5 reasons why kayaking is good for your health

5 skäl till varför kajakpaddling är bra för din hälsa

1. Your genes are made for physical activity

We all know that it is important to exercise regularly. Our genes are actually created for us to stay in and assimilate nature in different ways; to fish, hunt, pick berries, get fuel and more. We don't really need to stress our way through hard training sessions if we are not going to participate in competitions. Taking time to be in nature at a calm and even pace gives us time to be social if we do it in a group, we get fresh air and we can de-stress, we learn about nature and get to know new places. In addition, we get better fitness, are happier and hopefully have a longer and happier life. (1)(3)

2. You experience nature from the water

Outdoor life is perceived by many as a central part of our cultural tradition and national identity. Our unique public right allows us, under responsibility, to have access to paddling in our archipelago areas, in lakes and on waterways. Many Swedes have often not experienced the natural and cultural landscape from a maritime perspective, even in their immediate surroundings. The birdlife and the bright summer nights' trailing lights over still water become strong and memorable experiences. Historic environments are often created to be experienced from the water.(1)(2)(4) (5)

3. You lower your stress level when you paddle

Kayaking without the stress of competition is an excellent way to strengthen your well-being and, by extension, achieve increased creativity and mental stability. After you have initially practiced safety, you can find peace and relaxation at your own pace. Just the fact of being on the water often creates a calmer and more experiential dimension in life. Paddling involves a combination of challenge for the body and peace of mind. Outdoor life provides personal development where you are challenged both physically and mentally where everyone can participate without it necessarily being experienced as physical exercise.(1)(3) (6)

4. You get better fitness

When you kayak, you strengthen your body. You train large muscle groups and gain both better fitness and strength. Not only arms and shoulders but also back and stomach muscles come to work. In order for the paddle parts to have an effect and move the kayak forward, you must also resist with your legs, which means that the gluteal muscles and legs are also activated. And remember that you decide how much power you use. Don't stress if you don't want to or need to. (1)(7)

5. You practice your balance

Kayaking is about having good balance. You practice balance surprisingly quickly. There are several tricks to practice balance, e.g. keep some speed instead of facing waves stationary, practice shoving with the broad side of the paddle, face the waves with the bow instead of from the side. With a water can or sandbag in the fore and aft compartments, the kayak will be more stable if you are not carrying other cargo. Start paddling in a kayak that feels safe and stable. With a little practice, especially when getting in and out, you will quickly learn to experience your kayak as comfortable and easy to handle. Try your way at your own pace. (7)

(1) The final report in the interdisciplinary research program: "Outdoor recreation in change, 2006 – 2013".
(2) The tourist delegation's report "Outdoor/multi-activities & ecotourism".
(3) The Norwegian Institute of Public Health's report "Get out my soul." Research overview on the health effects of spending time in nature” compiled by E. Lisberg Jensen.
(4) The Swedish Housing Authority's report "The experience values ​​of the landscape".
(5) The County Administrative Board in Östergötland's report "Outdoor Activities in Östergötland".
(6) Halmstad University (Section for Health and Society, S. Ekeroth). Essay "The impact of outdoor life on health"
(7) Outdoor promotion: "Tour and long-distance paddling with kayak".