The Calorie-Burning Potential of Kayaking

Kayaking is a low-impact exercise that provides a number of health benefits ranging from strengthening cardiovascular systems to burning fat and calories. Because the amount of calories burned by kayaking depends on both the intensity and duration of your exercise, you may be wondering how many calories will you burn by kayaking? The answer is that it depends. Generally speaking, a person who weighs 155 lbs will burn about 400 calories per hour of light paddling. For higher intensity paddling, such as in waves or rapids, that same person can expect to burn up to 700 calories per hour. Kayaking at different speeds and in different environments can double your calorie burning potential! The total number of calories burned during any period of time can also depend heavily on factors like wind speed, paddle size and stroke type. Regardless of your personal fitness level or experience with kayaking, it is an excellent way to stay active while getting outdoors. It also offers mental health benefits such as improved concentration, lower stress levels and higher feelings of self-esteem. In addition to calorie burning potential, this low-impact activity is an excellent way to reduce stress and tension in everyday life while enjoying the wonders of nature!

Benefits of Kayaking

Kayaking can be an effective way to burn calories while enjoying the great outdoors. It’s a fun, low-impact activity that can help you build strength, flexibility, and endurance. Not only can kayaking provide physical health benefits, but it also offers numerous mental health benefits. In this article we will examine the calorie-burning potential as well as some of the other benefits that come with kayaking.

Cardiovascular Health

Kayaking is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health. The steady rhythm of paddling helps keep your heart rate up, stimulating the cardiovascular system and improving blood pressure levels throughout the body. Studies have suggested that aerobic exercise, like kayaking, can reduce overall body fat and help to ensure that your heart and lungs are working at optimal levels. Additionally, because kayaking can be done on flatwater or whitewater rivers, you can choose how much of a challenge you want when it comes to cardiovascular health. The consistent movement involved in paddling provides excellent calorie-burning potential as well. By maintaining a steady cadence while kayaking, it’s possible to burn over 400 calories per hour – depending on the paddler’s experience level and environmental conditions. This amount will naturally increase in periods with more resistance such as when surfing or river running small rapids. So not only are you enjoying yourself boating, but you are also reaping all the cardio benefits that come with a great workout!

Muscle Strength

Kayaking is a great way to develop strength and power in your arms, chest and core muscles. The continuous motion required to paddle a kayak helps build muscle endurance. Your stamina will increase as your muscles develop the strength to keep up with the demanding paddling, making you more comfortable on the water for longer trips. This exercise also improves upper body cardiovascular endurance — all while you’re enjoying yourself on the open water! The rowing motion of kayaking taxes both your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems to help you burn calories quickly. A typical hour of kayaking can burn anywhere from 350-600 calories, depending on your size, intensity level and whether or not you incorporate a few simple exercises into your routine — like engaging your core muscles for more support or engaging in resisted movement drills with each paddle stroke for additional power.

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Besides improved strength and calorie burning potential, increased muscle tone is another benefit of regular kayaing sessions. As with any kind of physical activity, regular workouts will result in fat loss that can be replaced by muscle mass over time — toning your arms, shoulders, chest and core area throughout the process!

Improved Balance

Kayaking can help you improve your balance. Sitting in a kayak while the boat is shifting with waves and currents helps you build the core muscles that keep you balanced. The motion of paddling builds good balance and helps to develop the small stabilizing muscles in your core and lower-body. By improving your balance, you may also find it easier to maintain good posture which can reduce lower back pain. Good balance is essential when maneuvering around obstacles or against rivers with powerful currents. It’s important to be able to smoothly shift around while maintaining a steady course in more intense river conditions like whitewater rapids, or just generally transitioning from one direction to another on flat water. With regular practice, kayaking can help build great overall coordination for better land-based activity as well.

How Many Calories Does Kayaking Burn?

Kayaking is an excellent way to get outside, be active and enjoy the water, but did you know that it can also be a great way to burn calories? Studies have shown that kayaking can help you work off a significant amount of calories, making it an ideal activity for weight loss.

Keep reading to find out just how many calories you can burn when you take out your kayak for a spin.

Factors That Affect Calorie Burn

Calorie burn during kayaking is influenced by several factors. These include:

-Duration of activity: The number of calories burned during a kayaking session is directly proportional to the duration of the activity. Longer sessions will lead to a higher number of calories burned than short sessions.

-Body weight: It’s widely known that people who weigh more will burn more calories than those who are lighter in weight. This is because it takes more energy for heavier individuals to move their body through the water as compared to lighter individuals with less mass.

-Stroke efficiency: The efficiency of your kayak stroke will also affect the amount of calories you burn while kayaking. So paddlers who are able to complete strokes efficiently without wasting a lot of energy will be able to maximize their calorie burn while maintaining a good speed on the water.

-Fitness level: A higher fitness level will make it easier for you to row your kayak and so allow you to sustain longer paddling sessions, leading to an increased calorie burn objective over time.

By taking all these into consideration, you can calculate how many calories you may expect to burn while out on the water in your kayak, depending on your individual physical attributes and paddling intensity levels.

Calorie Burn Estimates

When looking specifically at kayaking as a calorie-burning exercise, the answer is typically, “it depends”. While it’s impossible to give an accurate estimate, there are some parameters that can be used in order to come up with a rough estimate for the amount of calories one can burn kayaking for a given duration of time. The following can all have an effect on the amount of calories burned in any given activity: the individual’s weight and level of fitness; the type, intensity and duration of kayaking; wind and water conditions; air temperature; your personal shape and how long you take to recover.

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For individuals who are relatively new to kayaking, a good estimate is that they will burn 10 calories per minute paddling on flat water in ideal conditions. Moving through rapids or white water will require more effort. In these cases, individuals can expect to burn around 20-30 calories per minute with higher levels closer to 30 calories per minute at maximum effort. Professionals and experienced kayakers who are agile enough to expertly maneuver through white water or rivers may be able to reach higher calorie burning potentials as well but generally an average number stays within the realm of 20-30 calories per minute depending on circumstances.

In addition, approximately 50% more metabolic energy is burned when kneeling in comparison to standing while paddling. On calm waters stretching over long distances requires no physical effort so one won’t burn very many additional calories by simply remaining seated for these periods beyond those used during paddling up until then.

Lastly, a drop off rate should be expected after any intense physical activity like white water rafting if done over multiple days as your body’s resting rate increases its burning requirements for energy utilization correctly making it easy for them not just before but also after activity sessions like this one when applied correctly.

Tips For Burning More Calories While Kayaking

Kayaking is a great way to get in some quality cardio and burn calories. But, how many calories can you expect to burn while you’re kayaking? That depends on several factors, such as your weight, the speed and intensity of your paddling, and the type of kayak you’re using.

Here, we’ll explore tips for burning even more calories while you’re kayaking.

Increase Your Intensity

If you’re looking to increase the number of calories burned while kayaking, the best way to do so is by increasing the intensity of your workout. This can be accomplished in a few different ways, such as focusing on paddling with greater power, by adding sprints or choosing more challenging water for paddling.

Paddling with great power is an excellent way to increase calorie burn. Focus on drawing your paddle back deeply, extending your arms fully and accelerating into each stroke quickly. Working against currents and wind also adds resistance, leading to a more intense workout and burning even more calories.

Including brief sprints in your regular kayaking routine can significantly increase calories burned during your workout session. Add periods of fast-paced paddling for 15 seconds or so every couple minutes throughout your normal kayaking route to maximize calorie burn without actually having to change the route you take when kayaking. Doing this repeatedly during each session will increase your endurance and help improve overall performance out on the water.

Finally, when it comes to increasing calorie burn while kayaking, simply opt for more challenging water whenever possible if it is safe and practical. Including hills or whitewater sections into your route will elevate difficulty level—and therefore calorie burn— since you’ll need to use extra energy and effort negotiating these obstacles than you would in flatwater areas such as lakes or calm rivers. Challenging waters add a pleasant sense of adventure into the mix that helps keep the whole experience enjoyable!

Try Different Paddling Techniques

Kayaking is an excellent calorie burner, with research showing that an hour of active kayaking can burn anywhere from 400 to 600 calories. The amount of calories burned depends on your body weight, speed and the intensity of your paddling but there are a few techniques you can use to maximize your calorie-burning potential during a kayak outing.

• Try switching up your strokes. Alternate between knifing across the surface of the water as you would when sprinting and poling as you would technique used when moving slowly down a river or stream. Varying your paddling intensity will challenge different muscle groups and allow for more varied calorie burning.

• Add bursts of energy using paddle pulls, similar to how rowers does their stroke technique in time with their breathing. Paddle pulls are vigorous reverse J-shaped strokes pulling with one hand while pushing with the other hand on the other side of the boat straight away from bend in the paddle at chest level then back again towards forward side while bending paddle over shoulder and pushing out on opposite end towards upright back position. The cycle is repeated every few seconds allowing for periods of rest when not paddling as vigorously while still maintaining momentum and forward motion in kayak or canoe as well as burning more calories over time spent on water.

• Make sure to practice proper form while paddling to maximize efficiency and prevent injury; always alternate sides for strokes, keep arms bent in elbows rather than locking them straight out, keep torso upright and rotate into each stroke switch sides (from left to right) throughout each stroke cycle so muscle strain is spread evenly across body which also helps reduce fatigue levels over longer periods paddling without experience too much strain in one spot too soon -allowing for greater distance traveling times just pushing through more efficiently!

Change Your Kayak

One of the easiest ways to increase the calorie-burning potential of kayaking is to change your kayak. Many kayaks are designed for stability, comfort and speed, but these features don’t necessarily equate to higher calorie-burn. A longer, narrower boat typically moves faster on the water and requires more energy output from the user.

Additionally, choosing a higher quality material will reduce drag on the boat and help it ride faster. If possible, consider renting or testing a few different styles of kayaks before you purchase one to ensure you have chosen the right model for your weight-loss goals.


In conclusion, kayaking is an excellent form of exercise that can help you meet your fitness and weight management goals. The amount of calories you burn when kayaking will depend on the intensity and duration of your exercise session. However, it’s been estimated that a vigorous one hour session could burn up to 400 calories.

Engaging in a fitness program that includes kayaking could be a great way to improve your cardiovascular health and lose or maintain weight. It’s important to speak with your health care provider before engaging in any type of new physical activity.

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