Staying in kayaking shape over the winter can be challenging. Here on the Westcoast, it’s the rainy season. Sure we can still get out in between monsoons, but it’s hard to stay consistent to maintain our kayak fitness. And our friends inland have a problem with frozen water. But hold tight—just because the weather isn’t ideal for paddling, it doesn’t mean your kayak adventures need to go on ice! Here are some easy strategies to keep your kayak mojo alive and stay in top-notch shape during the winter chill.
Indoor Workouts for Kayak Fitness
1. Ergometer Sessions
Meet your new best friend: the kayak ergometer. Think of it as a kayak simulator designed to mimic the paddle stroke movements. Set it up in your living space or garage and hop on for paddling sessions without leaving the warmth of your home.
2. Strength Training
Winter’s the perfect time to focus on building strength. Hit the gym or create a home workout routine that targets core muscles, arms, and shoulders—the powerhouse for paddling. Think planks, Russian twists, shoulder presses, and rows to amp up that kayaking strength. Don’t forget the legs! They, too, play a role in bracing and balancing while kayaking.
3. Yoga and Flexibility Work
Enhance your flexibility and balance with yoga or Pilates. These practices not only help prevent injuries but also improve your overall performance on the water. Plus, they’re fantastic for relaxation and mental focus.
Mental Preparation: Visualize, Plan, Dream
While physical training is crucial, don’t underestimate the power of mental preparation. Use this time to visualize your favourite kayaking spots, plan upcoming adventures, and dream big about the paddling experiences you’ll conquer when spring arrives. Visualizing success can enhance your on-water performance.
Stay Connected to the Kayaking Community
Just because you’re not on the water doesn’t mean you can’t be part of the kayaking scene. Join online forums, engage with fellow paddlers on social media, or attend kayaking seminars and workshops. Staying connected keeps the kayaking spirit alive and provides valuable insights from other enthusiasts.
Gear Check and Maintenance
Winter is the perfect time for a gear check-up. Inspect your kayak, paddle, safety equipment, and gear. Perform any necessary maintenance or upgrades to ensure everything’s in tip-top shape when the paddling season returns.
Embrace Winter Paddling
For the brave souls willing to embrace the cold, winter paddling can be a thrilling experience. Invest in appropriate cold-weather gear, including drysuits, gloves, and thermal layers, and explore calm, icy waters safely. Remember, safety is paramount—never compromise on it.
Spring Into the Paddling Season
Winter doesn’t have to put a freeze on your kayaking passion! With indoor workouts, mental prep, and the possibility of winter paddling adventures, you can stay in kayaking shape and keep the stoke alive.
Stay dedicated, stay motivated, and before you know it, you’ll be gliding through those serene waters once more, ready for more kayak adventures.
If you need help with your winter training plan, contact me!