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Ever wanted to walk on water? Hop on a paddle board and you’re almost there! Not confident in your balancing skills? Canoeing, kayaking and rowing all offer the same health benefits while not requiring as much coordination. Check out these 7 great health benefits of paddle sports:

  • Great for anyone: Ranging from expert to novice, paddle sports are open to all fitness levels. Gentle on the body, paddle sports are great for older folks and young children. Just remember if you are not a strong swimmer or are going into rocky or fast flowing water, it’s a good idea to wear a life jacket and take a buddy with you.
  • Enhances cardio-respiratory system: Paddle sports improve your lungs’ ability to provide oxygen to your body and reduces the risk for heart attack and heart disease. At least 30 minutes of steady exercise is linked to a decrease in heart disease.
  • Offers low impact exercise: Paddle sports engage all parts of the body, developing muscles in your back, legs, and arms. Specific muscles that these sports engage include: quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, core, shoulders, triceps, back and biceps. Rowing, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding are also easy on the body, offering a low impact workout that allows you to build muscle strength without the wear and tear on your joints. The gentle motion of paddling may prevent injuries from occurring or worsening. These sports allow you to get in a good workout without damaging your joints.
  • Great for cross training: Paddle sports provide you a good activity to incorporate into your workout routine. Paddle sports can be a good alternative for people experiencing stress fractures or shin splints as they can give you time to heal without interrupting your workout routine. Take a break from running or lifting weights and give your body a rest from high impact activity.
  • Promotes weight loss: Paddle sports promote weight loss in a low impact and easy setting. Paddle sports are calorie crushing workouts that at a moderate pace can burn up to 600 calories per hour. Beyond weight loss, regular activity decreases your risk for weight related problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
  • Improved balance: Keeping balance on the water is tough, especially if in open water like the ocean where there are waves. Paddle sports improve balance by strengthening core muscles and training you to stay upright and stable while standing or sitting on the board/kayak. Your body will adapt to the movement of the water, making it easier for you to keep your balance.
  • Reduces stress: Paddle sports offer a way to enjoy time in the sun in a relaxing and stress reducing environment while working out. The repetition and motion of rowing can be very relaxing, as is being out on the open water. Many find relaxation in watching the paddles propel thought the water. Enjoy the scenery as you paddle through a creek or the shoreline of the ocean.

Grab a friend and paddle your way to a happier and healthier lifestyle- don’t forget to enjoy the weather and scenery too!