"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Grab your paddle

Summer is the most effective time for water activities. If you're on the lookout for a brand new and exciting option to benefit from the water, take up a paddle sport like kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding.

Whole body effort

Paddle sports use several types of paddles. Single paddles (with a flat blade at one end) are utilized in canoeing and paddleboarding (standing or kneeling solo on a paddle board, much like a large surfboard).

Double paddles (with blades at each ends) are utilized in kayaking. There are two fundamental forms of kayaks: flatwater and whitewater. Flatwater kayaks, designed for still ponds, lakes, estuaries, harbors, and slow-moving rivers, are perfect for beginners.

Although paddling generally is a full-body effort, the core, back, arms and shoulders work essentially the most.

compulsory. The core is made up of several muscles, but essentially the most utilized in paddling are the rectus abdominis (“abs” or “six-pack”) within the front of the abdomen and the obliques on the perimeters of your stomach. Acts as the first hub around which each and every pedaling motion revolves – bending to stabilize your trunk to generate power.

behind. Pedaling engages a lot of the back muscles, however the latissimus dorsi muscles, also often called the “lats,” and the erector spinae bear the best load. The large, V-shaped muscles that connect your arms to your vertebral column protect and stabilize your spine and supply strength to your shoulders and back. The erector spinae, a bunch of muscles that run the length of the spine on all sides, help with rotation.

Arms and shoulders. Each pedal stroke engages your upper arm (biceps and triceps) in addition to your upper shoulder (deltoid).

Paddling also helps strengthen your muscles for on a regular basis movement. For example, during a stroke, the angle and depth of the pedal is sort of all the time different, so your muscles should react to changes in resistance.

“This kind of resembles the real world, where you and your muscles have to respond quickly to different movements and stresses,” Salas says.

Pedaling also helps improve grip if you grab and hold the pedal handle. What's more, studies show that being near water can lower heart rate and blood pressure, in addition to have a chilled effect.

Dress for achievement and safety

Make sure you're prepared for time on the water. Use loads of sunscreen, and wear long-sleeved dry-fit sun shirts that block the sun's ultraviolet rays and quick-dry shorts. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover your face and neck and sunglasses that fully protect your eyes from the sun. Always wear a life jacket as well. And consider investing in water shoes. They are constituted of lightweight and breathable mesh material that permits for quick water wicking and quick drying. Choose durable rubber soles for walking on rocky and slippery surfaces.

hit the water

What type of paddle sport do you have to start with? It is dependent upon your fitness, personal interest and luxury level.

For example, kayaks are closer to the surface of the water than canoes. They require less bending and twisting, which makes them a greater option for individuals with low back problems. Paddleboarding is more difficult than kayaking or canoeing, because it requires balance skills and ankle stability.

No matter what you select, Salas recommends signing up for individual or group paddling lessons where all equipment is provided.

“This experience teaches you the basics, like how to paddle and get in and out of a boat safely, and other rules and etiquette,” she says. “Experts can also tell how to manage the proper water and air conditions.”

As with any recent endeavor, go slow at first. “Keep your initial walk to an hour, and don't push yourself, because the moves are unfamiliar and you don't want to overdo it,” says Salas. “You may feel tension and stiffness in many parts of your body as it adjusts to new demands and forces. But as you progress, you can increase your time and effort.”

Photo: © Image Source/Getty Images