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Kayaking for Exercise
by K.L. Amadio
Spring is the time of year when you yearn to finally get outdoors and pursue your health and
exercise goals in the fresh air.
Many of us dust off the old bicycle, oil the chain and exchange running shoes and treadmills
for cycling in the great outdoors.
That bicycle really works the lower body and cardio system,
but how do you
accomplish the same for the upper body.
How about Kayaking?
Kayaking is a sport that requires both strength and endurance.
It does an excellent job of developing the shoulders, chest and
back while providing for your requisite cardio needs.
All bodies of water are good potentials for kayaking.
You can kayak on the ocean, a lake or river.
Some people confuse a canoe and kayak but they are different vessels. The kayak has what
is referred to as a closed cockpit where you sit on the bottom of the boat with legs straight
forward enclosed by a canopy to keep water out of the boat.
A canoe is open. Fishermen use kayaks as do adventure sportsmen and divers.
Kayaks are very adaptable and have great range. So much so, that kayaking as a sport has seen a
rapid rise over the last several years. Of course, this means the price of kayaking equipment has
increased as well.
An inflatable kayak for the beginner can be bought for $250 give or take.
This level of kayak is usually available from a store like Costco or a sporting goods chain.
You can probably find cheaper alternatives but they are not recommended. As with a bicycle,
you wouldn't be inclined to start out with the $59 model to start a new fitness routine and
this attitude holds true for kayaking as well.
$699-$1,000 can put you into a one-man kayak that is good for recreational paddling on fresh
water or the sea. More superior boats will cost upwards of the thousand dollar mark
and differ based on classification.
Superior stability and lighter weight materials, gain you a more expensive a kayak.
If you get serious about kayaking, it would be wise to consider investing in a used model
where you can get better quality for a lower price.
Kayaks are categorized into five basic classes based on their intended use.
There are general recreation models, light touring or day-trip styles, touring-expedition,
surf and whitewater models. And as noted, usability affects price in every classification.
But, kayaking does not have to be expensive.
And, you don't have to be on whitewater rapids for it to be a great workout.
Like cycling, it increases endurance and upper body strength.
You learn to make good choices on the water to successfully navigate your path
safely whether on a still lake or a more challenging river.
If enjoying the outdoors while meeting your health and fitness demands sounds appealing,
give your upper body a workout and try kayaking.