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Health Benefits

Need to exercise, but can’t stand the thought of going to the gym? Enjoy training outdoors, but running has taken its toll on your joints? Want to get fitter while experiencing something completely different?

Then canoeing is the sport for you. It appeals to all ages and fitness levels, making it a fantastic way to keep fit with family and friends. The beauty of canoeing is it has something for everyone – you can push yourself as little or as much as you want. It can be competitive or recreational… a team game or an individual test of speed and ability… a sociable hobby or a way of escaping the crowds

We’re passionate about encouraging people of all ages and abilities to get out on the water and enjoy the wonderful world of canoeing and kayaking.

Here's why paddling is great for your health:

  • It’s a low impact activity that can improve aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility

  • There's so much variety. With a range of disciplines, distances, and many types of water to navigate; there's something for everyone

  • Even the most leisurely paddle will give you a good aerobic workout

  • It needn’t be a competitive pursuit, so you can keep your stress and adrenaline levels down

Body Benefits of Paddling

Upper body size and strength: Paddling uses most of the muscles of the arms and shoulders. Research from Kingston University found that elite kayakers had greater circumferences of the upper arm, forearm and chest than less experienced kayakers or non-kayakers. Grip strength is also enhanced by paddling.

Cardiovascular fitness: A study at Manchester Metropolitan University demonstrated superior heart strength in canoeists. The average mass of the left ventricle (one of the chambers of the heart) was more than 50% greater in canoeists than in sedentary people, enabling them to pump blood around the body more efficiently.

Improved mental health: Research in the Journal of Leisurability found that a 12 week kayaking programme enhanced feelings of self-worth, confidence and adequacy in participants. They also reported feeling better about their physical appearance.

Lean body composition: Research from Australia, published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, reported low levels of body fat and a body composition favouring lean muscle mass in Olympic sprint canoe and kayak paddlers.

Core strength: The core muscles help to provide good torso rotation which helps you to paddle with efficiency, as well as aiding stability in the boat.

Calorie burning: The amount of calories burned while canoeing varies, depending on your weight and the pace at which you are canoeing.

Calories burned canoeing - Slow

Weight (approx) Calories burned per hour (approx)
59kg / 9 stones 177
70kg / 11 stones 211
82kg / 13 stones 245
93kg / 15 stones 279

Calories burned canoeing - Moderate

Weight (approx) Calories burned per hour (approx)
59kg / 9 stones 413
70kg / 11 stones 493
82kg / 13 stones 572
93kg / 15 stones 651

Calories burned canoeing - Fast

Weight (approx) Calories burned per hour (approx)
59kg / 9 stones 708
70kg / 11 stones 844
82kg / 13 stones 981
93kg / 15 stones 1117
Data from the ‘Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise’ journal: the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.