Pre-season conditioning

Hi all,
Currently up to my knees in snow (light year), I am anxiously anticipating this upcoming season of paddling my new Quetico 17 in the Espanola area, nearest large centre being Sudbury, ON. I’m wondering if anyone out there knows of a pre-season conditioning program for paddling. I would hate to lose a chunk of our already short paddling season recovering from the first few outings. The old 74 year body doesn’t adapt well to any sort of new exercise.
Northern Rock

Welcome to the neighborhood. Yes, it’s a light year for snow in the northern climes. I’m near the Straits of Mackinac and we’re way below our average snowfall. That’s okay as it will help lower the levels of the Great Lakes.

Core work (planks) is always beneficial as are shoulder exercises. Here’s one example: Shoulder Exercises for Paddlers |

There’s an entire exercise section at you can pick and choose from: Exercises |

If you have access to an indoor rower, 30+ minutes a few times a week is a great full body workout and more important, great for cardio endurance.

Just 23 days until spring arrives; I’m loving the added daylight hours.

Kevin Olson, a NY canoe racer, has a number of videos and technique lessons plus pre-season strength exercises useful for the general paddler, not just for racers.

My philosophy: Keep your weight down. Keep doing any physical stuff that you enjoy… benefits cross over that wouldn’t think cross over. Keep your first real paddle outing or two reasonably short-distanced and not too strenuous.

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Beer and nachos are pretty physical.

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Don’t act your age, stay active. All year.

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Don’t let the Old Man in.

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I think the best exercise routine is the one you actually do. I recommend that you establish a spot within your house and get yourself a good thick yoga mat. I’d suggest starting with 15 minutes a day 5 days a week and focusing on core exercises…they are not difficult…tons of info on the web or YouTube. Do it first thing in the morning. Get yourself some resistance bands or a few dumbbells (maybe 10 and 15 pounds, or 7 and 10) and use them for conditioning while you watch TV…every other day or 3 times a week minimum. For building endurance any activity is good, walking (using snowshoes if you like) or using any sort of exercise machine.

My cousin is a PhD dietician, retired public health official and very active oldster (like myself – we are both 70) though she adds horseback riding to XC skiing and hiking. She endorses taking supplemental L-Lysine to help with muscle recovery after exercise.

I can report it does seem to help when I’ve been more active than usual (though it is more apt to be a daylong effort of heavy yard work than paddling that cramps me up the next day.)

I take the 1000 mg tab once a day now. It’s cheap (I go for the “buy one, get one free” sales that the drug store chains constantly rotate through) and she says there are no drug interactions or drawbacks to taking it. Supposed to boost skin health and immunity as well.

Hi. The best thing I find, to help with being able to get in and out of a kayak, is do deep knee squats. I try to do a bit everyday to keep the thigh muscles strong. So far haven’t had any problems with arms, but if you have a set of weights, just start some arm excercises. We did Manitoulin a few years ago, Lake Kagawong. We camped at Norm’s. Hoping to camp and kayak along Superior this year but the provincial parks are being booked like crazy this year. Our son is in Thunder Bay so we will do 11 up and 17 back.

I like yoga, for strength and balance.