Don’t Sleep on These Top Kayaking Spots in Orlando
Kayaking in Orlando might turn out to be an excellent hobby for you to get into when you’re getting a fresh start on life after rehab. While you’re in recovery, especially soon after completing rehab treatment, it’s easy to lapse back into old habits that can lead you to use substances again. WhiteSands is Orlando’s #1 drug and alcohol rehab center. We’re pleased to offer these top kayaking spots for you to enjoy, we sure do!
Instead of letting old friends who are still abusing substances influence you or allowing too much time on your hands to entice you to begin using drugs or alcohol again, you must find healthy activities to fill in the time you once spent seeking out the people, places and things that will lead to relapse.
Find out the best places to go kayaking in Orlando if you want to indulge in a pastime that will help you remain active and busy in recovery instead of focusing on substances.
Here are our favorite spots:
The locals call this the largest lake in Osceola County, Lake Toho for short. You’ll find these waters are filled with bass and humming with lots of bird activity. You can paddle your kayak along Lake Toho amongst the many fishing boats and nature-lovers that spend the day on the water. Adventurers will be happy to learn that the lake is also home to alligators. It’s relaxing and fun to fish from your kayak or paddle along to enjoy flora and fauna. You might even spot a bald eagle flying overhead.
Wekiwa Springs State Park
This wonderful area is just minutes away from downtown Orlando. If you don’t own a kayak, you can easily rent one on-site. The calming, crystal-clear waters of Wekiwa Springs make this attraction a worldwide destination for viewing some unique wildlife you ordinarily could only see by diving or snorkeling. You can experience some of these rare ecosystems close-up and personal when you cruise the gentle current that eventually takes you to the Wekiva River. Majestic oak trees line the Wekiwa Springs banks, and tropical-like hammocks exist close to where the springs meet the Wekiva River. This is a fantastic excursion for a serene day of paddling as you explore the beauty of nature.
Shingle Creek Regional Park
You can rent kayaks at this entry to what is known as the northernmost headwaters of the Florida Everglades in an urban area of Kissimmee, close to Orlando. The landing site’s trail runs for a mile in each direction, giving you a great launching point for your day of paddling. As you kayak along the route, you’ll be transported from bustling Kissimmee to a tranquil environment that’s abundant with turtles, birds, and alligators. Thick Spanish moss hangs from cypress trees, adding to your enjoyment of this quiet park, where motorized boats aren’t allowed. Drop a line and do a little fishing while you kayak at Shingle Creek.
Benefits of Kayaking
Kayaking is a low-impact aerobic activity that can improve your overall fitness, increase your strength and afford you more flexibility. You’ll find that after regular kayaking excursions, your cardiovascular fitness will improve. You’ll also notice greater muscular strength in your back, upper arms, shoulders, and chest, as you’ll be using a paddle, sometimes pretty energetically, to get you where you want to go during your kayak trip.
This form of exercise will help you lose some weight if you’re looking to shed a few pounds. You can burn nearly 500 calories an hour just by paddling your kayak at a leisurely speed of 5 miles per hour. This is a peaceful, fun way to get into your exercise routine without having to walk on an indoor treadmill.
You’re mainly using your arms as you paddle along the waters, which helps tone them. At the same time, you’re also exercising your back, shoulder, and chest muscles. If you decide to go for a mile on your kayak, you’ll need to work about 500 strokes of the paddles, helping increase your upper body strength while you enjoy the great outdoors.
You’ll also tone your legs as you kayak. You need to maintain your balance and apply pressure through your legs to keep everything upright as you move along. When you need to make a turn or maneuver through some fallen logs, you’ll automatically tighten your leg muscles to help you out.
Core muscles are also worked out as you engage your abdomen, oblique muscles, and lower back to paddle your kayak. Just keeping the boat balanced involves sitting upright, which means using your core muscles throughout your journey.
You can kayak for hours at a time, which helps improve your endurance. Your increased stamina enables you to enhance your energy levels for everyday activities.
Since kayaking is an aerobic activity, your heart health reaps positive results from this sport. Kayaking can strengthen your heart muscles to pump blood more effectively. It will also improve your circulation.
Peaceful Exercise for People in Recovery
When you’re in recovery, you’ll need to find activities that will not only fill those hours that once were devoted to gathering and using substances, but you’ll also want to avoid being stressed out. Your mental health can suffer in recovery if you don’t address stress and anxiety. Kayaking means you’re getting outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine, all of which go a long way toward reducing stress. Less stress also often helps alleviate any medical conditions you may be facing.
When you’re surrounded by nature in the calm, quiet atmosphere that kayaking usually provides, you’ll find that you’ll become a happier, kinder, and even more creative person. Nature affects your mood for the better, as the physical exercise involved releases endorphins and other “happy” body chemicals that occur naturally. If you’re finding that your new sober lifestyle is getting you down, kayaking is a great new sport that can uplift your mood and improve your mental health and well-being.
While you’re paddling down a stream or lake, you’re giving your mind a bit of a break from everyday life’s problems and challenges. Taking this active break two to three times a week gives you a chance to re-focus when you return. This peaceful exercise lets you increase your focus and motivation so you can better deal with life’s solutions later on.
Becoming more active in recovery regularly also increases your thinking skills and enhances your memory. Aerobic exercise plays a role in stimulating new blood vessel growth in the brain, raising the number of new brain cells, and even increasing the size of your hippocampus, the part of the brain that helps you learn and remember new things.
Some people in early recovery from addiction can have difficulty sleeping. Exercise and being active outdoors can help you overcome insomnia because you’ve been expending energy all day. You may sleep for a more extended period of time and have a better quality of sleep, too.
Places to Rent Kayaks in Orlando
Being outside kayaking can provide some of the most scenic views Florida has to offer. To rent kayaks in Orlando, we’ve come up with the best places to begin the activity:
Lakeside Watersport Rentals
This rental facility is conveniently situated dockside of a restaurant on Lake Fairview. Lakeside Watersport Rentals has non-motorized kayaks and paddleboards for rent, including life vests, paddles, and a safety whistle. This is a locally-owned shop that offers quality service. Rent a kayak for 30 minutes or more at reasonable rates. As an added plus, you can dine lakeside in the adjacent restaurant after returning your kayak.
Lake Life Paddle
You can rent a single kayak here for four hours to enjoy the beautiful lakes near Orlando. Cruise South Orlando’s Lake Conway, with its clean waters that are safe to swim in. Bring your small dog along for the ride if you wish. You can also opt to take a kayak tour along the spring-fed waters, where you’ll spy on many fish, turtles, and birds as you bond with nature and your fellow kayakers.
Fish While Kayaking
While taking in the gorgeous natural surroundings as you kayak in some of Florida’s nicest lakes near downtown Orlando, you might want to also get some fishing in. Kayak fishing in the freshwaters near Orlando adds loads of fun to your day out in nature. A kayak gets you to shallow waters that a boat can’t, and it gives you access to peaceful areas for fly fishing.
Some of the fish you’ll be sure to catch when fishing off a kayak are largemouth bass and catfish. You also might reel in panfish, a type of sunfish, bream, or bluegill. If you’re kayaking on Lake Toho, you’ll encounter many largemouth bass and bluegill.
If you fish while kayaking, you’ll need to outfit your kayak. Bring a one-rod holder if you need it and mount it behind you, so it doesn’t get in the way of your paddling. If you want to keep what you catch rather than releasing it, you need somewhere on the kayak to stow it. A cooler with ice that’s strapped to the deck is helpful.
As for tackle when kayak fishing, use a light-medium spinning outfit that can take a 12-15-pound test line. Live bait is best, and in freshwater, you’ll want to use real worms. For saltwater, live shrimp is the optimal bait.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.