The Benefits of Kayaking

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October is National Physical Therapy Month which means it is important to be mindful of any injuries or pain you may be suffering with. Heading into the fall season, many of us may still feel the pangs of vigorous outdoor activities during the summer months. One activity that many do not realize can be quite physically intense is kayaking.  Did you go kayaking this summer and suffered an injury while out on the water? Movement Concepts physical therapy in Flushing is here to help you! 

We usually associate kayaking with a hobby or activity, but kayaking can also be a great lightweight aerobic exercise. Just like any other active sport, kayaking allows you to have a good time while also incorporating strong physical exercise. Whether you enjoy kayaking because of nature or the activity itself, taking on a new exercise routine is always a thrilling change. Kayaking can improve your strength, flexibility, stamina, and mental health. 

Kayaking is also perfect for people who need to get active again after experiencing an injury. If you have questions about whether kayaking is the right activity for you, contact Movement Concepts Physical Therapy. We want you to pick an activity that helps you get back in shape. If you are looking for physical therapy in Flushing, contact us today.

Here are some of the benefits of kayaking:


  • Improves heart health: Paddling back and forth can increase your heart rate and overall cardiovascular health. Although your heart health can improve from any form of exercise, kayaking can distract you from feeling the burn unlike running on a treadmill or lifting weights. Unlike kayaking, other forms of exercise can make you focus to much fatigue rather than performance. 



  • Maintains weight: Kayaking is a great way to burn fat and build muscle. You can easily burn up to 400 calories or more in just one hour of kayaking. This is because of the constant effort you put in to move the paddle and the kayak. 



  • Improves mental health: Kayaking allows you to exercise and connect with nature at the same time. It can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, improve self-image, and boost self-confidence. Kayaking also presents the opportunity to increase your social circle. Like many sports, kayaking clubs or lessons can help you meet new people, especially in a specialized sport where not many people participate. 


  • Strengthens core and muscles: Moving the paddle back and forth can increase muscle strength in the back, shoulders, arms, and chest. There are several muscles in the body you work out while kayaking, but some of the important ones include the abdomen, biceps, triceps, lats, forearms, hip muscles, and leg muscles. Kayaking is unique in that it’s one of the few activities that essentially works out your entire body.


  • Improves flexibility and joints: Because kayaking is a low impact activity, it can reduce the risk of damage to the joints and tissues. Rowing the paddle can cause slow rotation in the arms and legs, which improves joint health and flexibility.

Physical Therapy in Flushing

At Movement Concepts Physical Therapy, not only are we here to educate our patients on health and wellness but we’re also here to help you recover and prevent injuries. Although kayaking can be fun and relaxing, there is also a risk for injury. Kayakers can sometimes experience injuries such as muscle strains from overworking their bodies on their kayak. This can also occur through some of the following:

  • Kayaking for an extended period of time, especially if your body isn’t used to this duration.
  • Overreaching with your paddle, which can strain your shoulders.
  • Paddling with improper form or posture.
  • If your paddle gets caught on an object that leads to hyperextension in your upper body.

It is important to be aware of the possible risk for injuries when out on your kayak to ensure you can be safe and cautious. In the event you suffer from injury when kayaking, our highly skilled team at Movement Concepts Physical Therapy in Flushing is here to help you. We are inspired by the challenge to help our patients live their lives without pain so they can continue to do what they love. Contact us today if you are interested in our services or visit our website to learn more!

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