Great Workouts in the Great Outdoors
5 Workouts Better Than Yours
Image: Rick Lohre
Surf's up! But you won't hang ten when you hit the ocean or river for a day of kayaking. Your toes are tucked nicely into the front end of a closed-top boat (imagine a canoe with the top covered up and a hole in the center for you to get inside). Kayaking offers participants a "liquid conveyer belt" through the great outdoors, says Eric Jackson, Olympian and former freestyle kayak world champion. "Kayaking is unique compared with other outdoor sports like mountain biking or hiking," says Jackson, who owns Jackson Kayaks, the world's largest white-water kayak company. "You are always out in the open on the water in a boat, so you get the most amazing views of the valleys, forests, cliffs, and surrounding areas."
Kayaking is also a great workout, according to Jackson. Paddling works your upper body and core, while your legs and hip flexors work to stabilize your body from inside the boat. Beginners can take their first strokes on flat-water streams or lakes and work up to faster moving rivers and rapids. You'll have to plunk down some cash to gear up for this equipment-heavy outdoor activity. But once that's done, it's just you and the open water.
Necessities: White-water kayaking: Kayak, paddle, life jacket, spray skirt, helmet, roof rack, straps. Ocean kayaking: Kayak (traditional or sit-on-top), life jacket, spray skirt (ocean), paddle, roof rack, straps
Cost of entry: $$$$
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