Wed. Nov 29th, 2023
8 ways rowing can improve your health

Just when we thought nothing could beat the “good for you” news about chocolate…

…research shows that rowing is good not only for our physical health, but also for our mental health!

Here are some of the benefits that will have you reaching for your paddle:

Rowing graphic

Benefits for your brain

Reduces stress levels: Being in water has a calming effect on the brain and can help reduce stress levels.

solo kayak

Improve your mood: Rowing regularly can help reduce levels of depression and anxiety.

Build trust: Set paddling goals! Overcoming challenges builds confidence, whether you’re a beginner fine-tuning your stroke or a rowing pro on a dream trip to the backcountry.

Benefits for your body

Work your upper body: Increase muscle strength, particularly in the back, arms, shoulders and chest, by moving the paddle against the natural resistance of the water.

Family Boating on the Lake

Increases core strength: With each forward stroke, you rotate your torso, which really engages your core muscles. These muscles also help balance your canoe/kayak.

Increase leg strength: Kayakers receive the added benefit of increased leg strength through isometric contractions. You apply pressure with your legs as you turn and balance the kayak, causing these muscles to tense and, over time, build strength.


Protect your joints: Rowing is a low-impact activity, which reduces the risk of joint wear and tear compared to many other activities.

Improves cardiovascular health: Rowing is a great exercise to raise your heart rate and improve cardiovascular health.

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Paddling in parks

Ontario Parks offers endless paddling opportunities. Explore a swamp, wander a river, or plan a whitewater adventure!

More than 75 parks rent canoes, kayaks and SUPsMaking your paddling planning even easier!

Find a paddling route near you

For more information about paddling in the parks, check out the “Activities” tab on individual park pages or learn more about paddling in Ontario parks here.

You can also search for parks with paddling opportunities near you using the Park locator tool.

Healthy Parks, Healthy People

Healthy Parks Logo Healthy PeopleResearch shows that spending time in nature is good for our physical and mental health, and paddling is just one way to include more nature in our lives. This is why Ontario Parks has embraced the global community Healthy Parks, Healthy People movement that encourages everyone to spend more time in nature.

In celebration of Healthy Parks Healthy People movement, Ontario Parks is offering FREE day use at all Ontario parks on July 21, 2023. the perfect time to try a new paddling route.