The Benefits of Paddling

December 11, 2014


Over 20 million people participate in one form of paddling or another—canoeing, kayaking, or stand-up paddleboarding. There are various reasons why people enjoy paddling:

  • Exploring nature

  • Fishing

  • Running whitewater rivers

  • Exercise


Canoeing and kayaking are low-impact activities that:

  • Improve cardiovascular fitness

  • Strengthen arm, back, chest, and shoulder muscles

  • Increase leg and torso strength

  • Improve mental health

  • Burn calories


Just one hour of canoeing or kayaking burns between 224–287 calories. Being out on a quiet lake or river surrounded by nature can have a tremendous calming effect that relieves stress and can even be meditative.


We’re fortunate to live in Oregon, which is blessed with magnificent scenery, crystal-clear lakes, abundant wildlife, towering trees, and temperate weather, all factors that make paddling in the state a popular recreational activity. Whether you prefer paddling quiet lakes and gentle rivers, hurtling down whitewater rivers, exploring bays or offshore islands, or paddling in and out of marshes, there are plenty of paddling choices in Oregon to satisfy you.


Never paddled before? There are several clubs in and around Portland and Salem with people more than happy to teach you how. Several canoe and kayak retailers are also happy to provide instruction and allow you to demo boats to help you determine if a canoe or kayak is better suited for you.


Join Canoe & Kayak Oregon on one of the many trips we lead on various rivers and lakes in Oregon and explore the outdoors, observe the wildlife, and reap the health benefits of paddling.

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“Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe.”

                        Henry David Thoreau

"The two best reasons to buy a kayak rather than just renting are sunsets and sunrises."

                              Thomas P. Jones

"If there's a place, Canoe there."

                                      Brent Kelly

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