Can You Lose Weight Kayaking? Absolutely ( Plus 9 Amazing Benefits)

Kayaking is a low-impact sport that is both fun and beneficial to one’s health. When asked the question, “Can you lose weight kayaking?” The answer is an absolute YES! Kayaking is an excellent form of exercise that can aid in weight loss.

Not only does it help with weight loss, but it also offers many other health benefits listed below. Click the links to read more!

  1. Weight Loss
  2. Improved Cardiovascular Health
  3. Increased Strength and Endurance
  4. Reduced Stress and Improved Mental Health
  5. Low-Impact Exercise
  6. Improved Vitamin D Intake
  7. Enhanced Social Connections
  8. Helps You Sleep Better
  9. Gets You in Touch With Nature
  10. Improves Balance and Coordination
can you lose weight kayaking featured image a monkey in a kayak

Can You Lose Weight Kayaking? (In-Depth)

1. Weight Loss

Kayaking is a fantastic way to lose weight and achieve your fitness goals. It is a low-impact exercise that can burn up to 500 calories per hour of kayaking (depending on a few different factors.) Check out this cool little calculator to see the number of calories you can burn.

It’s also good exercise for those who want to lose weight without putting too much strain on their joints. Regular kayaking sessions, combined with a healthy diet, can help you to achieve your weight loss goals.

Another bonus is that building muscle mass, can help you to increase your metabolism, which will also make it easier to maintain a healthy weight over time. Plus, nice chiselled arms and shoulders are dead sexy!

2. Improved Cardiovascular Health

Kayaking is also a great way to improve your cardiovascular health. As an aerobic exercise, it can help to strengthen your heart muscles and improve blood flow throughout your body.

Experts agree that kayaking is an effective way to improve heart health and doing it regularly may help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Which, in turn, may reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

3. Increased Strength and Endurance

Kayaking is an excellent way to engage multiple major muscle groups and improve your overall fitness. While many people think that kayaking only works the arms, it’s actually a full-body workout that engages multiple muscle groups, including the arms, upper and lower back, legs and abdominal muscles.

muscular back of a man

Unlike traditional strength training (which can be kind of gruelling), kayaking is a great way to work the entire body while getting some fresh air and also working on your aerobic fitness.

Additionally, it requires you to use your legs to maintain balance and stability within the kayak. This can help to tone and strengthen your legs (especially your outer thighs.) It’s a great workout to fit into your exercise routine.

4. Reduced Stress and Improved Mental Health

Kayaking provides a sense of calm and tranquillity that can help to reduce stress and improve mental health. I love being out on the water, surrounded by nature. It’s such a peaceful and meditative experience (especially in calm waters) that allows you to disconnect from the stresses of daily life.

In addition to its relaxing benefits, kayaking can also boost mood and reduce depression. Regular exercise, like kayaking, has been shown to release endorphins, which are one of the body’s “happy hormones.”

Kayaking can also provide a sense of accomplishment and it’s a fun way to boost your self-esteem. As you improve your kayaking skills and explore new areas (maybe try some whitewater kayaking,) you may feel a sense of pride and confidence that can translate into other areas of your life.

5. Low-Impact Exercise

Kayaking is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints, making it a great option for individuals with joint pain or arthritis. Unlike other forms of exercise like running, it puts less stress on the knees and ankles, reducing the risk of injury and minimizing discomfort.

The low-impact nature of kayaking can help to improve flexibility and range of motion, which can further reduce joint pain and stiffness. It’s also a great exercise option for individuals who are recovering from injuries or surgeries.

The low-impact nature of kayaking allows you to engage in physical activity without putting too much strain on your body. This allows you to rebuild strength and endurance without risking further injury (NOTE: always consult with a medical professional before starting any new exercise as I am not a doctor.)

6. Improved Vitamin D Intake

Kayaking is an excellent outdoor activity that can provide individuals with a source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for bone health and can also help to boost the immune system, making it an important nutrient for overall health and well-being.

vitamin d from sunshine

Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to sunlight, and spending time outdoors kayaking can provide a natural source of this important nutrient.

In addition to its bone health benefits, vitamin D has also been shown to play a role in immune function. Studies have shown that vitamin D can help to boost the immune system, reducing the risk of infections and illnesses. This makes it an essential nutrient for overall health and well-being.

7. Enhanced Social Connections

Kayaking can be a social activity that can help individuals connect with others. Joining a kayaking group or taking a kayaking class can provide opportunities to meet new people and make friends who share your interests and passion for the outdoors.

As you explore new bodies of water and take on new challenges, you can share the experience with others and build a sense of teamwork and community. Rodney and I had so much fun kayaking down the Colorado River when we were in Vegas last year. It was challenging and we made lifelong friends with strangers on that trip.

8. Helps You Sleep Better

The repetitive motion of kayaking can help to tire out your muscles and promote physical fatigue, which can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Furthermore, kayaking can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which are common causes of sleep disturbances. By engaging in a relaxing and enjoyable activity like kayaking, you can help to reduce stress levels and promote a sense of calm and tranquillity, which can improve the quality of your sleep.

I can only speak for myself, but I know that I sleep like a baby after a day out on the water!

9. Gets You In Touch With Nature

In today’s fast-paced world, we are constantly connected to technology, which can lead to stress and burnout. Kayaking provides a welcome break from this constant stimulation, allowing us to disconnect and enjoy the beauty of the natural world.

enjoying nature in a kayak

When kayaking, you can experience the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. This can be a refreshing change from the artificial environments we often find ourselves in and can provide us with many mental health benefits (such as reduced stress and improved overall well-being).

Furthermore, kayaking provides a good way to explore new areas and discover hidden gems that you may not have otherwise seen. It allows you to experience the beauty of nature in a unique and exciting way.

10. Improves Balance and Coordination

Paddling a kayak requires a lot of physical effort, which can help to improve your overall fitness and coordination. Additionally, the paddling motion requires you to engage your upper and lower body muscles to prevent you from capsizing.

Furthermore, getting in and out of a kayak can be a challenge. The more you do it, the more your balance will improve. As you become more experienced, you can take on more challenging water conditions and explore new areas, which can help to improve your skills even more.


I hope that thoroughly answered your question, “Can you lose weight kayaking?” It’s a fun and effective way to lose weight and improve overall health. It provides a full-body workout that targets various muscle groups and improves cardiovascular health.

Additionally, it is a low-impact activity that is easy on the joints, making it an excellent workout option for people of all ages and fitness levels. Check out this article if you are curious about the differences between kayaking and canoeing.

And before you go, here’s a quick summary of all of the health benefits of kayaking.

Weight LossKayaking can help burn calories and reduce body fat, leading to weight loss.
Increased StrengthKayaking works the arms, shoulders, back, core, legs, and glutes, leading to increased strength and muscle tone.
Improved Cardiovascular HealthKayaking is a great cardiovascular workout that can improve heart health and lower the risk of heart disease.
Reduced StressKayaking can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, improving mental health and well-being.
Improved Balance and CoordinationKayaking requires balance and coordination, which can improve overall physical performance and reduce the risk of falls and injuries.
Increased Vitamin DKayaking outdoors can increase exposure to sunlight, leading to increased vitamin D levels and improved bone health.
Improved Immune FunctionKayaking can boost immune function and reduce the risk of illness and infection.
Enhanced Social LifeKayaking is a challenging and fun activity that can be enjoyed with others.
Better Sleep and RelaxationKayaking wears you out and helps to release endorphins which make you feel more relaxed and at peace.
Gets You Away From TechnologyOne of my favourite benefits, disconnecting from the world and connecting with nature.