Kite Flying for Fitness
Many of us have wonderful childhood memories of flying kites. There was always excitement and sense of accomplishment when the wind would carry the kite high in the air. But even for adults, kite flying is a great way to get moving and offers benefits for the mind and body.
A Fun Core Workout
Flying a kite is a great low-impact core exercise that targets the muscles in the shoulders, chest, back, arms and abs. Keeping a kite airborne can also improve balance and stability as well as hand-eye coordination since it requires a series of pulls and tugs.
What Equipment Do I Need?
Kites come in many shapes and sizes and are designed for different conditions and purposes. The most common are diamond, box, delta, parafoil, and stunt kites. You'll also need flying line and a winder. Some winders are quite simple and some are sophisticated and designed much like a fishing reel. Your local hobby shop can give you some suggestions for the best kite to get started with. And like many activities, kiting is something you can grow in, improving your skill, upgrading your equipment, and exploring new games such as stunts and kite fighting.
How to Fly a Kite 101
It is a common misconception that one needs to run to catch the wind in order to launch a kite. However, a good kite will catch and rise with the wind with very little effort.
Find an open area. Nearby buildings, trees, and hills can create turbulence making it more difficult to fly. The amount of wind required depends on the type of kite. Heavier kites need more wind, while some lighter kites are designed to fly in light wind. Most kites are designed to fly in wind speeds of 4 to 10 miles per hour.
To launch a kite, stand with your back to the wind, holding the kite as high as possible and with the nose pointing straight up. Then just gently release the kite, slowly letting out the line. As the kites flies away from you and toward the ground, tighten your grip on the line to make the kite rise again.
How to Learn More
Many communities have kiting clubs, festivals, and participants who are eager to teach you more about the exciting world of kiting.