Wellness Matters

Make Fitness a Shore Thing

August 01, 2014

Discovering ways to keep fit can be a challenge. If you’re coming up dry, maybe it’s time for some water – and the water offers a raft of activities.

What’s the attraction?


                You can enjoy a relaxing float downstream – or get some serious exercise. Since aluminum canoes weigh up to 90 pounds, just reaching the water can be challenging. Canoeing also makes a great family outing.


                Like canoeing, kayaking offers strength-building and aerobic benefits. This enclosed craft, typically built for one or two people, is lighter and more maneuverable than a canoe.


                Steering a small craft through the waves will keep you active, but sailing doesn’t provide an intense workout. Safety instruction is important – you have to know the rules of the waterway.


                This physically demanding sport works the upper body hardest. Individuals are pulled behind a boat or cable ski installation skimming the surface on one or two skis. While it may seem like a daredevil sport, supporters say it’s relatively safe.


                The surface water sport combines the elements of surfing and sailing. Repeatedly lifting the sail out of the water as you learn the sport may be the most vigorous part of this workout. Once you’re doing it right, you get in a relaxed position and finesse the wind.

To Set Sail Safely

  • Take a class. Trial and error isn't the best or safest teacher.
  • Rent before you buy. It cuts initial costs and lets you try different activities.
  • Dress for safety. A personal flotation device is essential.
  • Get in shape. Look for exercises that strengthen the muscles you'll be using.
  • Join the crowd. Other participants can offer support and information.


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