Years ago, traveling by canoes and kayaks on the rivers, oceans, and lakes seem to be something that was commonplace. Today, when cars, and other forms of transportation seem to be the norm, canoeing and kayaking have been relegated (and this we can see in most developed countries) to just things we do in our leisure time.
These activities are great, not just the thrill that comes with participating in them (I mean, that is great, too) but the health benefits involved in the partaking of these water activities.
What is the Difference Between a Canoe and a Kayak?
Well, canoes are great for rivers and lakes. People seated at the bow (which is the front part of the canoe) and the stern (the back of the canoe) paddle the single-bladed paddle. The person seated at the back of the canoe is responsible for steering, employing a range of strokes. Because of the open design of canoes, there is enough room to accommodate kids, dogs, and more gear.
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Kayaks on the other hand are ideal for the ocean and large lakes because of their ability to handle big waves and wind. In both the tandem and solo kayaks, you sit on the hull with both your legs covered by the deck. A “skirt” covers your waist and the opening to keep you dry.
Health Benefits of Canoeing and Kayaking
Benefits of Kayaking on Your Physical Health
- Resistance Training: Paddling is one way to develop and to maintain core and upper body strength. When you paddle, you engage both your core and arm muscles. This enables you make powerful strokes, reduces the chances of you tiring out easily.
- Aerobic Physical Activity: When you paddle at a steady pace, you will make you breathe faster and will cause your heart to pump faster (don’t worry, these are good things)
Benefits of Kayaking on Your Mental Health
- While you sit in your kayak, you get to notice the beauty in nature, take for example the sunrise or sunset. This is one cathartic experience, and it is energizing. Being active while you are outdoors raises your general mood, relieves you of stress, and it also improves your sleep.
Why not try either of these activities, or even both of them? You could rent a canoe or a kayak. If this is your first time, make sure to choose a spot that is calm, and the weather is warm. Invite friends, too.