The reality of our fast-paced, modern world means that we’re surrounded by endless catalysts of stress. For people with demanding jobs, the stress of having to balance work responsibilities with their social and personal obligations can be too much to handle. This is why it’s vital that you take the time to find an outlet to unwind and de-stress, otherwise you might just crack under the overwhelming pressure.
Kayaking is one of the best leisure activities that even people with stressful jobs can enjoy. Making kayaking part of your regular routine can have incredible, positive effects on your mental health and physical well being. If you’ve never tried kayaking and are unsure of whether it’s the right activity for you, the following list of benefits will turn you on to the kayaking-enthusiast fan club.
Kayaking is easy to learn
Because you’re likely to be exhausted after a long week of hard work, you’re probably going to want to unwind with something that requires a small learning curve. In this case, kayaking can be perfect for you. Although some parts of kayaking may require extra preparation, learning how to kayak is fairly easy, you can learn the basics in a single day. Plus, kayaking isn’t a very expensive hobby; a couple of hundred dollars’ worth of gear will be enough to get started. Once you get the hang of it, kayaking will improve your wellbeing for the rest of your life.
It’s a low-impact, full-body workout
One of the best parts about kayaking is that you don’t have to be a seasoned athlete or a regular gym goer to benefit from its numerous positive effects. Whether you’re looking for an intense workout or low-impact one, you’ll find that kayaking can accommodate just about any of your needs. It all depends on how hard you want to paddle. Since, in a kayak, you’ll be sitting down, the risk of inflicting some of the other injuries typically associated with running or cycling is significantly reduced. In a kayak, you don’t have to worry about hurting your knees or putting too much pressure on your joints. In that sense, kayaking provides the perfect low-impact workout. Although the most obvious movements that you see a person perform while kayaking typically utilize the arms, back, and shoulder, when paddling a kayak, you not only exercise all your upper body muscles, but you also exercise your entire body by using your leg and core muscles to balance and maneuver the kayak. And the stronger your core muscles are, the better you’ll be able to stay straight during those long hours at the office which is ultimately important for your posture and back health.
Kayaking relieves stress
What better way to detach from the stress and pressure of your day-to-day life than to go out and spend some time in nature? Kayaking is a wholesome activity that combines a full-body workout with the valuable opportunity to bask in the glory of nature and the great outdoors. Cutting through the waters at your own speed, powered only by your muscles while watching the surrounding landscape passing by having a calming and stress relieving effect on your body and mind alike.
While a massage or a yoga class can be more convenient methods of stress relief, they still require that you make your way through crowded city blocks, surrounded by noise and traffic. Kayaking, on the other hand, allows you to exit the urban cocoon and detach from the hustle and bustle of the city entirely.
It can also brighten up your mood
Besides reducing stress, one of the reasons that kayaking can improve your mental health is that it encourages your brain to release feel-good chemicals that improve your mood and help clear your head from all the stress-inducing, work-related thoughts. As the happy chemicals flood your brain, you’ll experience a boost of energy levels, a flow of good vibes and positive thinking, increased self-confidence and self-esteem, and reduced levels of stress and anxiety.
Kayaking is good for the soul
Not only does kayaking improves your mood, but it can also revitalize your soul after a long, hard day at work. Aside from pumping up the feel-good chemicals in your brain, the methodical movements of kayaking can put your body, mind, and soul in a state of tranquility. Maybe it’s the beauty of nature that settles your soul or perhaps it’s the steady rhythm of your movements that puts you in a meditative state. Whatever the reason is, when you’re paddling your kayak through the water, you’ll quickly begin to enter a serene and peaceful realm. As you focus on moving the kayak and following a flow, your mind can let go of chatter and intrusive thoughts and your senses can soak up every aspect of your surrounding natural landscape.
It gives you the needed dose of vitamin D
Being cooped up in an office all week can keep you from getting the amount of vitamin you need for just about every bodily function. Vitamin D is the one nutrient that we can get less through food than any other vitamin, in fact, we get around 80% of it from the sun. Just 10 to 15 minutes of kayaking under the sunlight are enough to keep your vitamin D levels in full swing, but remember, too much sun exposure can be harmful so be sure to wear an SPF-rated sunscreen while you’re out reconnecting with nature.
If, like most of us, you’re prone to stressing over deadlines, money, chores, and personal relationships, the accumulation of all that stress can impede your productivity both on personal and professional levels. So, to maintain your mental equilibrium and emotional balance, consider making kayaking part of your weekly routine. The idea that you could jump onto the water on the weekend after a stressful week of hard work is a form of psychological reassurance of its own, so don’t let the pressure of your everyday life distract you from the fact that we live in a beautiful world and get out there and enjoy it.