Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014 08:41 am est

Fitness Finds: Hit the Water

Posted on May 7, 2013 | by Alena Hall

via flickr.com

May has beautiful weather, but it’s still a little too chilly to dive straight into the Hudson River. However, New York City offers several fun ways to enjoy the aquatic scenery and simultaneously get a great weekend workout. Manhattan offers city residents a variety of local kayaking and canoeing options that keep them on the water but relatively warm and dry.

Kayaking and canoeing provide substantial physical and mental benefits to the body. The proper paddling techniques involves every upper body muscle and helps tone the back, chest, abdominals and arms. Gliding along the water’s tranquil surface and serving as the craft’s propeller works wonders when it comes to much-needed stress relief. Depending on your paddling speed and body composition, you can burn up to 400 calories per hour when kayaking or canoeing.

Never kayaked before? Not a problem. The New York City Downtown Boathouse offers a free kayaking program that only requires participants to know how to swim. Starting in mid-May, kayaks, life jackets and paddles are available for rent for 20 minutes at a time. Walk up to Pier 40, Pier 96 and West 72nd Street at any time on the weekends to test the waters.

If you are looking for a self-guided, untimed tour of New York City’s waterways, the New York City Parks and Recreation Department offers a wide variety of canoeing and kayaking launch sites around the perimeters of each borough that anyone can use with a permit. The Parks Department is also offering free community events this weekend, so a lack of permit will not prevent you from hitting the water.

The Amazing Flotilla

Saturday, May 11
11 a.m. to  4 p.m.

Join the community paddling and guided estuary trips in celebration of Starlight Park, the newest park addition along the Bronx River Greenway.

Basic Canoeing

Sunday, May 12
1 p.m.

Park rangers will guide a group through a series of protected lakes, open rivers and bays on canoes. This event serves all skill levels and meets at the Audubon Center at the Boathouse in Prospect Park.

Alena Hall is a contributing writer. Email her at features@nyunews.com.

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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

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News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

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Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

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Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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