5 Canoeing Basics for Fun Exercise on the Water

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Canoeing is fun exercise whether you’re enjoying a leisurely afternoon at the pond in your local park or a wild whitewater adventure. It’s also a great total body workout. Ponder these 5 canoeing basics so you can get in on the action.

Buy or rent: There are canoe rentals at waterways all across the country. If you love the sport so much that you want your own vessel, they are easy to buy. Prices for a used version start at about $300, and they usually retain their value for many years to come.

Lift and carry: Just toting your canoe around will build up your strength. Proper form makes it safe to do solo or with a partner. Starting out, use 2 people. Grab onto the seats and hold the canoe at a height between your waist and your knees.

Kneel or sit: Kneeling is traditional, but you can adapt the pose for your own comfort or to accommodate injuries. Many people rely on knee pads, and shifting positions frequently is always a good idea to prevent stiffness.

Learn the forward stroke: There are at least a dozen strokes for different purposes. Fortunately, just a couple of moves are all you need to get started. The standard forward stroke uses your shoulder, back and abdomen so you burn lots of calories and don’t wear out your arms.

Add in the reverse stroke: The reverse stroke comes in handy for slowing down and stopping. To make things easier, it’s the same as the forward stroke except it’s done in reverse order. Make sure you go boating with an experienced partner the first time or two so they can demonstrate the details and keep you safe on the water.

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