When you're looking for a fun new type of exercise, river rafting probably isn't your first thought. But perhaps it should be! Rafting is a fun hobby, but it's also an excellent workout and great for your overall health. Take a look at some of the best health reasons to take up river rafting as your new hobby.

It Burns Calories

Paddling is hard work. It may not feel like intense exercise while you're doing it – the spray from the water will keep you nice and cool, and the adrenaline rush from all the excitement will keep you from tiring out too quickly. But you'll notice a difference when you step on the scale. For a person who weighs 150 pounds, an hour of river rafting can burn up to 340 calories.

It's also excellent cardio. The strenuous paddling through busy waters will help you build stamina and endurance, and it's good for your heart health, circulation, and metabolism. While you're at it, you'll find that all that paddling helps you build muscle. If you're looking to increase your strength, there's plowing an oar through choppy water is a great way to do it.

It Relieves Stress

Frustrated with work? Worried about debt? Anxious about your family? Modern life comes with all kinds of stressors and finding ways to manage it can be tough. Too much stress can make you physically ill and take a toll on your mental and emotional health as well. But river rafting offers you the chance to paddle all that stress away and clear your mind.

The hard work that you do paddling through turbulent waters allows you to work off nervous energy and burn some of your stress away. When you reach calm waters, you'll be able to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the water and nature around you, which can help melt away the rest of your stress. It's the perfect combination to give you a mental and emotional reset, after which you'll be ready to meet your ordinary challenges with renewed vigor.

Improves Teamwork Skills

Go rafting with family, friends, or coworkers as a team-building exercise. In order to successfully navigate the river, you'll need to communicate, rely on each other, and understand each other's strengths and weaknesses so that you can support each other during the ride.

Bonding with the people in your life is important. The companionship and support of your family, friends, and coworkers can keep you from feeling isolated, which can help prevent or lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety.

River rafting can be enjoyed by people of all ages, body types, and experience levels. If you're looking for a healthy way to enjoy your free time, rafting might be the right choice for you.