Paddling Off Pounds: How Many Calories Does Kayaking Burn?

If you’re anything like me, then you often think of new workout ideas that get your mind off of your usual routine. Or maybe you enjoy kayaking, and are wondering how many calories you burn every time you go kayaking.

Well, if you are tired of the same old workouts and are looking for a fun and effective way to burn calories and stay fit, look no further than kayaking! This exciting water sport not only helps you lose weight but also offers several health and fitness benefits. Additionally, some kayaks are designed for two people, which allows you to enjoy the burn with a loved one.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about kayaking and talk about its calorie-burning potential by answering the question, “how many calories does kayaking burn?” and how it can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Key Takeaways

  • Kayaking is an effective workout to burn calories and reach fitness goals, with factors like body weight, intensity & duration affecting calorie burn.

  • Maximize your kayaking experience by incorporating interval training & focusing on proper paddling form to achieve the highest calorie burn!

  • Kayaking provides low impact benefits for all ages and fitness levels while helping you stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

How Many Calories Does Kayaking Burn: Understanding Calories and Energy Expenditure

Calories, which are a measure of energy, get burned during physical activities like kayaking and greatly influence weight loss and fitness goals. The more calories you burn, the more weight you can potentially lose.

Research shows that kayaking is an effective calorie-burning activity, and kayaking burns calories at a rate where an hour of kayaking can burn more than 300 calories, subject to variables like your current weight and workout intensity.

To put things in perspective, a 150-pound person can burn over 350 calories per hour kayaking at a moderate pace. In fact, the calories burned kayaking can help you lose weight faster when combined with other activities like walking, which can burn up to 675 calories.

Grasping the relationship between calories and energy expenditure is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a beginner.

Factors Affecting Calorie Burn in Kayaking

Several factors play an important role in determining how many calories you burn during kayaking, including your body weight, the intensity of your activity, and the duration of your session. Next, we will talk about the influence of these factors on calorie burn and ways to leverage them for your benefit.

Body Weight and Calorie Burn

Heavier individuals tend to burn more calories during kayaking due to the increased effort required to move their body weight. The exact number of calories burned still depends on various factors such as the intensity of paddle strokes and the duration of the activity. This means that the more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn when kayaking, making it a great way to get a fantastic workout.

Next, kayaking engages various muscle groups, including the muscles around the shoulder joint, core muscles, and forearms. Maintaining proper paddling form and engaging these muscles can boost your calorie burn, enabling you to get the best out of your kayaking workout.

Intensity and Duration of Kayaking

The more intense and longer the kayaking session, the more calories you’ll burn. Paddling at a faster pace or incorporating high-intensity intervals can increase the intensity of your kayaking workout and lead to a higher calorie burn. Working harder during the intervals and keeping a high heart rate can greatly elevate your fitness levels and calorie burn.

Upping the paddling distance can also contribute to a higher calorie burn during kayaking. Exploring new routes, competing in races, and tackling more difficult waters can make kayaking more rewarding and help you burn more calories.

The next time you go kayaking, push yourself to paddle more intensely and cover more distance to optimize your calorie burn.

The Health and Fitness Benefits of Kayaking

In addition to burning calories, kayaking offers numerous health and fitness benefits. The sport is a fantastic way to:

  • Improve your cardiovascular fitness

  • Strengthen your muscles, including your back, abs, legs, glutes, chest, and shoulders

  • Enjoy a low-impact activity that is gentle on your joints

  • Engage in a suitable activity for people of all ages and fitness levels

Apart from physical benefits, whitewater kayaking may have a positive impact on your mental health. The reality of being out on the water, surrounded by nature, can help reduce stress and improve your overall mood. It also requires you to focus on the task ahead, instead of focusing on stressors in your personal life. Therefore, kayaking isn’t just an enjoyable method to burn calories and shed weight but also enhances your overall health and well-being.

Calculating Calorie Burn During Kayaking

Estimating calorie burn during kayaking can be done by calculating calories burned per hour or per mile, taking into account factors like weight and intensity. Next, we’ll discuss the techniques to estimate calorie burn during kayaking, which can assist you in planning workouts and tracking your progress.

Estimating Calories Burned Per Hour

Estimating calories burned per hour during kayaking can help individuals plan their workouts and track their progress. To do this, you can multiply the MET (metabolic equivalent of task) by your body weight (in kilograms) and the duration of the activity (in hours).

For instance, a 150-pound person can burn over 350 calories per hour kayaking at a moderate pace. Taking into account factors like:

  • weight

  • effort level

  • distance

  • speed

  • fitness level

  • height

  • size

Estimating Calories Burned Per Mile

Calculating calories burned per mile while kayaking provides a more accurate measure of energy expenditure based on distance traveled. To do this, you can multiply the MET (metabolic equivalent of task) by your body weight (in kilograms) and the distance traveled (in miles).

By increasing the speed and intensity of kayaking, you can significantly boost the number of calories burned per mile. Paddling with more effort can help you get the most out of your workout and maximize your calorie burn.

Therefore, the next time you plan a kayaking trip, concentrate on the distance covered to more accurately measure your calorie burn and monitor your progress.

Comparing Kayaking to Other Exercises

Comparing kayaking to other exercises can help you choose the most suitable activity for your fitness goals and preferences. While kayaking can burn an impressive 550 calories per hour (on average), paddle boarding still burns a respectable 450 calories per hour (on average). Both activities engage different muscle groups and can be an enjoyable way to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In terms of calorie burn, running provides a much higher calorie burn than kayaking. However, kayaking and walking both burn the same amount of calories, making them equally beneficial for weight loss.

Ultimately, the choice of exercise depends on your personal preferences, fitness goals, and physical abilities. Try different activities and discover the one that best fits your needs.

Tips for Maximizing Calorie Burn While Kayaking

Maximizing calorie burn while kayaking can be achieved through interval training and focusing on proper paddling form. Next, we’ll break down these tips in detail, helping you optimize your kayaking workouts.

Incorporate Interval Training

Incorporating interval training into your kayaking sessions can increase calorie burn and improve overall fitness. Interval training in kayaking involves alternating periods of high-intensity paddling with periods of rest or lower intensity. This type of training pushes your body to work harder and elevate your heart rate, resulting in more calories burned and improved endurance.

To get started with interval training in kayaking, you can try various routines such as:

  • HIIT sessions

  • 4 minutes intense, followed by 2 minutes easy

  • Top-end speed intervals

  • Your favorite interval workout

Remember to warm up before starting any interval training routine and consult with a professional if you’re new to kayaking or have any health concerns.

Focus on Proper Paddling Form

Maintaining proper paddling form will make sure that your entire body is engaged, leading to more efficient calorie burning during kayaking. By keeping your torso upright, engaging your core muscles, and using your legs to help propel the boat forward, you’ll become more efficient and reduce fatigue.

Focusing on proper paddling form also helps you avoid the risk of injury and achieve better control of the kayak.

It is often recommended, that before setting out on the water, make sure to practice your paddling form.


In conclusion, kayaking is an excellent way to burn calories, lose weight, and achieve your fitness goals. By understanding calorie expenditure, considering factors affecting calorie burn, and implementing tips to maximize your workout, you can make the most of your time on the water and enjoy the numerous health and fitness benefits that kayaking offers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is kayaking good exercise to lose weight?

Kayaking is an excellent form of exercise for weight loss, since it works your whole body while being low impact. Paddle with moderate effort while in a calorie deficit and you’ll be able to lose weight.

What burns more calories kayaking or paddle boarding?

Kayaking burns more calories, up to 550 per hour, compared to paddle boarding which averages 330-460 per hour. So if you’re looking for a calorie-burning water activity, kayaking is the clear winner!

Is kayaking good for your heart?

Kayaking is an excellent aerobic exercise that elevates your heart rate and improves overall cardiovascular fitness. This low impact activity can bring many health benefits to keep your heart healthy.

How many calories can I burn during an hour of kayaking?

You can burn over 300 calories in an hour of kayaking, so get out there and enjoy a great workout!

Editorial Note: We may earn a commission when you visit links on this website. This does not affect Mike’s opinions or evaluations.

Similar Posts