After preparing your set of Kayaking Gear, you need to make sure that your body is fit enough for the kind of activity that you will be doing.
Warming up is essential to prepare your body for strenuous activities and to minimize the risk of injury. Establish a routine that you can follow and make a habit of following it before going into the water.
Warming up can offer a lot of benefits. It can:
- prepare the mind, heart, muscles and joints for the trip or tour
- lower blood pressure
- improve blood flow
- increase muscle temperature
- make muscles more pliable
Start with some light exercises for at least 15 minutes. Stretch all major muscle groups used when walking. Once you have warmed up, it is time for some gentle stretching. For stretches, you can do the following:
Start your body stretches with gentle neck rotations from left to right. Bend the head forward from the neck but do not rotate or roll the head. You may also perform arm and shoulder stretches, hamstring, triceps stretch, trunk rotation and quadriceps stretch.
These are light stretches that are important for your warm-up routine. By doing these stretches, you can help fine-tune your body.
Stretching in the Boat
Aside from body stretches, you can also perform some stretches while you are seated in the boat. You can do boat stretches on land and on water. Boat stretches serve a lot of purpose for Kayaking. First, your stretching is specifically geared to the range of motion you have in the boat. Also, you have good freedom of movement while you are seated in the Cockpit. So if any movement hurts your body, you can immediately do something about it.
Always stretch gently and increase it gradually. Use your muscles when stretching to avoid causing muscle strain and possible injury. If you experience pain while stretching, stop right away.
Of course, after warming up, you need to cool down. You can do this by walking for a few minutes after your warm-up.
Whenever you go Kayaking, make sure to follow a warm-up routine that works well for your body type. This will minimize your risk of getting injuries and at the same time, enable you to enjoy your Kayaking experience.
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.