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Pick up a paddle and get fit for summer at Lee Valley

28 May Pick up a paddle and get fit for summer at Lee Valley

Searching for a workout with a difference? Rookie fitness fans looking to trim and tone up ahead of the summer season should consider joining a session at Lee Valley White Water Centre next week as the venue welcomes the return of National Go Canoeing Week from Monday 28 May through to Sunday 3 June 2018.

In collaboration with British Canoeing, the Waltham Cross based venue invites visitors to swap their usual Pilates or powerlifting class for a paddle on one of its many kayaks for a gentle introduction to the sport.

Under the guidance of qualified coaches, participants will feel the burn as they learn basic paddling skills whilst enjoying a fun, social activity.  At £6pp for a one-hour session – which includes a kayak, paddle and safety gear – canoeing is a great workout for the whole body:

• Arms and shoulders: As canoeists drive their paddle through the water to propel the kayak, they strengthen their shoulders and tone up their arms. Newcomers will notice their biceps, triceps and forearms gently ache the following day.

• Chest and Back: With every stroke of the paddle, participants will exercise the pectoral muscles in their chest and strengthen their trapezius – the large muscle across the upper back – to create a strong and defined torso.

• Core: Dreaming of a washboard stomach? Canoeing provides a decent core workout as paddlers need to continually engage their abdominal muscles to maintain their balance and stabilise the kayak on the water.  Participants will strengthen their core – and in time, flatten their tummy – as they repeatedly re-adjust their position to manoeuvre the kayak.

• Legs: Surprisingly, paddlers will define and tone their legs as they squeeze and release their glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps in a bid to help steer the kayak.

Research published in 2011 by the National Institutes of Health[1] in the US revealed that an average participant can burn around 319 calories after an hour’s paddling. British Canoeing estimates even higher, although figures will vary depending on person’s weight and efforts.

National Go Canoeing Week aims to get everyone – young and old, from complete beginners to seasoned paddlers – kitted up and onto the water so that they can discover the great benefits that come with canoeing.