Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014 08:41 am est

Fitness Finds: Hit the Water

Posted on May 7, 2013 | by Alena Hall


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


profile portrait
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.

Ann Schmidt

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.


Daniel Yeom

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.

Hannah Luu

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.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.