Enjoy Pembrokeshire

Health Benefits - Canoeing/Kayaking

Physical Health

  • The action of paddling and effort to stay upright and afloat improves strength and flexibility in your back, torso, and arm and hand muscles.
  • Develops good hand-eye co-ordination, especially if you are paddling in more challenging waters.
  • Helps develop aerobic fitness and overall stamina.

Mental Health

  • Paddling may be the key to overcoming anxiety or depression. Do not underestimate the immensely calming and satisfying act of placing your paddle in the water and making a good clean stroke and then feel your craft glide effortlessly on top of the water.
  • Invigorating and restful in equal measure, a real opportunity to clear your mind as you move smoothly through the water in the fresh air.
  • Paddle yourself fit and see your self-esteem and confidence take a boost.

Rehab and Recovery

  • Always discuss any rehab or recovery plan with your health care provider.
  • Paddling is low impact upon joints and muscles so you are unlikely to strain yourself.
  • Paddle at a pace that suits you. Initially start on very short distances or go out on calm, easy water and build up.
  • If you have concerns about managing on your own there are canoe and kayaks that can fit more than one person in them at any time. This also means that you can rest or even never paddle at all!
  • Many operators have canoes and kayaks that are suitable for people with disabilities.


  • A good way to meet people through clubs and events.
  • Paddle out and discover the hidden gems of the Pembrokeshire Coast and the nearby river valleys.
  • This is a great family activity, as little ones can be strapped in safely with buoyancy aids and do not even need to paddle!

Weight Management

  • A great way to shed those unwanted pounds and to keep trim!
  • Moderate to hard paddling will burn 400 calories per hour, so four hours of paddling can burn up about 1,600 calories!

Healthy You

Pembrokeshire offers many ways of improving your health, from increasing stamina/strength, losing weight or improving your positive mental health and wellbeing.


Health terms