kayak seal rock

Benefits of Kayaking

    May 27, 2016

Here is a guest post by  Joey Webster, check it out!

Kayaking in Santa Cruz is an experience unlike any other.  The feel of the wind in your hair, the nearness of wild sea creatures, the tug of the powerful and beautiful ocean, all combined with a low-impact aerobic workout perfect for those of all athletic abilities, make for a wonderful experience.  Out on the wide, open sea, within the safe confines of a kayak, you can be anyone, or anything.  It can be an extremely therapeutic and meditative experience, or an exciting and daunting adventure, depending on your goal.  What kayaking will NEVER be is boring.  The following is a list of the top 5 benefits of kayaking along the shore of Santa Cruz.

kayak seal rock

1. Physical Health Benefits

In order to propel your kayak through the ocean at the rate of 5mph, you can expect to burn approximately 400 calories per hour.  This means that in a four hour session, you can burn up to 1600 calories, which coupled with a well-balanced, healthy diet makes for speedy weight-loss and increased cardiovascular health.  You will work your core and strengthen all the muscles in your upper body.  Perhaps the best part is that because paddling is low-impact, you will hardly realize you are getting such a great work-out, and no unnecessary stress will be placed on your joints, making this activity great for all ages and experience levels.

2. Improved Mental State

Peaceful exercise in a completely natural surrounding allows time for your mind to truly relax and properly collect its thoughts.  The stress of daily life falls away as you clear your mind and become one with the ocean.  Not only is it an enjoyable activity, but it is also rewarding as you can physically see the results of a good stroke as you move through the water.  Stress reduction and improved mental stability and clarity are some of the lesser recognized benefits of kayaking.

3. Aesthetically Pleasing Landscapes

Cruising parallel to the shore of Santa Cruz allows you to view the many breathtaking landscapes from a completely different vantage point.  Witness the beautiful coastline of Pleasure Point, the historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Giant Dipper, or the solitary lighthouse.  If nothing else, it will give you a chance to scope out your next stop of the day or figure out what you want to experience next in this amazing coastal city.


4. Close-Up Encounters with Wildlife

Depending on the season, you can expect to see playful sea otters, raucous sea lions, intelligent dolphins, or possibly even whales.  You will be able to get up close and personal, without disturbing these animals, while observing their behavior in their natural habitat.  Kayaking through the kelp beds and happening upon these exotic animals is an unparalleled experience, so take advantage of the opportunity and find out what it’s like for yourself.

5. Memories to Last a Lifetime

Whether you are an experienced kayaker, testing out the waters of Santa Cruz for your first time, or a beginner trying out the sport while on vacation, kayaking is something that stays with you.  It has so much to do with being in control and using your own body to navigate through the powerful ocean.  The freedom you feel when you realize what you are capable of, the beautiful sights you encounter, and the intimate interaction you share with nearby aquatic animals, all of these emotions and new experience leave a lasting impression that will never fade.  If you have the chance to venture out via kayak on the open waters in Santa Cruz, do not pass up that opportunity.  It is not everyday that an experience lasting just a few short hours will provide so many amazing benefits to you over the course of your life.

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