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Make kayaking part of your summer

kayaking, woman with hands on head, sitting in kayak, mountains

There’s a beautiful lake in a neighboring state from my home. It’s located at state park, which also includes a wildlife program for kids, camping, a casino, spa and resort. For a mere 30 minute-drive, we can spend the day lounging on a lovely beach, swimming, hiking, picnicking and — my personal favorite — kayaking! There’s a small fee for renting kayaks by the hour. If you’ve never tried kayaking before, I highly recommend it for these three reasons:

It is a non-conventional way to exercise

kayaking, woman and boy in yellow kayak
A gym workout on the water!

Perhaps you take a brisk walk each day or go to the gym several times per week. This is all good. It can fun to find other ways to exercise, as well, especially when it doesn’t feel like work! For instance, I love weeding the garden and planting things because it provides a whole-body workout! One of the benefits of kayaking is that it gives you a great upper-body workout. You might be scoffing at me right now if you’ve never done it, thinking “How much exercise can one get from paddling a small craft on a lake?” The answer is: A LOT! In fact, if you’re not used to kayaking, I’d venture to guess that the first time you do it, your arms are going to be sore the next day!

You’re in control of the craft when you’re on a kayak, unless you’re using a two-person boat, then you and your partner must coordinate your strokes. You can take it easy or stop rowing altogether and just float along. If you want to exercise, however, you can intensify the workout by increasing your speed and distance. You can also change direction and paddle in reverse to work your muscles in different ways! If you’re trying to shed a few pounds and tone your muscles, you should try this activity. Paddling at approximately five miles per hour, you can burn about 500 calories every hour. You’re also using your leg muscles a lot when you kayak, although you might not even be aware of it.

Kayaking is a healthy form of exercise, not just for your muscles but for your heart and mind as well. You can get a great aerobic workout in on a kayak, which improves hearth health. Studies show that aerobic activity also stimulates parts of the brain that are used for memory. If your goal is to improve your memory skills or get more restful sleep at night — kayaking is an affordable way to do it! And, let’s not forget that being out on the water in direct sunlight is an excellent way to get vitamin D, which is essential to good health!

(Note: You might love kayaking so much that you purchase your own kayak. Be aware that some locations charge a launch tax to put your own craft on the water. Compare whether it would be more economical to rent or use your own.)

Kayaking puts you in a different frame of mind

waterway, tip of kayak, paddle, feet wearing flip flops
Let your cares float away

Whether you kayak on a lake or river, you’re bound to be surrounded by the beauty of nature. The lake where I love to kayak is surrounded by low-lying mountains, which makes for a spectacular scene as I paddle my way around the winding water trails! There’s something about being out on a lake with the sun shining down and glistening off the water that is so relaxing. Everyone needs down time. Kayaking is way to have fun while taking time for self-care as well. Leave your worries behind and head out on the water!

Kayaking provides the perfect setting for self-reflection, prayer, meditation and good old-fashioned R & R. If you like to fish, you might want to drop a line in the lake while you’re kayaking. You can do a bit of research ahead of time to find out what types of fish are in the water you’ll be paddling on so that you know what kind of bait to carry in your boat.

It’s a great way to socialize with family and friends

kayaking, group of people in red, yellow and green kayaks on water
Kayaking is a great way to hang out with family and friends

Even young children can kayak, provided they know how to swim. Most locations have rules stating that a person 21 or older must be on the water with minors at all times. It’s fun to travel or go to the movies or other summer activities. If you’re looking for something new to try, consider kayaking! It would be a great date activity! It’s a fun way to get together with a big group of friends or just spend time outdoors with your family. You can have races or take a leisurely tour around the lake.

Kayaking is a fun, healthy way to spend your summer days! It’s one of the first things my kids mention when weather temperatures start to rise in spring time. They count down the days until Memorial Day, when the lake opens to the public so we can pack up a cooler and spend our free time kayaking, picnicking, playing frisbee, swimming, fishing and lying in the sun. Even if your family can’t afford an ocean-beach vacation, you might have a lake nearby where you can enjoy making memories all summer long.

If you already love kayaking, tell us about your favorite places!

 

 

 

 

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