Whether you’re vacationing at the lake or are just looking for a fun outing, you can get a great workout from canoeing or kayaking. In fact, paddling a canoe or kayak delivers a nice aerobic workout and cardiovascular benefits as well as boosting upper-body strength—including your back, arms and abs. To some extent, it can also work your lower back and legs.
Another benefit of canoeing (or kayaking) is that it can be an exercise outing with friends or family, which accomplishes two things at the same time: relationship building and working out. Being outside and enjoying nature is an added bonus. For many, canoeing or kayaking in the great outdoors trumps exercising in a crowded workout room any day.
Plus, if you’re in the sun, then you can also get a healthy natural dose of vitamin D!
You can also burn quite a few calories while canoeing or kayaking. For example, a 175-pound individual burns approximately 357 calories per one hour of canoeing at a rate of two miles per hour. However, that same person can burn 735 calories if he or she canoes at four miles per hour for an hour. Kayaking, though, burns those calories a little faster than canoeing does at two miles per hour, but not as fast as canoeing does at four miles per hour.
Here are some tips for making the most of canoeing or kayaking:
Be careful when lifting your canoe or kayak in and out of the water. You don’t want to strain or injure your back before you even get in the water!
Use proper form while paddling. For example, if your stroke is off, then you could experience undue wear and tear on the joints in your arms or shoulders. You’ll also want to choose a paddle size that works for you.
Of course, you should also be a competent swimmer if you choose to canoe or kayak for exercise. Additionally, be sure to use a properly fitting personal flotation device at all times when you are in or near water. Also, dress appropriately for the water temps and conditions as well as weather conditions.
Do you canoe? If not, then give it (or kayaking) a try!
In order to avoid risk of injury, please seek advice directly from your physician, especially if you have existing medical issues, before beginning any exercise or nutritional program. Also, be sure to stretch after exercise to avoid muscle and joint tightness.