In this section:
Benefits of Paddling
It is generally accepted that paddling is good for one’s physical and mental well-being, but what does this mean in practice, and perhaps more importantly, should you take up paddling to improve your well-being?
Paddling is a low-impact form of exercise, that’s usually practiced as a group activity within an outdoor environment, and as such it would seem to be an obviously healthy activity, but what are the unique aspects of paddling that are so beneficial?
So what are the key benefits of paddling?
Confidence Building: Learning new skills and the management of risk. Learning you can do something that seems adventurous. Learning to work as a team.
Physical Exercise: Exercising when it doesn’t feel like an exercise. Low intensity cardio vascular workout and the importance of balance and core stability.
Social Interaction: A social and sociable activity. Teamwork, comradery, depending on each other.
Mental Wellbeing: The significance of “Blue Spaces” and nature, Concentrating on activity that diminishes day to day problems
Structure and Goals: Focus provided by developing as a paddler. Different avenues to pursue. Giving back as a leader or coach.
How do you start paddling safely?
Don’t wing it: buying some kit on a whim and taking it out on the water is not a safe idea.
British Canoeing is the sports governing body and sets safety and development standards for affiliated canoe clubs. They provide a range of personal paddling awards, that personal skills from beginner to advanced level, in different environments and for different craft.
Join a reputable club: the best place to learn to paddle is with a local canoe club.
What to look for in a canoe club: British Canoeing affiliation, published safety frameworks, and active membership