middle ground between your upper body and legs, your core also becomes stronger and more toned through kayaking. Your core plays a crucial role in helping you stay centered and balanced on the water. The motion of paddling works your lower back, abs, and obliques. Even sitting upright in the boat uses your core muscles, which means you get a minor core workout with every kayaking adventure that you go on.

5. Improved Cardiac Health

Kayaking is a form of cardiac exercise, which means that it gets your blood flowing. Cardiac exercise is optimal for strengthening your heart, which improves its ability to pump blood and regulate circulation. A strong heart also produces more red blood cells. As with other types of physical exercise, the more you kayak, the stronger your heart will become, which provides greater physical benefits.

6. Better Endurance

All the hours that you spend kayaking in Vegas add up to improve your stamina and endurance. Kayaking becomes easier the longer you paddle, which means that you will eventually travel longer and longer distances without getting tired as quickly. Kayaking as little as three times each week can boost your energy levels up to 20%. An added perk of increasing your endurance levels is that you’ll also have more energy to perform your daily activities.

Mental Benefits

Kayaking is great for the body, but it’s also a perfect activity for the soul. Spending time outside and physical activity are both associated with lower stress levels, which can in turn reduce your risk of illness and alleviate symptoms of some medical conditions.

1. Mood Boost

Kayaking releases certain “feel good” chemicals, including serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. These chemicals, called neurotransmitters, can put you in a better mood and boost your self-confidence levels. With its ability to make people feel happier, kayaking is a recommended activity for individuals suffering from depression.

2. Improved Focus

The same neurotransmitters that make you feel happier when you’re out paddling can also improve your ability to focus. Norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin are three neurotransmitters in particular that are associated with an increase in attention span and the ability to focus. All three chemicals are released through kayaking.

Mental Benefits of Kayaking

3. Better Memory

Getting regular exercise through kayaking can improve your thinking skills and memory. Just as kayaking can tone specific parts of your body, it can also tone certain areas of your brain. Specifically, kayaking exercises the hippocampus, a portion of your brain largely responsible for verbal memory and learning. Consistently getting out to paddle, even several times each week, will continue to tone and improve the hippocampus region of your brain. Along with toning the area, kayaking also increases blood flow within the brain and stimulates new brain cells.

4. A Good Night’s Sleep

If you regularly toss and turn at night, taking up kayaking may improve your symptoms. Exercising during the day naturally makes you tired, which helps you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly through the night. Overall, you’ll find that your sleep quality improves, and you wake up well-rested the following day, ready to go kayaking again.

If improving your mental and physical health while kayaking the Colorado River Las Vegas sounds appealing, it’s time to contact Blazin’ Paddles. Blazin’ Paddles, a professional kayaking company in Las Vegas, offers tours of various lengths for kayakers of all ages and levels. From a Hoover Dam kayak rental and tour to sunset paddles, there’s a fun kayaking experience for everyone at Blazin’ Paddles.

Blazin’ Paddles | Kayaking in Las Vegas

On your next visit to Las Vegas, take in the moment while kayaking on the Colorado River. In addition to gaining the physical and mentally benefits of this outdoor activity, see the sites and wildlife along the Black Canyon with either our half-day, full-day, or twilight tour with a Las Vegas kayak tour.

Kayak below the Hoover Dam and soak in natural hot springs on the full-day kayaking tour.

Look for wildlife and experience Emerald Cave on our half-day kayaking tour.

Begin Living Your Best and Healthiest Life With These Expert Tips

Written by: Kimberly Thomas http://ushealthcorps.org (Photo via Pexals)

With many COVID-19 restrictions lifting worldwide, the thought of getting back to a more normal way of living is on the horizon. Although mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing, and remote activities are likely to stick around for a while, individuals are finally starting to get out and enjoy life for the first time in a year. Many are also looking for ways to start this new chapter in the best, healthiest ways possible. If you’ve been looking for tips to look and feel your absolute best in 2021 and beyond, the experts at Blazin’ Paddles have fantastic strategies that you can begin using immediately.

Spend time outdoors.

kayaklasvegas

As restrictions lift and risks decrease, it is now possible to get outside and participate in fun activities that were largely unavailable for the last year. You can now go on a kayak tour with Blazin’ Paddles, rent bicycles, visit public parks, attend outdoor yoga classes, and so on. Not only is engaging in outdoor recreation healthy, but the simple act of being outside can do wonders for your physical and mental health. In fact, research has shown that spending time in nature can improve your energy levels, boost your immune system, reduce chronic pain, provide you with your daily dose of vitamin D (which is essential for the proper functioning of numerous systems in the body), and enhance focus.

Become your own personal chef.

Over the past year, getting takeout and/or delivery became the norm. If you’re still getting more of your meals from a delivery app than your own kitchen, it is time to make some changes for the better. No matter your skill or experience level, preparing well-balanced meals is an excellent way to stay healthy. What’s more, you won’t have to spend a fortune to get the foods you need to create amazing dishes. There is likely an assortment of healthy meals you can create using foods and ingredients that you already have in your pantry. Take a quick look through your current ingredients to make simple (yet nutritious) dishes.

Liven up your wardrobe.

In addition to making healthy choices for your mind and body, it is also important to do things that make you feel comfortable and confident. One effective — yet often overlooked — way to look and feel your best is to liven up your wardrobe with new clothes. If you are still working from home, or sticking around home more than you’d prefer, find comfortable clothes that don’t sacrifice style. Explore new and favorite clothing retailers for a beautiful yet comfortable dress, fun tops made from soft fabrics, and pants that work well for staying in or going out.

Work with wellness experts.

Take your efforts to look and feel your best this year to the next level by hiring your own personal wellness experts. As you strive to live a healthier lifestyle, enlisting the assistance of health, nutrition, and/or fitness specialists can get you on the right path, provide you with expert advice, and keep you accountable. You can easily find wellness services from qualified professionals through online job platforms where you can weigh and compare reviews, schedule availability, and costs.
Now is one of the best times to begin living your best and healthiest life. By making a few changes to your daily routine, 2021 can be the year that you look and feel more incredible than you ever imagined possible.

Blazin’ Paddles hosts adventurous kayak tours in Las Vegas that take paddlers to the Hoover Dam, Hot Spring, and beyond. Experience the fun of a half-day, full-day, or twilight tour. Learn all about your next adventure today!

8 Best Outdoor Adventures Around Las Vegas

Las Vegas may be best known for its nightlife, but its natural surroundings are just as notable. Las Vegas is surrounded by some of the top recreational areas in the United States, including the famous Hoover Dam and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the oldest and largest national recreation area in the country. From kayaking to hiking and more adrenaline-pumping activities, consider these options for enjoying the city’s surrounding beautiful natural places.

1. Kayak the Colorado River

To literally “get your feet wet” in the region’s outdoor scene. Blazin’ Paddles, a kayaking company based in Las Vegas, offers Black Canyon kayak tours on the Colorado River. Half-day to full-day Las Vegas kayak tours are available for kayakers of all ages. Your Black Canyon kayaking adventure may include wildlife sightings, a stop at natural hot springs, and a chance to cool off in the river on hot days. You can also go on an evening kayaking excursion down the Colorado River with the chance to watch the sunset as you roast marshmallows on the beach.

Book your kayak tours here: https://www.blazinpaddles.com/

2. Red Rock National Conservation Area

Red Rock National Conservation Area is a beautiful natural recreation area located just 30 minutes away from the city. The area has hiking trails for all ages and skill levels. Rock climbing is also an option at Red Rock. If you prefer sight-seeing from your car, you can go on a longer 13-mile scenic drive that starts at the outdoor visitor’s center. Younger visitors will enjoy the Children’s Discovery Trail, which has various ecosystems to explore, along with several cultural spots, including Native American remnants.

Outdoor Adventures Around Las Vegas

3. Bootleg Canyon

If seeing Las Vegas on two wheels is your cup of tea, a trip to Bootleg Canyon for quality biking is a must. Bootleg Canyon is another destination that’s just 30 minutes from Las Vegas. The Canyon contains over 20 trails with varying degrees of difficulty. If you don’t want to bring your bike or don’t have yours with you when you visit, you can rent bicycles at Bootleg Canyon. Along with riding the trails on your own, you can join a guided tour of the Canyon’s trails instead.

4. Red Rock Canyon

Chock full of quality climbing opportunities, Red Rock Canyon is the premier rock climbing destination for Las Vegas residents and visitors alike. Red Rock Canyon has more than 2,500 climbing routes ranging from easy to challenging. Whether you choose to stay within your comfort zone or push the limits, you’ll enjoy dramatic scenery and possible bighorn sheep sightings as you tackle the Canyon’s vertical trails. Red Rock Canyon is just a little over a 30-minute drive from Las Vegas.

5. Snowboarding at Lee Canyon

Most people don’t think of Las Vegas as a prime place for winter sports, but a trip to Lee Canyon will show you otherwise. Lee Canyon, nicknamed the “Coolest Place in Las Vegas,” is an hour’s drive from the famous Las Vegas Strip. Lee Canyon’s trails are open for hiking during the summer months, but they are typically covered with snow from December through early spring. When the snow falls, the Canyon has 24 trails maintained for snowboarding and other snow sports, including tubing.

6. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is appropriately named, considering it has six hot springs located within its boundaries. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park has hiking trails, a picnic area, and living history events that showcase the lives of settlers and pioneers who once lived in the region. During the winter months, the adjacent Mount Charleston at Spring Mountains National Recreation Area is popular for snowboarding, skiing, and tubing.

Outdoor Adventures In Las Vegas, Nevada

7. Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam, which was built in 1931, is the most recognized dam in the United States. Along with seeing Hoover Dam from the water through the full-day Las Vegas kayak tour, you can also check out the famous national attraction on foot. Guided hiking tours are an option if you’d prefer an educational outing at Hoover Dam. Bald eagles, coyotes, and bighorn sheep sightings are all possible on land and from the water. Before or after touring Hoover Dam, you can also do some shopping at the visitor’s center gift shop. Once you’ve finished exploring the dam, be sure to stop over at Boulder City, which is an equally historic stop. Boulder City was built around the same time as the dam to provide lodging for workers while completing the dam’s construction. Hoover Dam is within an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, making it a perfect day trip from the city.

8. Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park is the largest and oldest State Park in Nevada. Valley of Fire has many great hiking trails to explore, which gives you plenty of opportunities to marvel at its stunning natural beauty. Comprising the State Park’s majestic landscape are the sands of the Mojave Desert, red sandstone formations, and many types of desert plants. Valley of Fire State Park has several particularly notable trails, including Elephant Rock, Petroglyph Canyon, and Fire Wave. Petroglyphs dating back 3,000 years are also popular attractions for visitors of all ages. Before embarking on a hike, you can stop in at the visitor’s center to get more information about the hikes available at the park and learn more about the area’s natural history and topography.

There are dozens of unique and unforgettable ways to explore Las Vegas’s spectacular natural areas at any time of the year. Many top recreational destinations are located within easy reach of the city, which means you can make time for exploring nature in addition to enjoying all the sites and attractions within the city’s limits.

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