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.
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.
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.
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.
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.