Carl Shane Kistel is an outdoors enthusiast, frequently participating in activities such as hiking, camping, and kayaking down local rivers. He helps readers understand the recent spike in popularity of recreational kayaking and how it can be a multi-purpose activity that has a lot of physical benefits.
Years ago, Carl Shane Kistel found most of his favorite local kayaking spots vacant besides the occasional fisherman or drifting boater. Today, however, he shares the water with dozens of other recreational kayakers enjoying the scenery and getting a new kind of workout.
“Kayaking requires a lot of paddling and steering against the currents, which is a physical challenge,” says Carl Shane Kistel. “For one, as we’ve become more health- and fitness-centric as a society, kayaking provides an out-of-the-box way to burn calories and build muscle.”
It’s one of the major reasons he believes recreational kayaking has seen a recent surge in popularity. Statistically, kayaking is catching on as one of the fastest-growing sports in North America. It has built an especially strong following in the south-central region, which is traditionally known for America’s lowest participation rate for outdoor recreation.
Kistel believes that people are getting tired of the gym, tired of the treadmills and workout equipment. He notes that even some joggers may see familiar outdoor trails as tired, old methods of exercising. Everyone still wants to be fit, but they’re looking to expand their variety of exercise and open up their surroundings beyond gym walls.
Kayaking provides an excellent alternative to the gym: paddling and steering work the muscles in the arms, shoulders, chest, and back, and they go a long way for cardiovascular fitness. It’s more adventurous and exciting than stationary bicycles and treadmills with the addition of nature and the calmness of flowing water. Many people find the experience anxiety- and stress-relieving even with the workout.
“It’s not always smooth sailing down an open body of water, and sometimes it’s flat out work to keep up with the current,” says Carl Shane Kistel, often referred to as Shane Kistel. “But in a way, that’s what I think draws so many people out today to do it; the physicality required.”
In addition, he notes that kayaking is a lot more affordable today than it has been in the past. Because of its growing popularity, less specialized brands produce kayaks and equipment at a fraction of the cost of major retailers. This makes the activity a lot more accessible and a happy alternative for the average gym-goers.
“Whatever the reason behind it, I believe kayaking as a rising trend is a good thing,” says Carl Shane Kistel. “It helps people get outside more, encourages them to exercise, and puts them in touch with nature. All great ways to be happier.”