Kayak and Canoe With Chiropractic In Mind
By Brandi Goodman
Both kayaking and canoeing provide great exercise. They'll really have you working out your arms and burning calories. You need to be careful when you're doing so, though. Some chiropractic suggestions can help you make the most of your on-the-water adventure without leaving you aching.
Stretch Before You Row
Using a paddle will have you spending lots of time moving your arms. You need to be sure you stretch your body out before you plan to row so your joints can be prepared. Your focus should be on your arms and shoulders, though you'll want to give the rest of your body a stretch since you'll be spending lots of time sitting as well.
Perform Regular Arm and Shoulder Exercises
You'll need more than just a quick stretch. You should begin exercising your arms and shoulders in the weeks before you know you'll be heading out. Continue to exercise this area, plus the rest of your body, for optimal strength and endurance anytime you go out.
Choose the Right Paddle
The paddle you're using can make a world of difference. You want one that fits comfortable in your hands. It shouldn't be overly heavy, causing you to work extremely hard to paddle on each side. It shouldn't be so light that it's easy to lose control of the oar either. Your height plays a role in determining the length of your paddle. The width of your canoe, kayak, or whatever watercraft you're using matters as well.
You need to drink plenty of water before you go. It's also important to continue to stay hydrated throughout your adventure. The joints need to remain lubricated so they do not get overly exhausted or want to stop working too quickly. You'll need to maintain your strength and flexibility so you can make it out into the water and be able to get back to shore.
Go With a Friend
Single-person kayaks are popular, but they aren't ideal for your body. It may be best to use a multi-person kayak or canoe so you can go with a friend. It's safer overall since you'll have someone along with you in case trouble arises. It also ensures there's at least two people who can spend time rowing, or you can take turns so neither of you get too burnt out. If you still choose to go alone, be sure you don't travel too far or far too long.
An ache-free kayak or canoe trip is possible. You just have to make some preparations and keep chiropractic tips in mind. If you still end your adventure with an aching back or shoulders, a trip to the chiropractor may be in order. An adjustment could help release some tension and correct joint restrictions.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Phoenix, Ariz.