We've done a little bit of research and it appears that kayaking can be a boost to your health regardless of age. From white water kayaking (which we don't do), to a leisurely paddle on a lake, pond, or harbor, kayaking seems to offer numerous benefits. We are not medical practitioners and do not share this information as medical advice; rather, it is for informational purposes only. Please consult with your medical care provider for further input on these statements.
Following are excerpts from various sites that talk about the benefits of kayaking:
Canoeing and kayaking are low impact activities that can improve your aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility. Specific health benefits include:
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Increased muscle strength, particularly in the back, arms, shoulders and chest, from moving the paddle
- Increased torso and leg strength, as the strength to power a canoe or kayak comes mainly from rotating the torso and applying pressure with your legs
- Reduced risk of wear-and-tear on joints and tissues, since paddling is a low impact activity. http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Canoeing_and_kayaking
Back, Chest, Stomach, Arms and Toning through kayak fitness training:When you are paddling you can expect to do about 500, maybe more, maybe less, strokes per mile! Placing the paddle in the water and executing a good stroke is going to incorporate every muscle in the upper body and some lower body muscles as well. This means that in one hour at 3 mph you are going to do about 1500 repetitions of low impact upper body movements, which no matter what your fitness goals are, you are going to tone up almost every muscle in your body. Hey, you are going to look good!
Overall Health Improvement
Kayaking provides an aerobic workout, which should be a key part of your weekly fitness routine. General benefits of all forms of aerobic exercise include increased endurance, improved heart health, better regulation of cholesterol levels, blood sugar control, lower blood pressure and better lung strength, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Kayaking: Sports to Make a Strong HeartCardio Advantages. Kayaking is that rare upper-body-centric cardio exercise. One of the benefits of aerobic work is that it increases the number of capillaries in the muscles worked; paddling shares this perk with your chest, back, shoulders, and arms, and the natural resistance of the water means that you can't just coast along and expect to remain in motion.
The articles all basically agree that there are great benefits to your health from kayaking and boomers would do well to take this up as way to keep the essential juices flowing. Perhaps more important is the stress reducing feature of that quiet lake, the light breeze, the call of a loon, the gentle splash of water from the paddles, and beautiful scenery.