The beautiful weather we’ve been receiving has had many of my friends yearning to get out on the water. So today I thought I’d write about one way to receive great exercise while getting outside and enjoying the incredible fall foliage: kayaking. Kayaking not only offers an affordable way to get out and explore some of our area’s picturesque waterways and autumn scenery; it also helps the muscles in the upper-body while providing a great cardiovascular workout. Below I’ve listed some answers to very common questions about kayaking.
Where can I go kayaking and how much will it cost?
If you don’t own your own kayak or have a friend’s that you can borrow, there are plenty of options to get you out on the water. Typically, a kayak rental center will offer hourly blocks for rentals. We recommend renting for at least two hours as the time you spend transporting the kayak and preparing to set out will eat into the time you are going to spend in the water.
An example of a local spot for kayak rentals is Bay Creek Paddle Center in Irondequoit (www.baycreek.com). At Bay Creek you’ll save money by renting for longer periods of time, so that while it’s $28 to rent a kayak for two hours, it’s only $34 to have it for four hours, and $44 to have it for eight.
Additional kayaking spots include:
-Rochester Canoe and Kayak Park (Rock Park) on the Genesee near Driving Park Bridge.
-Letchworth State Park which also offers whitewater rafting trips (check out: www.adventure-calls.com for more information).
-Mendon Ponds Park offers scenic, serene waterways for a relaxing kayaking experience.
How should I prepare?
As with any activity a proper warm-up is recommend. In addition to stretching, with emphasis placed on your arms and shoulders, also consider adding push-ups and/or shoulder presses to your pre-kayaking workout. As proper kayaking involves repetitive movement of the arms and shoulders to paddle your kayak forward you will want to address these upper body areas prior to setting out, as you’ll be able to effectively reduce the potential for a repetitive use injury in these areas.
Again, the same advice applies to kayaking that applies to so many activities. Warm up and make sure to eat some protein prior to setting out. Kayaks typically have small storage compartments, so if you’re setting out for a long session – say four hours or more – make sure to pack some water and a protein/energy bar to help keep you energized for return trips and lifting the kayak out of the water. I highly recommend kayaking as a great way to work your shoulder and upper back, while having an experience to remember!