Kayaking has seemingly had a new breath of life in recent years. As a sign of this popularity, companies have been selling kayaks like hot cakes. One reason for this has been the search for a form of exercise that could be done whilst social distancing and with a reduced chance of catching Covid. Whilst gyms were still closed and team sports like football were still banned, you could easily kayak in the open air at your local river or lake. Now that things have changed, the question is; is kayaking really a good form of exercise for weight loss? 

Can you lose weight by kayaking?

Any form of activity you do that expends calories whilst being in a caloric deficit will lead you to lose weight. So in short, yes you can lose weight through kayaking. Kayaking can in fact be a very effective way to lose weight as a form of high-intensity cardio.

Lose weight whilst having fun on the water

Another benefit of kayaking as a form of exercise for weight loss, is that it is often considered as a fun sport or hobby. If you treat it this way, you are more likely to enjoy it and stick at it, rather than losing interest in something like running which you may loathe and fall off the bandwagon with. The key is consistency. It’s much better to do something that might be considered a leisure activity like cycling, swimming, paddleboarding or in this case kayaking, and do it on a consistent basis; rather than doing 1 gym session every couple of weeks. If you find it difficult initially, don’t panic! Equipment like a skeg can help your kayak in the water by helping you to paddle straight, which is especially useful if you are kayaking on rough waters or in windy conditions.

Calories burnt

The key to weight loss is calories. The body as a system needs a basic number of calories everyday to perform its essential functions that keep you alive. Daily caloric requirements can vary but usually falls in the 1800 to 2200 calorie range. You can calculate your personal caloric maintenance here. To lose weight, you need to take in less calories than this caloric maintenance level. 

When your caloric intake minus caloric expenditure is below your maintenance; your body turns towards its energy reserves to keep it going, which it stores in fat cells. This is the process of weight loss. 

Kayaking can help this process as a form of caloric expenditure. For those trying to lose weight, kayaking is a healthy and fun activity whilst burning about 400 calories in an hour of paddling. 

Building muscle

Another way you can lose fat is by raising your body’s caloric maintenance. This is what people refer to as their metabolism. The best way of doing this is by building muscle mass, which then requires a larger number of calories to maintain their basic function. Kayaking is an activity that can help you build said muscle mass, whilst not putting too much stress on any one area of your body like you might whilst running or doing an isolation exercise at the gym. This means that there are fewer muscle injuries you can expect to sustain whilst kayaking.

Hopefully this article has helped show you the ways that kayaking can help you lose weight.