Paddlesports offers fun option during National Fitness Month

USA Canoe and Kayak, the American Canoe Association and World Kayak think they have the answer to American’s search for healthy ways to stay fit during this month’s designation as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.
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USA Canoe and Kayak, the American Canoe Association and World Kayak think they have the answer to American's search for healthy ways to stay fit during this month's designation as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

Olympic gold medalist Joe Jacobi, head of USA Canoe Kayak knows first-hand the rewards of a lifetime dedicated to paddling. “It's so fun, you're barely aware that you're also getting a great workout,” Jacobi said. “Because it's a low-impact activity and contributes to great cardiovascular strength, paddling is a sport you can enjoy your whole life from your own childhood to your children and their children's childhoods.”

Ms. Fitness magazine touts the appeal of paddling to women: "Paddling is an easy sport for women to embrace. As females tend to have a greater sense of coordination, paddling is simple to grasp. You can burn about 150 calories in half an hour.”

Widely quoted kayak fitness expert, US Army Ranger and West Point grad Robert Finley of Kayak Lake Mead, touts the toning befits of paddling: “In one hour at 3 mph you are going to do about 1500 repetitions of low impact upper body movements while your are paddling, which no matter what your fitness goals are, you are going to tone up almost every muscle in your body.”

The best way to start paddling, or brush off the cobwebs if it's been a while, is to take a lesson from certified professionals at recognized canoe and kayak teaching facilities. One program designed to make it easier for folks get started is Let's Go Paddling. Launching in June, Let's Go Paddling is a grass roots nationwide effort to get more people paddling more often. During June, National Let's Go Paddling month, Welcome Centers will offer at least one free lesson and/or festival aimed at welcoming outdoor enthusiasts to give paddling a try.

“Freshwater, saltwater, flatwater, whitewater, Let's Go Paddling welcomes canoeists, kayakers, dragon boaters and kayak polo players to join the initiative,” said World Kayak executive director James McBeath.

For further information on how to get involved with paddling, visit http://www.LetsGoPaddling.com. Check back often as more teaching facilities and paddle festivals join the movement.

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