How Many Calories Does Kayaking Burn

How Many Calories Does Kayaking Burn?

Kayaking is a perfect way to keep yourself fit and explore the great outdoors. Not only does it offer an exhilarating experience on the water, but it also provides a fantastic workout. 

But how many calories does kayaking burn? It relies on a variety of factors, including the intensity, duration, body weight, and water condition. In general, it is estimated that one hour of kayaking will burn 500 calories.

In this article, we will know about the calorie-burning potential of kayaking. We will explore the various factors that influence the number of calories you can burn while paddling. So, keep on reading!

How Many Calories Does Kayaking Burn?

The number of calories burned during kayaking can vary depending on several factors, such as height, age, weight, intensity, and other physical factors. 

To determine the calorie burn, there is a method that utilizes a formula. The formula is as follows:

Calories Burned = (MET x body weight in Kg x 3.5) ÷ 200

Now, you might be wondering, what is MET? MET stands for Metabolic Equivalent of Task. It is a measure of the energy expenditure for various activities. Different activities have different MET scores based on the intensity level.

Generally, for kayaking, the MET score is typically around 5. Using the formula mentioned above, let’s consider an example. If an individual weighs 70 kilograms and goes kayaking for an hour at a moderate intensity, the calculation would be as follows:

Calories Burned = (5 x 70 x 3.5) ÷ 200 = 6.13

Therefore, during this kayaking session, the individual would burn approximately 6.13 calories per minute. That means after an hour doing kayaking, one can burn around 370 calories.

However, if you engage in more intense kayaking activities such as canoeing, rowing, or vigorous kayaking, the MET score can increase significantly. For these activities, the MET score is around 12.5. Let’s calculate the calorie burn for the same individual engaged in hardcore kayaking for an hour:

Calories Burned = (12.5 x 70 x 3.5) ÷ 200 = 15.31

In this scenario, the individual would burn approximately 15.31 calories per minute during the session, approximately 920 calories per hour.

It’s important to note that these calculations are estimates and may vary from person to person. Factors such as individual fitness level and technique can also affect calorie burn.

To get a more accurate estimate of the calories burned, you can use a fitness tracker or heart rate monitor. These devices take additional data, such as heart rate and activity duration, to provide a more personalized calorie burn calculation.

Calorie Burn in Kayaking: Factors to Consider

Calorie Burn in Kayaking

Kayaking is a full-body workout that engages multiple muscle groups. The continuous paddling motion is effective for the muscles in your arms, shoulders, back, and core while your legs provide stability and support. The calorie burn in kayaking can vary depending on several factors, including the following. 

Intensity and Speed

The intensity at which you paddle greatly impacts your calorie expenditure. Paddling vigorously or against the current will demand more effort and subsequently burn more calories. According to the ACE, a person weighing around 160 pounds can burn approximately 200-380 calories in 60 minutes of moderate-intensity kayaking.

Duration of the Activity

The duration of your kayaking session plays a crucial role in determining your overall calorie expenditure. For example, if you paddle for an hour at a moderate intensity, you can potentially burn anywhere from 400 – 500 calories.

Body Weight 

Your body weight directly influences the number of calories burned during kayaking. Heavier individuals tend to burn more calories compared to lighter individuals. 

Because they require more energy to move their body weight against the resistance of the water. For example, a person weighing 200 pounds may burn around 400-550 calories during 60 minutes of kayaking.

Water Conditions 

The conditions in which you kayak, such as calm waters or rough seas, can impact the calorie burn. Paddling against the currents or navigating through waves requires more effort, resulting in higher calorie expenditure.

Tip on How to Maximize the Burning of Calories During Kayaking 

Many ask how to utilize the kayaking session the best. Below are some of the things you can follow while kayaking.

  1. Increase Intensity: Challenge yourself with higher-intensity paddling. Incorporate intervals of intense strokes to elevate your heart rate and boost calorie burn.
  2. Explore Diverse Terrains: Seek out water bodies with varying currents, waves, or obstacles to engage different muscle groups and intensify your workout. This adds an element of excitement and challenges your body in new ways.
  3. Engage Your Core: Focus on activating your core muscles by rotating your torso with each stroke. For example, abs, biceps, triceps, quadriceps (thighs), deltoids (shoulder). This movement engages your abdominal muscles, amplifying your calorie burn and improving core strength.
  4. Add Resistance: Enhance your kayaking routine by using a kayak with higher drag or attaching a resistance band to your paddle. This increases the workload on your muscles, leading to greater calorie expenditure and improved overall fitness.
  5. Maintain Proper Form: Practice good posture and technique while kayaking to optimize your calorie burn. Keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed, and utilize a fluid paddling motion that utilizes the correct muscle groups effectively.


Have your eyes stick here! You have something more to learn about burning calories during kayaking. 

Q: Are there any specific safety precautions to follow while kayaking? 

Yes, safety should always be a priority when kayaking. It’s important to wear a properly fitting personal flotation device (PFD) or life jacket. Also, check weather conditions before heading out, inform someone of your plans, and stay hydrated throughout your kayaking session. 

Q: Can kayaking help improve my balance and coordination? 

Yes, kayaking maintains balance and coordinates your movements effectively. As you navigate the water, you’ll develop better balance and coordination skills over time, which can help you make a healthier body.

Q: Is kayaking a suitable exercise for people of all fitness levels? 

Yes, kayaking can be adapted to different fitness levels. Beginners can start with shorter, less intense paddling sessions and gradually increase the duration as their fitness improves. It’s a versatile activity that can be enjoyed by individuals at various fitness levels

Final Words

In summary, kayaking is an exciting way to burn calories and enjoy nature. The calories burned depend on intensity, duration, body weight, and water conditions. 

To maximize calorie burn, increase the intensity, explore different terrains, add resistance, cross-train, and maintain proper form. Always prioritize safety with a flotation device, check the weather, and stay hydrated.

Kayaking, however, enhances balance, coordination, and mental well-being. It may be tailored to your fitness level, whether you’re a novice or an experienced paddler. So get out there, have some fun, and get a full-body exercise on the water. Have fun kayaking!

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