If you’ve been tempted to go kayaking but think it might be too strenuous, or technical, or just too much of a hassle, it’s actually none of those things. Rather, it’s a fantastic, no-stress way to get some exercise and fresh air and see the world from a duck’s-eye view.
But it is a tough workout, right? Sure, it can be, but that’s totally up to you, says Joe Carberry, managing editor of Canoe & Kayak magazine. "Kayaking is way more approachable than a lot of people think," says Carberry. "You can learn the basics in a matter of minutes, and for lots of people, that’s going to be as much as they want so they can paddle around leisurely."
And even a leisurely kayaking trip can burn upwards of 350 calories per hour while toning your arm, back, upper body, and core muscles.
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Workout aside, "it can be such a joy to be out on the water," says Carberry, "as long as you’re smart about it, and get some lessons before you go. With kayaking, you never want to put yourself in dangerous situations."
Here are Carberry’s 6 tips for getting started: