In short: It can absolutely be. For an hour of touring in open water, you may paddle 500 strokes. For the more serious paddlers, it can be more or less with an emphasis on distance per stroke.
Depending on the type of water, you can be paddling to move only yourself or paddling against raging currents and ocean waves. The longer you paddle, the more of a work out you get.
Kayaking For Fitness
Kayaking can be a great exercise and can be especially good for cardio. You can burn fat and build muscle at the same time through the consistent motion of paddling slow or fast.
Kayaking involves a lot of upper body exertion as you paddling in a sitting position. When done right and for an extended period of time, even the physically fit kayakers can find themselves exhausted and sore.
The paddling movement consists of the back, shoulders, chest, abs, and your entire arm muscles. If you want to tone or strengthen your upper body, kayaking can be at the top of the list for having a good workout.
As an added bonus, you also get some fresh air and vitamin D from being out in the sun.
More extreme kayakers may want to pit themselves against mother nature. Sea and whitewater kayaking would be the progression for “yakker” enthusiasts. As a next level workout, kayakers can choose to paddle upstream, against waves, or down raging rivers.
Here is a video of whitewater kayaking in action:
It goes without saying there is an inherent danger with rough and fast water, so please practice safe kayaking.
Want To Start Kayaking? Here’s What You Need:
We don’t need rough waters to get a good workout. Starting out, all you need is a personal flotation device, a beginner-friendly kayak, a paddle, and some open calm body of water to launch your boat.
You can rent your own kayak at a boat rental shop near a body of water. They can supply you with a life vest, a paddle, and some advice and suggestions on kayaking.
If the nearest body of water to you does not have a rental shop, you can purchase your own boat online. We recommend an inflatable kayak like this one to get started quickly without investing too much. You can get a better sense of how kayaking is for a low price, doesn’t take up a lot of car space, and can be easily transported and moved by one person. If you like what you are doing, you can upgrade to something beginner-friendly.
If you plan on kayaking for a few hours, be sure to check out the list of things to bring with you during the trip. Waterproof sunscreen is a must to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays and a dry bag (like this one) will prove useful for carrying important items like your phone or keys that shouldn’t get wet or lost in the water.
Once you become comfortable with kayaking and find yourself enjoying the work out, you can move onto the more difficult water with waves and currents.
Don’t forget to check the local weather report before kayaking! We hope this article helps.