In 1995, a newfound activity helped change my life for the better. That may sound like a monumental statement to make, but it was a monumental time for me. It’s when I first discovered the joy of kayaking. The fact that kayaking has made such an imprint in my life may come as a surprise to some readers, but trust me, I have my reasons.

First and foremost, kayaking is an escape. You get into this small craft, a craft you’re in control of when in so many parts of life you feel as if you have very little control. You decide where to go, how fast to get there, and when to come back.

When kayaking, you also connect on a different level with your environment, which really is a phenomenal experience. You see nature in a way that you can’t from the shore. You are no longer a spectator, but a participant. And you can make this a solo experience or you can use it as a way to connect with your friends, to share an adventure that makes memories for years to come.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg.

Kayaking also happens to serve as a way to relieve the stresses of life. It provides a regular outlet for me to leave stress and worry back on shore and to be alone with my thoughts. To sort things out while I glide across the water in a place where demands aren’t being made. My friends and I also find it easier to talk about things out there, without the usual barriers in the way of really expressing oneself. We usually come back from our trip with a lighter outlook on the lives we are leading.

Easing daily worries and stress is not the only benefit from spending time on the water kayaking. The physical benefits also can’t be denied.

Since I’ve started kayaking almost twenty years ago, my endurance for activities has improved enormously, along with my physical strength. Kayaking is an easy sport to start, no matter what level of fitness you may have. With that said, it’s strengthened and toned my body.  It’s also given me physical fitness to conquer other things in my life and has proven an excellent foundation for other physical activities.

My endurance has also improved from kayaking. It’s an activity I recommend to a number of my friends simply because it’s an easy way to stay healthy and doesn’t create the rough wear and tear on muscles and joints that other outdoor activities can. Like swimming, you get all the benefits from kayaking without the drawbacks.

So, would I recommend kayaking?

Absolutely!  Without it, I don’t think I would be in as of good shape and I know I would be deprived of an activity that provides me truly important inner peace and enjoyment.

If you haven’t kayaked before, get in a kayak and get on the water!  There are plenty of beautiful places to kayak in Canada.  For those who live in British Columbia, kayaking within the beauty of the west coast is hard to top and paddling groups can provide a fun opportunity to meet other kayakers.