According to the government’s Better Health Channel, a low-impact activity such as kayaking can improve your cardiovascular fitness and strength. This is certainly good news for those who have taken up kayaking or are considering doing so!
What is cardiovascular fitness anyway?
Cardiovascular fitness refers to the ability of your heart, circulatory system and lungs to efficiently and sustainably to do the job they are designed to do. This includes:
- Movingblood through the blood vessels.
- Carrying oxygen to the cells.
- Processing oxygen via the cells.
- Removing waste products.
Exercise is beneficial as it enhances the ability of the heart to pump more blood and to deliver more oxygen, andimprovesthe capacity of the muscles to utilise this oxygen and increase in strength,while simultaneously reducing the risk of heart / cardiovascular disease.
How might kayaking help with heart health?
Kayaking is a low-impact activity that can significantly improve your strength, flexibility, and aerobic fitness, which in turn can improve heart health. Specific benefits may include:
- Increased strength in the back, shoulders, chest and arms from paddle movements.
- Greater strength in the torso and legs from manoeuvring the kayak.
- Building up of muscle definition over time.
- Reduced risk of joint and muscle injury compared to other forms of exercise due to its low-impact nature.
- Burningof calories which may result in weight loss.
- Production of feel-good endorphins from your enjoyable workout.
Are there other benefits?
There are also other rather unique ways that kayaking may help improve your health, including that of your heart. Some of these may include:
- Relaxation – kayaking can be very relaxing, even meditative in a way – providing participants with the chance to switch offfrom a hectic, stress-inducing routine.
- Enjoyment – kayaking can also be immensely enjoyable and refreshing, and provide some exhilaration as well.
- Social interaction, or not – with kayaking you can get to meet and interact with others or spend time alone on the water if that is your preference.
- Outdoor exploration – kayaking provides the chance to enjoy Australia’swaterways, wildlife and scenery from a different perspective.
- Work at own level – the basics of kayaking can be learned quickly by most people, and you can get to work at whatever pace you are comfortable with.
So if you are looking for a form of exercise that doesn’t feel much like exercise, and that can provide you with a little peace and tranquillity while strengthening your heart and your body at the same time, you might want to give kayaking a try!