On the Water

Paddling for Fitness

Yes! Another excuse to take out the canoe

By Lou Dzierzak
Published: June 1, 2005
webcanoe-woman
Photo by Muriel Lasure, istock.com
There are as many reasons to paddle as there are lakes to paddle on. Fishing, bird-watching, exploring and spending time with someone close to you may come to mind.

At the top of the list you probably haven’t included paddling for exercise. But paddling a canoe or kayak definitely provides fitness benefits, even though walking, running and bicycling are more common paths to fitness.
   
And this is not an either/or proposition. According to Richard Cotton, chief exercise physiologist for Myexerciseplan.com and a spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise, canoeing is a great complement to walking, jogging and cycling because it works the upper body.
   
So now you have a great excuse to grab the canoe paddle following your morning hike through the woods. But how do you paddle for exercise?
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