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Paddle Your Way to Good Health

Kayaking has become a very popular outdoor activity over the past few years, providing a low-impact, full-body workout, as well as being a fun sport that helps reduce stress. According to Yahoo Sports, “Kayaking has considerable aerobic and weight-loss benefits. Regular kayaking works large muscle groups and elevates the heart rate.” One hour of kayaking can burn 395 to 465 calories. The aerobic benefits include increased endurance, improved heart health, better cholesterol levels, lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure and better lung strength.

Paddling should focus on the torso to utilize its strength and guide the upper body. This motion also strengthens the legs because they are forced to maintain body balance. When paddling is executed correctly, the kayaker is working the arms, upper body, core muscles and lower body.

The kayaking experience is exhilarating, calming and fun all at once, whether it is on the still water of a serene lake or following the current down a river. The feeling of being on the water and surrounded by nature can induce a pleasant and less stressful state.

Great Parks of Hamilton County offers classes and rental opportunities to experience a great nature workout. A Kayak Quick Start, offered August 24 in Winton Woods, teaches the basics of kayaking with an American Canoe Association certified instructor. Also, the Friday Night Float: Kayak Basics on August 8 is a good opportunity to get some pointers on kayaking and enjoy a relaxing evening on Winton Lake at sunset.

Great Parks also provides opportunities to rent kayaks at Miami Whitewater Forest, Sharon Woods and Winton Woods during the season. Stand-up paddleboards are also available to rent.


For more information about kayak classes and rentals, visit

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