Skip to main contentSkip to main content
Evening kayaking in Svolvær

Credit: Karianne Klovning

Freelance writer Kenneth Kiesnoski

Kenneth Kiesnoski

Author
3 mins read

Kayaking: each paddle brings a wealth of health

Nothing can beat the blues like active time in the great outdoors. Paddle away everyday stress by getting out and reconnecting with nature on coastal pristine waterways by kayak.

A flood of endorphins —and wellness — awaits. Winter, summer, spring or fall, leave your cares behind on shore as you slip into your two-person craft and paddle your way to fitness and feeling great in the crystal-clear and silent waters of Norway — a paddler’s paradise.

Provides a peaceful perspective

Norway’s hundreds of kilometers of fjords, inlets, lakes and shorelines are stunning from any standpoint. Sitting on top of a kayak, however, your sea-level view of jagged, snowcapped peaks and glasslike, narrow fjords coasts — dotted with waterfalls, cliffs, farmsteads, orchards and quaint villages — lends a whole new, very peaceful perspective. 

Buoyed by fresh, salty sea air and a healthy sense of adventure, you’ll leisurely paddle your way past Norwegian nature — and toward a new, healthier you.

Paddle for fitness

Kayaking means getting fit while having a whole lot of fun. An hour of paddling can burn up to 500 calories an hour at a speed of 8 kph (5 mph), and kayaking is known to boost cardiovascular function, muscle strength, endurance and levels of Vitamin D. 

Since it’s easy on the joints, the activity is suitable for most age and fitness levels. Just one hour of paddling at 5 kph (3 mph) means up to 1,500 repetitions of low-impact, fat-burning upper-body exercise. Say goodbye to burpees!

Heals mind and soul

But kayaking is good for not only the body — it heals mind and soul, too. Getting active in nature has been shown to reduce stress, increase happiness, and improve focus and memory. 

Any aerobic exercise, of course, releases brain chemicals that quickly improve one’s mood. But the simple act of propelling yourself along a serene, cliff-lined fjord by kayak can be amazingly contemplative and calming, too.

The Norwegian kayaking connection

Kayaks may not be native to Norway — more a land of fishing vessels and Viking longships — but there is, in fact, a historical connection. The modern-day craft are derived from the traditional qajaqboats of Greenland, briefly explored and settled a millennium ago by Eric the Red. 

The famed Norse navigator set out from the stunning, sandy coasts of Jæren, south of Stavanger, which still beckon today.

Kayak in summer and winter

Kayaking in Norway is truly unique year round. In summer, take a nighttime sea trek under the midnight sun, which never sets from the end of May till mid-July. 

Come winter, silently paddle the waters as the northern lights dance overhead. Wispy curtains of colored polar particles shimmer above in a once-in-a-life nighttime light show.

Relieves stress

Focus on your breath, the rhythm of your strokes and the rippling of the water as your paddle pushes you forward. Meditate on the blues and grays of the sky and the fjords, lakes and sea. Ponder the shining whites of snow-capped peaks. 

You’ll soon feel at one with nature, your fellow kayakers and — perhaps for the first time — yourself, too. Feel your cares and worries fall away. Kayaking is a prescription for mental and physical fitness.

Decompress and reconnect

Outstanding scenery, from mountains to sea. A chance to decompress and reconnect. Calories burned. Self-esteem earned. A guided kayaking tour of coastal Norway puts you into touch with nature … and yourself. 

By the way, did you know that Norway has long drawn artists to its unique light and scenery? Who knows? You might head home with the picture-perfect memento of your coastal Norway kayaking adventure in hand.