5 Reasons To Go Paddling This Summer

June 9, 2022

(Updated June 2024)

two canoes with people in lifejackets on river covered by trees Hover image

Summer temperatures in South Carolina can be miserable. Getting out on the water, whether you’re on the coast or in the Upstate, can make the heat of the South more bearable. Luckily for Carolinians, plenty of waterways are available for exploring and getting active. This summer, grab a paddle and get outside for a dose of sunshine on the water. Paddling is great for these reasons:

1. It has numerous health benefits. 

Canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding improves strength with a low-impact workout. Paddling can increase flexibility and provide a good workout for your heart. Plus, it is effective cardio. Studies show it can burn up to 500 calories per hour if you paddle at an average of 5 mph. It’s a great core workout, too. 

2. It offers opportunities for all fitness levels. 

Getting out on the water doesn’t have to be a long or overly strenuous affair. Even a leisure paddle around a lake or pond can have positive benefits for your health. Because it is a low-impact exercise, it is also good for joint health and accessible for people of most ages. 

3. It clears your mind.

Research shows spending time outside can be good* for your mental health. Fresh air has positive benefits for your overall health but especially for mental health. The focus required for an activity such as paddling can have positive benefits, too. 

4. It fuels your brain.

Exercise isn’t just good for your muscles and joints. The chemicals you get from working out are also good for your mind. Going for a paddle increases blood flow to your brain, which improves focus and memory. 

5. It leads to better sleep.

After some time on the water in the sun, you’ll be ready to take a deep sleep. Exercising will naturally make you tired and can make you sleep more soundly at night. Sleep is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health. It allows your body and mind to recharge so you feel more alert when you wake up. 

Remember to take proper safety precautions by wearing a life vest and taking a friend with you on the water. Find an expert to guide you, if possible, or stay close to the shore. 

Need inspiration for places to explore? Several of South Carolina’s seven wonders are waterways that are good for paddling. 
*This link leads to a third-party website. That organization is solely responsible for the contents and privacy policy on its site.

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