With a multitude of sports that one can train in and love, kayaking is one sport that can help a person be fit and healthy. Have you ever wondered why Olympic Kayakers are some of the fittest athletes? You could clearly see that their backs, chest, arms and abdomens are toned and their physique is very fit. Clearly you can see with these athletes that kayaking is a sport that offers a variety of benefits that is forever rewarding.
Kayaking is a sport that uses a kayak for moving across water. A kayak is a canoe-like boat that is low to the water. The paddler sits facing forward with his legs in front. The paddler uses a double-bladed paddle to pull front-to-back on one side and the other in rotation. Paddles would also depend on a person; smaller statures require a shorter, lighter paddle to avoid overexertion.
Let us discuss how these Olympic athletes are seen as the fittest athletes. To start with, these athletes use up to about 400 calories per hour, to move the kayak at about 5 mph. As the kayaker paddles, it is expected that he perform up to 500 or more strokes per mile. To execute a good stroke while placing the paddle in the water requires the teamwork of every muscle of the paddler’s upper body and some of the lower body muscles as well. This means that for every hour a kayaker spends paddling, he performs about 1500 repetitions of low impact upper body muscle movements. This allows the athletes to tone up almost all the muscles of their body.
The according to an expert personal trainer, the core section of the body, the upper and lower abdominal muscles, is strengthened as the kayaker controls and balances on the kayak. Rotating or turning also requires the shifting, turning and using of the core muscles thus building and toning this area. The continuous paddling through the water for movement also builds muscle mass and tones the muscles of the athlete’s shoulders and arms. The pressure applied by the legs when it assists in turning and balancing the kayak has an isometric effect on the legs. The constant squeezing over time and the tightening of the muscles strengthens the athlete’s leg muscles. Kayakers also develop good cardiovascular health with the brisk and continuous movements that raise the heart rate.
The constant training of these Olympic athletes to become faster and stronger then keeps toning their muscles, strengthening them and maintaining their fit bodies. These athletes also develop a certain sense of focus while they are under high levels of physical and mental pressure. The conditions wherein they compete in would depend on the weather, thus these athletes learn to adapt quickly and think of how they can conquer these conditions. Kayaking is a low impact sport and these athletes can maintain their good physique well into their old ages when they constantly play this sport.