kayak benefits

11 Awesome Benefits of Kayaking

In this post, I’m going to talk about what’s good about kayaking? and share 11 awesome benefits about kayaking.

A kayaking journey can be a tranquil outing on a placid lake or a white-knuckle whitewater rafting adventure. One minute, you’re gliding through the water as you admire the tranquility of your surroundings — the next minute, you’re zipping down a set of rapids. 

Kayaking as a hobby provides varies benefits in different styles. It can be relaxing or It can be extremely rushed. It can be a fun social activity or it can be a good time for yourself being alone. It is something you can spend a few hours enjoying or you can challenge yourself to an expedition of days or even few weeks.

I believe the outdoor lifestyle is the main reason for most of the people falling in love with kayaking. However, that’s not the only benefit of kayaking. There are tons of merits of kayaking. So, I’m going to share all the benefits of kayaking in this post. If you don’t like this activity yet, you’ll probably change your mind after this post. If you already love it, just do it More!

Weight Loss

These days it seems everyone is looking for a good way to lose weight. Are you the one who out of shape but do not want to visit a gym or lack the motivation to perform the same old fitness routine at all? If so then you should consider kayaking as your special way to lose weight.

kayaking is indeed a good way to lose weight.

Here is the scientific evidence. According to the research. A 200 lb person will burn 454 calories per hour while paddling at approximately 5mph. The burning number really depends on your weight and other factors. When your weight goes higher, you will likely expend more energy and burn more calories.   

When you compare 1 hour of walking to 1 hour of kayaking you’ll see a huge difference. That means when you commit yourself to a full day(6 hours) of kayaking. It can result in more than 2,724 calories being burned. That’s a huge number and you even not feel you are “exercising”.

Burning calories through kayaking might not be the most efficient way. The per-hour rate is much lower when you compare to other intense forms of exercise. But the important thing is you won’t feel like you are doing an exercise, so it can last longer than the other activities. You never heard someone running for a day, but it’s totally normal for a kayaker paddling for several hours.

Once you engage in kayaking, you learn the most fun way to lose weight. Forget the gym, forget the new fitness trends, forget quick fix weight loss programs. Just pick up your paddle and go kayaking.

Relatively cheaper

Comparing to the gym club which often has an expensive membership fee, you’ll find kayaking is a relatively cheaper exercise option. You won’t need to spend a lot to keep a hobby. If you choose the right kayak, it can last for a long period.

Or, You can always rent a kayak. Some kayaking clubs will allow you to hire all the required equipment at very fair prices. Usually, you can rent the kayak, paddles, and life vest for around $35 /per day. (The price may vary.) 

But if you really love this activity you should consider having your own. You can go for the cheapest one on the market for the kickstart. While inflatable models are the cheapest, starting at around $200, they are also the least sturdy and offer hardly any versatility. I will suggest you go for a recreational kayak if you’re a beginner. Recreational kayaks are another affordable option. They offer more durability than the inflatables. Check the article about recreational kayak under 250 dollars.

Once you have everything you need to get started, you will be able to enjoy the sport right away. Often times, depending on the quality of the gear, you will not need to upgrade or replace an item for quite a long time. This makes your initial investment last quite some time and makes kayaking a more cost-effective sport, especially when compared to others.

Anyway, kayaking doesn’t require much gear as there are plenty of kayak clubs that rent out their equipment for a minimal fee. And in return, you get to enjoy some scenic routes courtesy of the club, be with new people, and get to train your body and mind in the process.

Stress Reduction

As you know, exercising is a great way to manage stress. It pumps up endorphins, it provides a meditative focus, and it improves your mood.  The best part is that you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from the positive stress-reducing effects. Kayaking is one form of low-impact exercise that almost anyone can do, and it has many stress-relieving benefits on the mind and body.

I think the best place to reflect on your life is to get out and spend some time in the wild, preferably near water. Cutting the waters of some lake powered by your muscles is a perfect way to forget your problems. Watching the surrounding landscape passing by is calming and stress relieving.

You may be surprised at how effective this simple exercise can be at providing you with more control over your stress levels.

Kayaking fairy stone state park-personal by vastateparksstaff, on Flickr
Kayaking fairy stone state park-personal” (CC BY 2.0) by vastateparksstaff

Core Muscles Strength

Core strength training is nothing new. Athletes from all over the world have been doing it for centuries.  Since the core is so important. Many people have the wrong belief that the only way to work out your core is by doing the sit-ups and crunches which are a little bit boring.

If you really want to improve, it is necessary to make core workouts a part of your regular routine.  Therefore it is crucial to make the workouts more fun so that you can stick with them easily.

That’s why kayaking is my personal favorite type of core workout.

Kayaking is well known for being an excellent recreational activity that strengthens the core muscles. Turning your chest from one side to the other as you paddle, turning the kayak. Each move and each turn is actually a mini-crunch. Combine those things together can really help to the strength of your core muscles.  You will find that after just a few paddling sessions your overall balance will improve. 

Having good balance will improve every move you make, both in athletic performance and in your daily day life. Again, you even not feel you are “exercising.”

Improves Reflexes And Hand-Eye Coordination

The process of balancing during paddling improves your hand-eye coordination. 

Some kayaker like to paddle on the fast-moving water. In this case, you have to make fast decisions and act on them with just as much haste and agility.

This is how kayaking contributes to improved reflexes, ensuring that you recognize threats and react on them quickly, even in ordinary day to day activities.

In order to survive in the rapid current, you will grow your reflexes automatically.

Overall Health Improvement

Paddling is a healthy and efficient form of aerobic exercise. It helps to increase endurance, boost heart health, lower blood pressure, improve the regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and enhance lung strength.

The continuous movement raises the heart rate and increases cardiovascular health.

And just like I mentioned earlier kayaking are low-impact activities that can improve your strength and flexibility. Also, it especially increased torso and leg strength, as the strength to power a kayak comes mainly from rotating the torso and applying pressure with your legs. (Check out the article to avoid the back-pain.)

The last one is to improve your joint flexibility. Paddling causes smooth, rhythmic movements on the joints, keeping the joints fluid and lubricated. The low-impact activity also protects the joints from wear and tear.

Clear Your Mind

Kayaking not only improves your body but also improves your mental health. Actually, that’s the benefit of all the aerobic exercises which triggers the release of brain chemicals. These chemicals will enhance your mood and confidence.

If you’re depressed, stressed or just need to clear your mind from the hectic nature of your day, paddling a kayak is also a great way to clear your mind of all negative thoughts. Also, I am a fan of outdoor meditation.

I believe kayaking, in general, can be the perfect form of outdoor meditation. I do my outdoor meditation in a recreational kayak but any type of kayaking will work.

The repetitive movements, the sense of floating on water, the breeze on your face. This is the perfect time to tune in to a heightened sense of awareness and spirit. It constantly amazes me that the outdoor meditation will always transform my mind and energy when I am having a very stressful day. You’ve got to try it.


Kayaking it’s so easy to learn and doesn’t require an elite fitness level which makes it a great way to make new friends.

Even if you do not have someone to kayak with when you first start, that will quickly change. In the kayaking world, there are several different clubs, meetups, or groups that are always looking for a new member to join them on their kayaking adventures. Kayaking clubs are a great way to make new friends.

On the other hand, Kayaking with your family is a great way to spend a day or a whole weekend outdoors.  Kayaking is the top option for bonding with family. Two tandem kayaks for a family of four, for example, is a great way to be physically close to your partner and children.  

Meanwhile, your family will enjoy a close bond through an adventure, relaxation, and stress-free enjoyment, not to mention the great stories you’ll all have to share together later.


Besides being a lot of fun and a good workout, kayaking is also an environmentally safe way to not only enjoy the water but also to travel on the water.

The kayak is a self-powered vehicle that is environmentally safe for the water and its ecosystem. There is no destruction to the water, no harmful damage to the shoreline and there is no threat to the ecosystem or the aquatic life. 

If you make the choice to paddle your way across the water you can be sure that you have a far greater chance of truly connecting with nature. Kayaking offers the advantage of being able to explore areas that motor boats could not access as well as really enjoy the living environment without scaring the wildlife away.

In my experience, I find that kayaking truly allows me to experience the ecosystem of the water while knowing that you are doing one small part to protect it. And that is a good feeling.

Good Sun Exposure

We all need the sunshine vitamin. Kayaking is an outdoor activity and outdoors meaning that you are exposed to the sun directly. Spending significant amounts of time outside allows You to obtain the vitamin D will which only has positive effects. 

Sunshine vitamin can be one of the toughest to get from foods, and many of us actually take in over 80 percent of it from the sunshine.

A lack of vitamin D can cause your bones to become weak and soft. In extreme cases, vitamin D deficiency can even lead to deformities and cause bone pain and tenderness.

So, kayaking provides a good chance for you to expose to the sun. But don’t forget to apply the right sunblock and waterproof skin protection.

Challenge Yourself

Kayaking can significantly help to increase your self-confidence and promote a healthy and positive self-image. Unlike many other sports, kayaking gives you the unique opportunity to overcome challenges. From breaking your personal speed, distance or time records to conquering rapids.

If you’re looking for thrills, wild water kayaking over waterfalls is about as intense as you can get. And long journeys on kayaks bring the ultimate sense of exploration.

All those things will result in a boost to your self-satisfaction and also increases your overall confidence.

Close to Nature

I think this benefit is too obvious. Kayaking is one of the best ways to experience this beautiful gift of nature. 

From the second you place your kayak in the water, it’s about you, the sky, the water, and your surroundings. Nothing quite provides the calm serenity or the thrill of sculling down the water with paddles in hand. Sometimes, you can see the animals watching in wonder on the shore as you float by.

Kayaks are environmentally-friendly and let you explore without impacting the environment. Kayaks are also small and easy to navigate and allow you to reach pristine areas of beach and other spots that you can’t reach by boat. 

I put this benefit in the last part because that’s the main reason why I fall in love with kayaking. I think there is nothing else can compare to the feeling that to be able to close to nature in a kayak. Kayaking gives you the ability to go and see things you wouldn’t normally get to see. 

Kayaks don’t require a loud motor and are perfectly equipped for shallow, near-shore floating. For that reason, you regularly will spot a turtle, a duck, a blue Herron…etc.

If you love wildlife, you’ve got to love kayaking.


  • Weight Loss
  • Relatively cheaper
  • Stress Reduction
  • Core Muscles Strength
  • Improves Reflexes And Hand-Eye Coordination
  • Overall Health Improvement
  • Clear Your Mind
  • Bonding
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Good Sun Exposure
  • Challenge Yourself
  • Close to Nature

These are the main mental, physical and environmental benefits to kayaking that I could find right now. I believe there are tons of them out there waiting for you to discover. As long as you stay in this hobby, you’ll find yourself in a better place in life.

I hope you find this article interesting and helpful. If you find anything wrong or outdated, please kindly leave your comment below. I will update it as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading. Happy Kayaking.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Derek Swain
3 years ago

Thank you for explaining how paddling a kayak can help you strengthen your core muscles. My wife and I are interested in losing weight before we attend our son’s wedding next month, and we would like to find a fun way to exercise so that we can stay motivated. Maybe kayaking could help us stay healthy while enjoying our time together.

Thomson Smith
2 years ago

Thanks for pointing out that kayaking can help relieve stress. I’ve been having a stressful month, so I’m considering renting a kayak to use this weekend. I’m going to search for a good business in my area that has kayaks for rent.

Jonathan Hansen
1 year ago

It’s great that you point out that kayaking is a good way to lose weight. I have a goal to lose 10 pounds this summer, so I’m thinking about taking a kayak tour. I’m going to look for a reputable business near me that offers kayak tours.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
%d bloggers like this: