Most people find exercise to be boring and not mention physically demanding. Fortunately, there are countless ways to get fit, and discovering the type of workout that will get you excited is simply a matter of trying different things.
For example; some people like working out with machines at a public gym, while others prefer using free weights at home.
It doesn’t matter what your preference is, as long as the workout type keeps you motivated to remain consistent long enough for you to start seeing some positive results both physically and mentally.
These days, families are looking for a variety of ways to get and stay fit. Family fitness has been trending for several years now, and many people are looking for ways they can have fun and get in shape.
Kayaking is a great way to accomplish both because it's so much fun, you don't realize it's providing you with a great calorie-burning workout!
Here are some of the benefits of kayaking, followed by some family tips to help you get started…
Benefits of Kayaking
As I mentioned earlier, kayaking is a lot of fun. The key to remaining consistent with any exercise program is to choose a fun activity to help keep your family motivated and interested.
Once you make exercise a good habit, you’ll feel guilty if you miss workouts and you’ll naturally be drawn back to your routine.
With kayaking, you'll get fit while enjoying the new scenery, nature, water, and fresh air.
Kayaking involves paddling and lots of it. Because it involves the continual use of large muscle groups, it's good aerobic exercise.
All kinds of research data have shown the importance of aerobic exercise in promoting cardiovascular health.
Your heart rate is increased for well over half an hour, benefitting your whole circulatory system and giving your heart a good workout.
Just think; you could potentially burn just as many calories kayaking as riding a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill.
All while having more fun in the process and enjoying nature’s beautiful scenery.
Your heart is not the only muscle being worked while kayaking. You use your arms, chest, back, and core muscles as well.
The resistance of the water against the paddle makes for a good muscle-strengthening workout.
Kayaking involves about 500 strokes per mile, talk about your toning exercise!
Have you noticed how toned the upper bodies of the athletes that compete in rowing sports are?
There’s no reason you can’t do the same.
Fresh air and Sunshine
Kayaking is inevitably done outdoors. Your respiratory system can benefit from the fresh air and the deep breaths you'll be taking, and some exposure to the sun helps your body make vitamin D.
While sunscreen is a good idea to help protect against the UV rays from the sun, so is letting your skin soak up some of that warmth for a brief amount of time.
If you go kayaking as a family, there are some things you might want to consider, with safety being the most important.
Children and toddlers should be equipped with life jackets that fit them. Adults should wear life jackets that fit too, of course, but it's sometimes harder to find child-sized life jackets and you may be tempted to "make do" with a far-too-big life jacket that isn't safe.
Never do that, because it’s not worth putting the little ones’ lives in danger over some kayaking, no matter how fun it is.
If you plan on renting kayaks, ask the service provider in advance if they carry all the sizes needed to fit you and everyone that will be participating.
If not, it’s worth investing in the proper-sized life jackets for everyone, because you can’t put a price tag on the life of your loved ones.
Everyone that plans on participating should know how to swim before kayaking. They will certainly be safer if they fall out, and they may be less afraid of the water than if they weren't familiar with it.
Life jackets are the first line of safety defense, and knowing how to swim is the second.
I firmly believe that if a person doesn’t know how to swim, they shouldn’t go kayaking, because tipping over could be a traumatic experience that could make them never want to attempt this fun activity again.
Try to tame your adventurous spirit a bit if you have children with you. For the whole family to participate safely, it's a good idea to stick with calm water and clear weather.
Leave the white-water adventures for the extremely experienced thrill-seekers.
Don't Forget Older Relatives
If you really want to get the whole family involved in kayaking, then don't forget your senior relatives that are in shape.
Older folks can enjoy kayaking just as much as kids and young adults.
As long as you're on calm waters and wearing life jackets, there's no reason why Grandma, Grandpa, and Great Uncle Bill can't come along!
It is worth repeating, be certain that they’re in excellent shape, know how to swim and wear a life jacket.
Kayaking is a good alternative to traditional ways of staying in shape, especially if you have the time for it.
It’s not for everyone, and some people, unfortunately, don’t live near a body of water that’s accessible to even go kayaking in the first place.
If you’re able to kayak multiple times per week, this fun activity will tone your upper body like you wouldn’t believe when combined with a healthy diet.
As great a workout kayaking can be, don’t neglect your lower body.
Be certain to train both your upper and lower body with other forms of resistance and cardio training.
You can lift weights and use various cardio machines that target your legs such as treadmills, ellipticals, steppers, and stationary bikes.
The key to fitness is balance, and by combining resistance training, cardio, stretching, and a healthy diet, you’ll make good physical progress.
If kayaking sounds interesting, I suggest that you learn everything that you can about the subject, put safety first, and go for it.
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, using a Basic Kayaking Checklist can prevent you from making mistakes and increase safety.
Have fun getting fit using kayaking!