Fun in the Sun

Summer time may be gone, but the warm weather is still here! While it is still sunny and warm, take advantage of outdoor activities to sneak in some exercise. Although Gainesville isn’t near the ocean, there are plenty of rivers and lakes to go kayaking on. 

Kayaking is a low impact activity that is both relaxing and builds endurance. This sport is particularly beneficial for back, arm, shoulder and chest strength. With a speed of 3 mph, you will be able to achieve about 1,500 repetitions of upper body movements! Bump up your speed to 5 mph and you could be burning 400 calories per hour while gliding through the water. You can even target your core with the rotating motion of paddling from side to side. However, be cautious; although low-impact exercises reduce wear and tear on joints, the repetitive nature of paddling without proper posture can be harmful to the body. The most important thing to consider for proper posture is to sit up straight. It can be tempting to lean forward to get “more power” out of your row, but this will add strain to your lower back and cause your arms to do more work. You can actually get more power from engaging your full upper body.

Proper paddling form:
1. Sit upright.
2. Place arms slightly further than shoulder width apart on the paddle.
3. To get full power, make sure to completely submerge the paddle blade in the water during each stroke.
4. When paddling, keep your arms extended and simultaneously push with your upper arm and pull with your lower arm. Rotate your torso to follow the paddle.
5. Lift the paddle out of the water when your lower hand reaches your hip.

With weight loss, stress loss, and strength gain through kayaking, what is there to lose besides precious sunlight while on the water? Check out http://www.santaferiver.com/index.html for canoe/kayak rental, maps for river trails, launching docks, operation hours and pricing.

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