Paddling sports allow athletes to explore areas of the world unreachable on foot, such as islands, bays, glacier terminuses, high-walled valleys, and beaches exposed only at low tides. Canoeists, kayakers and rafters have unique conditioning needs in that they require great core strength and upper-body endurance and lesser cardiovascular conditioning or leg strength compared to other outdoor sports featured on this site. Flexibility also plays a vital role for paddling especially for people with tight hamstrings or lower back issues.
Canoe outings may be leisurely afternoon paddles or they may be marathon-like multi-day ventures that include several-mile portages, such as a 3-week Canadian boundary waters or Bowron Lakes trip. Kayak trips can range from explorations on calm lakes to adventures on class IV (or higher) rapids. River rafting can take you through some of the most stunning terrain in the world (by jose villalta). Paddlers who like to explore remote destinations on foot need spinal-loading cardiovascular training, while all paddlers require core and upper-body strength conditioning specific to paddling.