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Big Bend: Benefits of Canoeing

A man in a gray t-shirt paddling a red canoe through a deep Big Bend canyon

Canoe the Rio Grande With Us!

Paddling out onto the great Rio Grande equals two things: vast, untamed wilderness and a guaranteed great day out. Not only is it the wide-open spaces, the deep limestone canyons, or the heavenly blue skies with a Chisos Mountains backdrop, but you’ll also enjoy the gift of solitude. Not another soul around. Aside from the beautiful location, there are so many other canoeing benefits that will also help refresh your body and mind, let’s take a look.

What Are the Physical Benefits of Canoeing

Canoeing can offer various health benefits. Not only will you benefit from physical exercise aiding the body, heart, and brain but you’ll also get to explore new places and enjoy the purity of nature.

A gentle day out canoeing can first help burn those calories. Depending on your height, weight, distance, and intensity, the average person will burn roughly 3 to 500 calories per hour canoeing. So our mellow half-day trip could have you on your way to melting 1000+ calories! And you won’t be stuck on the hamster wheel (treadmill), you’ll be out on the water with your group and our friendly guide exploring the unique beauty of Big Bend National Park.

Canoeing will also help increase upper body strength and even help tone your legs. Whether it will be your 1st time or 100th, after a day out on the water you’ll feel like you’ve given your muscles a workout. Repeating the paddling motion and steering the vessel with the oar uses back, shoulder, and chest muscles and will also benefit the legs! Your legs assist in keeping the boat balanced and when you come to maneuver the canoe, you’ll unintentionally tighten and loosen your legs, helping to tone them. This also plays a part in strengthening your core muscles too. The twisting, pull-push motions that are required to canoe will benefit your abdominal muscles and obliques. (Disclaimer: we can’t guarantee you’ll leave our trip with a 6 pack).

The Mental Health Advantages

As we touched on earlier, and have spoken about previously, there are many mental health benefits of spending time in the great outdoors. But canoeing in particular will aid a number of things. Physical exercise, in general, will help reduce stress levels and canoeing is no different. The combination of being out in nature and performing the exercise will also prompt the body to release certain chemicals like endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin (the feel-good hormones), and the sun touching your skin will help the body absorb/create that all-important vitamin D. Vitamin D is required to keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy (that’s right, including your heart)!

And one of our personal favorites, a few days out on the river can help your body relax in the evening and improve your quality of sleep. Burning energy throughout the day will help you stay in a deep sleep longer allowing you to enjoy a more restful night.

Basic Kayaking Safety

Aside from those wonderful physical and mental benefits, we feel touching on water safety also ensures a relaxing, memorable day out for all. All of our river trips are performed under the gentle, professional supervision of our experienced guides but please remember to always:

  • Keep your PFD (personal flotation device) on at all times on the water (we will provide you with one).
  • Listen to the guide’s professional instruction.
  • Keeping hydrated is important, so bring your own reusable water bottle (we will provide you with refreshing ice water throughout your trip).
  • Dress appropriately: that means shielding your body from the elements. Hot day ahead? Wear a brimmed hat and ensure your arms and legs are covered. Wearing comfortable shoes like old sneakers is important. Note: never flip-flops.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs before the trip.
  • Keeping your important items dry is also important and that’s why we’ll provide your group with dry bags.

Rio Grande Canoe Trips & Rental

Excited about your Rio Grande adventure yet? You should be. And don’t worry about the type of canoe tour you’d like to take because we have something for everyone. From 2-day family adventures to 3 & 4-day floats, our fun, scenic trips will allow you to enjoy all of the above benefits in a safe, relaxed environment. But if unguided river trips are more your thing and you want to explore the area unaccompanied, check out our blog here.

For all rental information, CLICK HERE, and for all other inquiries, reach out to me today and we’ll help you find everything you need

– Greg