Speaking of ‘fit and fabulous,’ here’s some great girlfriend advice on Kayaking and fitness – perfect for a July 4th holiday weekend or any summer day.
It’s summer and a great time to be out enjoying the season and some time with our girlfriends.
My girlfriend Allison LOVES to Kayak. Who knew it was so body beneficial? Girlfriend CHLOE LANG offers some great advice for getting out, getting fit, and having fun!
Kayaking for the Core
Being a woman with a passion for outdoor fitness and adventure, I am no stranger to hard core workouts and getting down and dirty, so to speak. However with all the climbing, hiking and outdoor recreation that I participate in for fitness and fun, I learned that the one thing that was being neglected were my core muscles.
As I always thought that I was in decent shape, I was a little shocked to find out just how weak my core muscles were. With
some training and research I learned the importance of keeping these muscles active, toned and strong.
I gathered up a couple of my girlfriends knowing they would keep me motivated (and vice versa) and enlisted them to begin a core workout program with me. Over two cups of herbal tea we came up with several different ideas for building our core muscles and then finally settled on a new activity that we knew would provide the kind of fun and adventure we all enjoy… kayaking.
So began our journey of learning about the importance of the core and paddling our kayaks like crazy to gain core strength.
The Importance of Your Core
Your core is located between your ribcage and your hips. There are thirty different muscles within this area whose purpose is to help your upper and lower body to work together every time you move.
When these muscles are weak it affects the strength and stability of your entire body as well as offers very little support for your back, hips and joints. This in turn can equal all sorts of aches and pains in various parts of your body.
These muscles tend to get neglected in my opinion because typical core workouts are boring as well as difficult which equals absolutely no fun. How many of you or your girlfriends like doing sit-ups? My friends and I all had different reasons for wanting to build our core muscles and each of us knew we would never stick to a regular workout if it involved having to do daily sit-ups. That is why we chose to go paddling instead.
Why Paddling for Core Fitness?
I am a big believer in making fitness fun and the best way I know how to do that is to recruit my girlfriends along for the ride. A day out kayaking on a lake with the girls feels like more fun and adventure than hard work. I had done some kayaking before but really incorporated it into my lifestyle once I learned that if done properly paddling involves almost solely strength from the core muscles.
I didn’t want the inconvenience of having to transport around a big hard-shell kayak so I purchased a decent quality inflatable kayak so that I could easily transport it in the trunk of my car and carry it myself.
Two of my girlfriends followed suit and purchased an affordable tandem inflatable kayak that they could share between the two of them. Just like that, we became a kayaking trio with the goal of having some outdoor fun and getting some strong abs.
Many people mistakenly think that paddling uses mostly the muscles in your arms, shoulders and back. However the strength of a proper paddle stroke in truth comes form the core.
Paddling can include:
- stand-up paddle boarding
What my girlfriends and I love most about paddling is that it allows us to explore different areas that we may not have been able to get to by land. If calm water paddling, you can go at your own pace and take rests when you need them. You will be amazed at how quickly your core muscles build up with this kind of interval training.
My two kayaking buddies and I (and sometimes my girlfriend’s three year old son who adores riding in the kayak) love to paddle to secluded beaches, have a picnic, sun bathe and enjoy each others company. We do this weekly in the warmer months of the year and have the satisfaction of knowing that we are not only having fun and connecting with nature, but truly getting in a good core workout.
After a day of paddling we are exhausted yet amazingly refreshed at the same time. I think it comes from the fact that even though we worked hard to paddle for a few hours, it was also a complete escape from our daily lives and therefore left us feeling relaxed and peaceful as well.
If you think that you and your girlfriends might enjoy paddling as a means of working out your core muscles I would highly recommend either renting some kayaks or canoes for the day or else borrowing someone else’s to try. This combined with a one hour lesson will give you a really good idea how to paddle properly for the best core strength results as well as help you feel more comfortable on the water.
Once you decide that you want to purchase your own boat you have a few options:
- A hard-shell kayak – as long as you have the room to store it
- An inflatable kayak – easy to store and transport – my favorite model at this time is the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame
- A canoe – tends to be good for packing in a lot of gear
- A raft – there are many different types, so be sure to do your research
- A stand-up paddle board – very popular recreational activity that will give you the ultimate core workout
If you have a hard time sticking with boring exercise and aerobic activities then grab your girlfriends and give paddling a try. Besides the exhilaration of a new outdoor adventure your core muscles will quickly grow stronger and stronger. Your entire body will thank you and hopefully you and your girlfriends will stay looking and feeling healthy, young and strong for years to come!
Chloe Lang is a freelance writer with a passion for health, fitness and outdoor recreation who loves to enjoy life to its fullest with a lot of help from her girlfriends. She regularly reviews popular outdoor gear at Gear Reviews Online.