These days, families are looking for ways to keep fit. “Family fitness” has become a common term, and many people are looking for ways they can have fun and get in shape. Kayaking is a great way to exercise, because it’s so much fun you don’t realize it’s good for you!

Here are some of the benefits of kayaking, followed by some family tips to help you get started.

1. Benefits of Kayaking

Kayaking is fun!

As noted above, kayaking is a lot of fun. Choosing a fun activity is a good way to keep your family motivated and interested. You’ll get fit while enjoying new scenery, nature, water, and fresh air.

Kayaking improves cardiovascular health

Kayaking involves paddling, and lots of it. Because it involves continual use of large muscle groups, it’s a good aerobic exercise. All kinds of research has shown the importance of aerobic exercise in promoting cardiovascular health. Your heart rate is increased for well over a half an hour, benefitting your whole circulatory system and giving your heart a good workout.

Kayaking is strength training

Your heart is not the only muscle being worked in kayaking. You use your arms, chest, and core muscles as well. The resistance of the water against the paddle makes for a good muscle-strengthening workout. Kayaking involves about 500 strokes per mile – talk about your toning exercise!

Kayaking get’s you fresh air and sunshine

Kayaking is inevitably done outdoors. Your respiratory system may benefit from the fresh air and deep breaths you’ll be taking, and some exposure to the sun helps your body make vitamin D. While sunscreen is a good idea, so is letting your skin be out in the sunlight a bit.

2. Kayaking Family Tips

If you go kayaking as a family, there are some things you might want to consider.

Safety

Children and toddlers should be equipped with life jackets that fit them. Adults should wear life jackets that fit too, of course, but it’s sometimes harder to find child-sized life jackets and you may be tempted to “make do” with a far-too-big life jacket that isn’t safe.

Swimming

Children should know how to swim before kayaking. They will certainly be safer if they fall out, and they may be less afraid of the water than if they weren’t familiar with it.

Calm waters

Try to tame your adventurous spirit a bit if you have children with you. For the whole family to participate safely, it’s a good idea to stick with calm waters and clear weather.

Don’t forget older relatives

If you really want to get the whole family involved in kayaking, then don’t forget your senior relatives. Older people can enjoy kayaking just as much as kids and young adults. As long as you’re on calm waters and wearing life jackets, there’s no reason why Grandma, Grandpa, and Great Uncle Bill can’t come along!