Can You Kayak During Pregnancy?

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By Dr. Lisa Smiley | Updated on Dec 8, 2023
Image for article Can You Kayak During Pregnancy?

Kayaking can be a good form of cardiovascular exercise during pregnancy, but consult your healthcare provider prior to participating. If you’re experiencing preeclampsia, placenta previa, severe anemia, preterm labor, cerclage, certain heart, or lung diseases or are pregnant with multiples, 1 you shouldn’t exercise

Paddling by itself is generally safe to do during pregnancy—it’s the variety of other factors of kayaking that influence whether it’s a good idea. There’s a large difference between whitewater or ocean kayaking and kayaking on a calm, flat lake or river, so talk with your healthcare provider about what type of kayaking you would like to do. 

Also, be sure that your kayak’s weight limit and your lifejacket accommodate your new body. Remember to stay hydrated, take breaks as needed, and protect yourself from the sun to avoid overheating.

As your pregnancy progresses, a sit-on-top kayak may be a better option than a sit-inside kayak as it has more room and is easier to get in and out of 2 . Also, consider that a wider kayak will provide more stability.

Kayaking involves a lot of rotational core movement, so being mindful of any abdominal bulging is important for potentially reducing your risk of postpartum diastasis recti.

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

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Expectful uses only high-quality sources, including academic research institutions, medical associations, and subject matter experts.

  1. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists"Exercise During Pregnancy"Feb 28, 2022https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/exercise-during-pregnancy.

  2. "Sit-On-Top vs Sit-Inside Kayaks: Which Is Best For You?"https://paddlingmag.com/skills/buying-advice/sit-on-top-vs-sit-in-kayak/.


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Updated on Dec 8, 2023

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Can You Kayak During Pregnancy?

 Lisa Smiley Profile Photo
By Dr. Lisa Smiley | Updated on Dec 8, 2023
Image for article Can You Kayak During Pregnancy?

Kayaking can be a good form of cardiovascular exercise during pregnancy, but consult your healthcare provider prior to participating. If you’re experiencing preeclampsia, placenta previa, severe anemia, preterm labor, cerclage, certain heart, or lung diseases or are pregnant with multiples, 1 you shouldn’t exercise

Paddling by itself is generally safe to do during pregnancy—it’s the variety of other factors of kayaking that influence whether it’s a good idea. There’s a large difference between whitewater or ocean kayaking and kayaking on a calm, flat lake or river, so talk with your healthcare provider about what type of kayaking you would like to do. 

Also, be sure that your kayak’s weight limit and your lifejacket accommodate your new body. Remember to stay hydrated, take breaks as needed, and protect yourself from the sun to avoid overheating.

As your pregnancy progresses, a sit-on-top kayak may be a better option than a sit-inside kayak as it has more room and is easier to get in and out of 2 . Also, consider that a wider kayak will provide more stability.

Kayaking involves a lot of rotational core movement, so being mindful of any abdominal bulging is important for potentially reducing your risk of postpartum diastasis recti.

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

Want evidence-based health & wellness advice for fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum delivered to your inbox?

Your privacy is important to us. By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.

Expectful uses only high-quality sources, including academic research institutions, medical associations, and subject matter experts.

  1. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists"Exercise During Pregnancy"Feb 28, 2022https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/exercise-during-pregnancy.

  2. "Sit-On-Top vs Sit-Inside Kayaks: Which Is Best For You?"https://paddlingmag.com/skills/buying-advice/sit-on-top-vs-sit-in-kayak/.


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