No secret here: I get bored easily. I am tired of the same old workouts. There are thousands of programs all over the internet with lots of quick little workouts you can find on Facebook status updates, pinned to Pinterest, or tweeted across Twitterville.
They are all good in theory and I am guilty of sharing and pinning them as well. They have their place. Judging by the obesity crises in the US, it’s hard to say these little workouts are being utilized on a regular basis. In my opinion, they are great for getting results, but they aren’t very fun. Who wants to slave away all the time whether at the gym or in your living room? There are so many other ways to enjoy life and stay healthy and fit at the same time!
What I would like to do on this blog now is to highlight the fun adventures life provides that will get you up and exercising (and loving every minute of it). After all, I am here to help inspire you to find the healthy and fit lifestyle YOU actually love!
Today’s Spotlight: Kayaking!
My most favorite memories growing up center around the water (maybe has something to do with growing up in California which has plenty of water to play in). More specifically, we would go camping every year to Shaver Lake located up in the beautiful Sierra Nevadas. Kayaking first thing in the morning would be the best time on the lake to take in all the beautiful pin tree covered mountains rising out of the lake everywhere you turned. The nice cool breeze of fresh air as you paddled around the lake checking out the deer and other wildlife going on about their business in meadows with all sorts of different color wildflowers. All the times I spent enjoying the lake from a kayak, I didn’t realize how many health benefits came along with it (after all, how great is a workout when you are sitting?).
So, what is so great about kayaking that is good for your health? I turned to the Google+ community of Kayaking and met some nice people in the process! Here are four of their responses about enjoying kayaking for fun and staying in shape:
What do you think? Kayaking sounding better for exercise by the minute?
Here is my list of the main health benefits that this little known exercise gem offers:
Are you a busy person and truly appreciate those rare moments you can actually take a deep breath and relax? With working full time and being a new momma, I find myself trying to cram more and more into my day. We get so caught up in getting everything done that we tend to put our mental health on the back burner. We need to remember to take those moments to rejuvenate so we can better attack all we must accomplish on a daily basis. Kayaking is a great way to help you de-stress by getting you back to enjoying nature. God created such an awesome world for us to enjoy. Get out on the water, get those wonderful endorphins pumping up your mood, and enjoy God’s beautiful creation!
Kayaking can help you lose weight by burning, on average, 300 calories for a 130 pound women who is paddling at a moderate pace for an hour (exercise.com). Crank up the intensity as you get more comfortable in the kayak by trying out sea or white water river kayaking or even sprint racing and burn at least 2 times that amount!
Get off the boring treadmill and elipitcal machines inside that boring gym, and get out on the water, have some fun for once while you are working at strengthening your heart. Kayaking is a great way to keep that ticker of yours healthy and happy!
With all the paddling, lifting, pushing, balancing, and twisting you do while kayaking, your core muscles (back and abdominals) will get quite the workout. Become a regular kayaker and you will find yourself getting that stronger more toned core- no sit-ups in sight!
Upper Body Muscles
Can’t forget all that paddling you do kayaking really works your upper body muscles of your back, shoulders, chest, and arms. Do it on a regular basis and you will definitely start noticing an increase in your arm muscle circumference. Kayaking produces great results if you are looking to build your upper body muscles for that desired toned look- no dumbbell curls in sight!
Kayaking is great for anyone with lower body issues such as knee pain. It does not have the constant beating on your leg joints that you have with running or other exercises. It can be very beneficial for runners to give their legs a rest by cross training with kayaking.
Lower Body Muscles
Yes! Kayaking does work your lower body. You are applying pressure with your legs to help with stability which is giving your legs a little workout at the same time. It won’t be as big of a leg workout as you would get with rowing, but that is a fitness adventure for a different blog post.
I encourage you to try out kayaking even if you don’t want to become a regular. It is a great way to change things up in your workouts to keep it interesting. The first time you go out kayaking, I highly recommend you find a group or local kayaking expert to show you proper form in order to avoid injury. For information on where you can go kayaking locally, I recommend checking out your local visitors or welcome center and check out meetup.com.
Have you ever thought about changing up your workout by going kayaking? What your #1 favorite outdoor activity? Leave a comment below…
This blog post is part of a healthy blog linkup at Thank Your Body!
photo credit: flickr/MangroveMike