The Health Benefits of Kayaking

Kayaking Health Benefits

When it comes to exercise, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Everyone is different and everyone enjoys different activities. While one person may enjoy running on the treadmill, another may prefer biking or weightlifting. It’s all about finding what works best for you.

“Sports such as hiking, canoeing, swimming, racket and ball sports and numerous other physical activities give you more choices for enjoyable exercise, which is likely to keep you motivated,” says Tina Pashley of LIVESTRONG.

Another excellent outdoor exercise sure to keep you coming back for more is Kayaking.

Exercising Outdoors: How Kayaking Works Wonders

“Kayaking isn’t just a way to create variation in your workout,” says William McCoy, LIVESTRONG. “This water sport has a number of benefits that can greatly improve your overall health.”

It’s Fun

The World Health Organization recommends that adults get at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, or 150 minutes of moderate exercise, each week. So, it’s important to find different forms of exercise that you truly enjoy – and kayaking is a blast! “Few exercises provide the entertainment range of kayaking,” says McCoy. “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.”

Strength Training

“All of that hardcore paddling (and water resistance!) lends itself to a serious workout,” says Abigail Wise, Huffington Post.

While most people only think about the upper body strength required for paddling, kayaking really activates your core as well! “Kayaking provides a challenging upper-body workout,” says McCoy,” but “it’s also suitable for your lower body.”

You can actually “enjoy the benefits of an ab workout far from the confines of a sweaty gym,” says Brad Bostrom, REI Outdoor Programs and North Bay Area Outreach Market Manager.


“Kayaking can elevate your cardiovascular health,” says McCoy. Benefits include “increased endurance, improved heart health, better regulation of cholesterol levels, blood sugar control, lower blood pressure and better lung strength.”

“Just one hour of kayaking can burn over 350 calories, depending on how hard you paddle,” adds Wise.

Natural Stress Relief

“As many physical benefits as there are to paddling, there are just as many mental ones,” says Wise. Kayaking is an excellent form of stress relief.

Aerobic exercise, like kayaking, triggers the release of brain chemicals that can quickly improve your mood, according to Harvard Health Publications. Plus, just being by the water provides a nice relaxing atmosphere.

“Being by water meditates you,” says Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D., author of Blue Mind. “It puts you in that relaxed state. You don’t need to study or practice meditation. You just need to pay attention to the water around you.”

For Everyone

“Outdoor exercise can be adapted to anyone’s level of fitness,” advises Tina Vindum, the author of Tina Vindum’s Outdoor Fitness: Step Out of the Gym into the Best Shape of Your Life and the first outdoor fitness instructor accredited by the American Council on Exercise.

Kayaking, specifically, is great for all ages because it is low impact. “Unlike running which takes a toll on knees and ankles, paddling is less demanding on joints and tissues,” says Diana Gerstacker, The Active Times. “Good news for those recovering from injury.”

Kayaking Tours with Terrapin Adventures

Visit us at Terrapin Adventures to soar through the air, defy gravity, and enjoy our many Outdoor Adventures! We offer several guided tours and outdoor activities, such as biking, caving, backpacking, geocaching, and, of course, kayaking. Our experienced and entertaining guides teach participants the basics of kayaking before setting out on a three-hour tour of the Patuxent River, one of the gentlest rivers in the Baltimore-Washington area.

  • We teach the basics of getting in and out of kayak
  • We go over basic paddling strokes
  • We point out the beautiful nature of a Chesapeake Bay estuary
  • We provide drink and snacks along with all gear

Choose from one of our many scheduled kayak outings, or design a private party with four or more participants!

Book Your Kayaking Adventure!

“Time spent in outdoor recreation leads to a range of benefits, from reduced obesity rates to strengthened family ties,” according to Robert Manning, professor of recreation management at the University of Vermont.

If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at to learn more.

Works Cited:

  1. Gerstacker, Diana. “8 Reasons You Should Try Kayaking.” The Active Times, 17 July 2015,
  2. McCoy, William. “What Are the Benefits of Kayaking.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 11 Sept. 2017,
  3. “The Top 10 Kayaking Health Benefits l HFR.” Health Fitness Revolution, 25 Mar. 2016,
  4. Wise, Abigail. “What Kayakers Can Teach Us About Living Well.” The Huffington Post,, 7 Dec. 2017,
This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018 at 8:23 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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