Why Canoeing Is A Better Workout Than You Think

For many, lakes are places of placid contemplation. Relaxing can be done from shore, but it can just as easily be done from a canoe. For those who like a little more action, the same can be said of a canoe trip along a river. However, canoeing can do a lot more for people than offer a moment of calm reflection. 

Kayaking provides many of the same benefits, but the craft itself is used a little differently than a canoe. According to USACK, the biggest differences are the type of oar used, the deck shape, how users sit in the vessel, and the overall size and weight of the craft. The origins of the kayak and canoe also differ, but they both go back thousands of years.

When it comes to the physical benefits of both activities, they are often lumped together. This is because the muscles used for both activities are largely the same. Muscles that, as the Victorian Government's Department of Health explains, are more widely spread than some may know.

Canoeing can be a total body workout

Although canoeing might feel a little different depending on where you do it, the same muscles will benefit every time. The main muscles that are strengthened are in the back, arms, and shoulders, according to the Victorian Government's Department of Health. However, torso and leg strength also improve through canoeing. Twisting the torso and applying pressure with the legs help power the canoe. 

Canoeing can potentially improve cardiovascular fitness as well, and because paddling is a low-impact activity, there is less wear-and-tear on joints and tissues. All of this combined with the meditative nature of the task, as well as the beauty of nature, make canoeing a much better workout than it seems to be at first glance. Just keep in mind that you may want to consider your swimming technique before trying canoeing, as paddling sometimes results in dipping into the water.