Working out...

What does everybody else do to stay in shape to make their paddling experience more pleasurable? Jogging? walking? Yoga? Hitting the gym and the weights?

Just curious…I need to tweak my lifestyle and begin a more regimented program and stick to it.

hike, ski, stretch
I hike during the winter and summer a fair amount.

I’m trying to get more regular about stretching, so I can be more flexible in my boat. If anyone has a good stretching regime or yoga routine for kayakers, I’d like to hear it. Trying to stretch my trunk especially, to improve rotation, layback, and forward curl.

Yup! Gittin’ in shape fer de…
Raystown Wimmin Chasin’ Event.


Lift for balance
Frequent paddling creates muscle imbalance. This can lead to injury. I lift weights to balance development.

I just started…
… maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago. But, I’ve been doing aerobics with one or two people at work - it’s maybe 30 minutes of exercises. On alternate days, I try to spend time on the stationary bike and then lift weights (mostly arms with a few leg exercises). I try to finish each exercise with 3 x sets of 10 of crunches.

And finally, at least 2 days a week - I’ve been trying to take my daughter to the pool.

The first day of aerobics almost ended with me passing out. After that, I’ve learned to listen to myself and stand out an activity if I need to.

My goal is to build up stamina and endurance.

Lift and yoga…
canoeing is my primary cardio because of bad knees.

I hit the lifting only three times a week, and only use functional, multi-joint exercises, stay off the benches, and use short rest periods. This builds functional strength, balance and anaerobic capacity which makes not only paddling better, but also day to day activities. Yoga is a great way to maintain flexibility, and avoid injury.

How about science…

  1. The Principle Of Individual Differences

    The principle of individual differences simple means that, because we all are unique individuals, we will all have a slightly different response to an exercise program. This is another way of saying that “one size does not fit all” when it comes to exercise. Well-designed exercise programs should be based on our individual differences and responses to exercise.

    Some of these differences have to do with body size and shape, genetics, past experience, chronic conditions, injuries and even gender. For example, women generally need more recovery time than men, and older athletes generally need more recovery time than younger athletes.

    With this in mind, you may or may not want to follow an “off the shelf” exercise program, DVD or class and may find it helpful to work with a coach or personal trainer to develop a customized exercise program. Some things to consider when creating your own exercise program include the next batch of exercise science principles.

  2. The Principle of Overload

    The exercise science principle of overload states that a greater than normal stress or load on the body is required for training adaptation to take place. What this means is that in order to improve our fitness, strength or endurance, we need to increase the workload accordingly.

    In order for a muscle (including the heart) to increase strength, it must be gradually stressed by working against a load greater than it is used to. To increase endurance, muscles must work for a longer period of time than they are used to or at a higher intensity.

  3. The Principle of Progression

    The principle of progression implies that there is an optimal level of overload that should be achieved, and an optimal time frame for this overload to occur. A gradual and systematic increase of the workload over a period of time will result in improvements in fitness without risk of injury. If overload occurs too slowly, improvement is unlikely, but overload that is increased too rapidly may result in injury or muscle damage. For example, the weekend athlete who exercises vigorously only on weekends violates the principle of progression and most likely will not see obvious fitness gains.

    The Principle of Progression also stresses the need for proper rest and recovery. Continual stress on the body and constant overload will result in exhaustion and injury. You should not train hard all the time, as you’ll risk overtraining and a decrease in fitness.

  4. The Principle of Adaptation

    Adaptation refers to the body’s ability to adjust to increased or decreased physical demands. It is also one way we learn to coordinate muscle movement and develop sports-specific skills, such as batting, swimming freestyle or shooting free throws. Repeatedly practicing a skill or activity makes it second-nature and easier to perform. Adaptation explains why beginning exercisers are often sore after starting a new routine, but after doing the same exercise for weeks and months they have little, if any, muscle soreness.

    Additionally, it makes an athlete very efficient and allows him to expend less energy doing the same movements. This reinforces the need to vary a workout routine if you want to see continued improvement.

  5. The Principle of Use/Disuse

    The Principle of Use/Disuse implies that when it comes to fitness, you “use it or lose it.” This simply means that your muscles hypertrophy with use and atrophy with disuse. This also explains why we decondition or lose fitness when we stop exercise.

  6. The Principle of Specificity

    The Specificity Principle simply states that exercising a certain body part or component of the body primarily develops that part. The Principle of Specificity implies that, to become better at a particular exercise or skill, you must perform that exercise or skill. A runner should train by running, a swimmer by swimming and a cyclist by cycling. While it’s helpful to have a good base of fitness and to do general conditioning routines, if you want to be better at your sport, you need to train specifically for that sport.

    Many coaches and trainers will add additional guidelines and principles to this list. However, these six basics are the cornerstones of all other effective training methods. These cover all major aspects of a solid foundation of athletic training.

    Designing a program that adheres to all of these guidelines can be challenging, so it’s not a surprise that many athletes turn to a coach or trainer for help with the details so they can focus on the workouts.

    Learn more

    • Do You Need a Personal Trainer?
    • Tips for More Effective Training
    • The Benefits of Cross Training
    • What Causes Muscle Fatigue


      Wilmore, J.H. and Costill, D.L. Physiology of Sport and Exercise: 3rd Edition. 2005. Human Kinetics Publishing.

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Of course…
all those specific details would have to be figured out in developing any program. I figured the OP was just looking for generalities.


– Last Updated: Mar-20-09 12:07 PM EST –

Overall fitness consists of strength, flexibility, and endurance. The older we get, the more specific we need to be about each, regardless of our sport preference. There are many routes to take to achieve fitness but consistency in whatever route you prefer is the ingredient that works. Yoga is excellent for flexibility and joint strength; but with it specific cardio is needed where the body accommodates work at elevated heart rates; and specific strength training for core strength, shoulder stability, and overall good body function is important. A balanced workout program consistently followed (so its got to be stuff you enjoy doing) works wonders. Gail

Gym 3 times a week, Lift weights, Yoga, Cardio both inside and outside the gym and stretching. Finding a lot of benefit doing core exercises that move the torso the same way I move when paddling.

Stretching helps

“If your dog is fat, you need more exercise”

A twice-daily brisk dog walk helps me keep from being a potato. Skijoring with the dogs in winter, hiking and biking with them in summer.

A good contradance is a great way to work up a sweat while meeting fun people.

trail running
cant do the running on a treadmill or running laps in a gym…maybe i get fatigued from lack of scenery lol

i love the trail running, each corner, new views, ocean to my right and then on the return to my left.

stretching of course…but I havent even considered yoga

Nothing beats:

Miles and Miles of paddling in the kayak.

FARTlek in the Kayak.

Intervals in the kayak.

Endurance in the kayak.

Stregth Training in the kayak: Add bungies around the boat in front of the cockpit to get paddling specific strength training.

Road Bicycle
with people. Competitive people. What do you call two old men on bicycles?

a race.