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Paddling And Rowing Have 12 Health Advantages

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Shout out to Lauren Harris from for these splendid article.

Exercise and spending time outside have been shown to have several health advantages.

Certain sports, such as running, brisk walking, and dancing, can cause discomfort in the knees and joints in certain persons.

Is this to say that if you have this discomfort, you have an excellent reason to stay on the sofa and binge-watch Netflix all day?

Unfortunately, this is not a sufficient explanation because low-impact exercises such as paddling and rowing have the same health advantages as other forms of exercise.

Paddling and rowing, according to, increase cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, torso and leg strength, and minimize the risk of joint and tissue wear and tear.

Paddling hard may burn up to 400 calories per hour, making kayaking a fantastic exercise., an Australian health website, highlights some of the health advantages of paddling and rowing, including enhanced cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, torso and leg strength, and a lower chance of joint and tissue wear and tear.

Similarly, according to the American Psychology Association, "...exposure to nature has been connected to a number of advantages, including enhanced focus, decreased stress, [and] higher mood."

If you're seeking for an enjoyable hobby that won't put too much pressure on your body, this post is for you.

We will concentrate on the physical and mental health advantages of rowing and paddling.

This article concludes by emphasizing the significance of safety and having the right paddling and rowing equipment at all times.

Rowing and Paddling Confusion

Despite the fact that the phrases are sometimes used interchangeably, paddling and rowing are two distinct water sports with certain similarities. The sports activities, for example, are similar in that participants sit in a narrow watercraft propelled by pushing and pulling on a submerged blade.

The primary distinction between the two sports is that in paddling, the vessel is pushed in the direction of the paddler. In rowing, the vessel is pushed in the opposite direction that most rowers face. Only one person in the back is facing the direction the vessel is heading.

Let's get right into the 12 benefits of rowing and paddling.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "from 1999-2000 to 2017-March 2020, the prevalence of obesity in the community grew from 30.5% to 41.9%," and "at the same period, the prevalence of severe obesity climbed from 4.7% to 9.2%."

The figures above show that more people need to go out there and shed those excess pounds.

According to Paddling Magazine, "if you are paddling hard and turning kayaking into a decent exercise, you may burn up to 400 calories each hour."

Cardiovascular Health Improvement

In general, an individual's physical health is judged by their fitness level and ability to easily perform activities that less-fit persons may find taxing, such as climbing stairs or moving heavy objects.

"Increasing cardiorespiratory endurance enhances oxygen absorption in the lungs and heart and can help a person continue physical activity for longer," according to Medical News Today.

The capacity to continue engaging in hard activity indicates cardiorespiratory endurance. This endurance, however, is not free; you must train your body.

If you're looking for a fun way to enhance your cardiovascular health, why not try paddling or rowing?

However, it is critical to remember to move out of your comfort zone since the outcomes will be determined by how far you are ready to go.

Increases stamina

According to, stamina is "...the mental and physical ability to continue an activity for an extended amount of time." According to the same source, stamina "isn't a component of physical fitness, but it is the effect of being fitter."

Paddling and rowing help you to get in shape. This means you'll have the mental and physical stamina to keep up with your other workouts, resulting in a healthier you.

Joints are protected.

If other forms of exercise cause joint pain, try low-impact activities like rowing and paddling.

Because these exercises are low-impact, they are suitable for people of all ages.

They also appeal to persons recovering from sickness or injury since they may be practiced at varying levels of intensity.

Prevents diseases such as diabetes

Alisha Fetters, writing for, quotes Rasa Kazlauskaite, a medical doctor and professor of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism, as saying, "The long-term effects of exercise on blood sugar and insulin health are undeniable."

Physical activities such as paddling and rowing can help lower blood glucose levels. Your body need more energy to finish the action as you paddle or row. That energy is derived from glucose (mainly sugar) stored in your body.

But, what is the connection between glucose and diabetes?

Diabetes is caused by an excess of sugar in the body, according to Medical News Today. According to the same site, "added sugars are refined carbohydrates that the body readily absorbs into the circulation." This may cause a blood sugar rise."

Vitamin D Activation

Paddling and rowing provide for the activation of vitamin D production.

Vitamins have critical roles in the body. According to the National Institute on Aging, "certain vitamins help you resist infections and keep your nerves healthy, while others may assist your body generate energy from meals or correctly coagulate your blood."

Vitamin D, which is generated when you are exposed to sunshine, is one of the key vitamins your body need.

According to, vitamin D advantages include lowering the risk of certain illnesses, lowering the risk of heart disease, boosting immunological health, and building strong bones.

Paddling and rowing are outdoor exercises that allow you to spend time in the sun, which aids in the creation of vitamin D.

Enhances Overall Mental Health

Anyone who has participated in an activity such as kayaking will tell you that they feel better and lighter afterward.

When it comes to running, you've probably heard of the term "runner's high." But whence does this sensation originate?

According to the Mayo Clinic, "physical exercise may help boost the synthesis of your brain's feel-good chemicals, called endorphins."

So, if you want to experience that sensation again, grab your kayak and a cooler box and travel to the next body of water.

Stress Reduction

According to, a guide to activities at one of the world's largest waterfalls, kayaking may be viewed as meditation since it allows you to focus exclusively on your actions.

Nature-based activities, such as paddling and rowing, have been shown to reduce stress, according to Luisa Rivera of Yale Environment 360, a Yale School of Environment publication. "A increasing amount of data speaks to the benefits impacts of exposure to the natural world on health, decreasing stress and aiding healing," she adds.

Enhances Self-Esteem

It's difficult to fathom how enhanced cardiovascular health, weight management, mental health, physical attractiveness, and immune system could not lead to increased self-esteem.

The Mayo Clinic explains why increased self-esteem is beneficial to both physical and mental health:

It makes you:

  • Assertive when you explain your opinions and needs.

  • Confident in your decisions about your health.

  • Establish honest and secure relationships, reducing the probability that you will remain in unhealthy relationships.

  • Have realistic expectations and be less likely to be too hard on yourself and others.

  • Become more resilient and able to better deal with stressful situations.

It improves cognitive and mental functions.

According to a research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, "...sports participation... favorably improves cognitive and emotional processes."

The Department of Local Government, Sport, and Cultural Industries in Western Australia came to the same decision. Physical activity improves reasoning ability, focus, conduct, and memory, according to the study.

According to the same department, when both adults and children engage in physical activities such as paddling and rowing, blood flow to the cortex of the brain rises. This is the portion of the brain that is responsible for problem solving and remembering.

This results in better sleep.

Paddling and rowing have previously been shown to increase overall health, self-esteem, and stress reduction. All of these things are necessary for improved sleep.

Physical activities such as rowing, according to the health information website, help release feel-good hormones known as endorphins. "Endorphins aid with insomnia and help you sleep better; they serve as natural relaxants and painkillers," the website explains.

Aids in the Healing of Cancer Survivors

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health released a research to see if a rowing training program improves physical fitness and body composition in breast cancer survivors.

Rowing training, according to the research, " capable of improving all elements of physical fitness and heart function during stress, as well as anthropometric characteristics such as fat and lean mass."

Safety and appropriate equipment When Rowing and Paddling

Paddling and rowing, like many other physical sports, can be harmful if safety procedures are not followed and the proper equipment is not utilized.

Always use a life jacket whether paddling or rowing. It would be advantageous if you carried your phone in a waterproof pouch. A personal locator beacon (PLB) with GPS connected to your life jacket can help rescuers find you in an emergency.

Rowing's national governing organization in the United States,, provides a thorough safety expectations policy for developing a rowing safety program. Individuals and organizations, according to the organization, should have emergency response processes in place.

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