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Live Healthy and Learn from a Kayaker!

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keep paddling – it’s good for you!

We all know how good it feels kayaking, the anticipation of getting going, being on the water and the great feeling after we have been out – all very satisfying.

Well as it turns out other folks should be taking a leaf out our books, not only are we having fun but we are getting a lot of what we need to keep healthy too.

What is not to like about the great outdoors, exercise and sunshine – and all at the same time is just perfect!

Read on to see what health benefits we are getting while having fun . . .



Strength pays off.
All of that hardcore paddling (and water resistance!) lends itself to a serious workout. Just one hour of kayaking can burn over 350 calories, depending on how hard you paddle. Kayaking builds muscle strength in more areas than just the arms. “Since kayaking utilizes the core muscles, you can enjoy the benefits of an ab workout far from the confines of a sweaty gym,” Brad Bostrom, REI Outdoor Programs and North Bay Area Outreach Market Manager, tells The Huffington Post. Proper technique even requires use of muscles in the legs, back and shoulders, as well as the muscles that rotate the torso.

Plus, consistent motion is a great way to get your heart beating (and a lot easier on the knees than pounding pavement). Men’s Journal even went so far as to dub kayaking one of the best workouts for heart health. In addition to decreasing fat and increasing lean muscle mass, the intense cardio pays off in the form of oxygen consumption.

We should all stress a little (or a lot) less.
As many physical benefits as there are to paddling, there are just as many mental ones. Whether battling Class IV rapids or drifting along with the help of ocean waves, kayaking is a way to de-stress. Plus, “as a silent, non-competitive sport, it’s also a great way to clear your head,” says  Jeffrey Chitek, operations manager and guide at Kayak Swamp Tours and Gravity Trails in New Orleans.

Exercise decreases stress by increasing endorphins, bringing athletes to the present moment and actually lifting moods.

We all need the “sunshine vitamin.”
Time spent outdoors comes with a slew of bonuses, including vitamin D intake. Boston University Medical Center professor Dr. Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D., previously explained to HuffPost that the “sunshine vitamin” can be one of the toughest to get from foods, and many of us actually take in over 80 percent of it from those golden rays. Kayaking is a way to log what Holick calls some “sensible sun exposure” time. That means if you are likely to mildly sunburn after a half-hour of sun exposure, get 10 to 15 minutes of sun before applying some waterproof sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Confidence is key.
Overcoming extreme challenges like whitewater rapids, or even paddling a longer distance than you did last time, is a way to build confidence and positive self-image. Research published in the Journal of Leisurability found that kayaking leads to increased social skills and sense of self, as well as an overall boost in self-satisfaction.


Souce : text – Huffington Post

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