Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Paddler winter cross-training: What burns more calories?

Today I was wielding a sledge hammer to break up thick ice in the driveway and walkway of our home in Canada. A few days ago, I was visiting the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Cold and warm fluctuates. Florida isn't always warm. Canada is not always cold.

I began thinking about different aspects of cross-training to keep yourself in shape for what you really like to do. Some of the things we do in our daily life could be considered back-breaking chores, necessity, pure pleasure, planning ahead for future activities, or cross-training.

We don't paddle every day. But we do need to stay in shape mentally and physically every day to the best of our abilities. Weather permitting is not an option. We have to deal with weather and conditions winter, spring, summer, and fall! Paradise on either end of the warm or cold spectrum can quickly change.

As I slugged ice and slush in Canada today I thought about having a good perspective about winter and what could count for excellent cross-training for kayaking and the calorie count we expend during a variety of other activites. We wanna look good in our gear!

What burns more calories over two hours of effort?

1. Paddleboarding with sharks in the Gulf of Mexico. (Think of your heart rate here.)
2. Breaking up thick ice in your driveway with a sledge hammer.
3. Running with sandpipers on the beach. (My fav.)
4. 303ing your awesome fleet of kayaks. (You can't do this in winter in cold parts of the world unless your fleet lives inside a heated facility.)
5. Cycling on the beach with no hands. (I don't think anyone can do this for 2 hours so it's technically off the list.)

For myself, and each person is different, I think paddleboarding with sharks and breaking up thick ice in the driveway with a sledge hammer probably come out about equal for calories burned. Running on the beach with sandpipers and taking the time to 303 our sea kayaks to protect them from the sun probably burns about the same amount of calories with less stress.

Happy paddles wherever you are.
Enjoy your cross-training and calorie count.
The BaffinPaddler


  1. Looks like some amazing winter adventures- I'd be willing to do any which didn't involve a sledge hammer!

    1. That's exactly how I feel. But I think I already lost all the weight I gained eating all that good Florida seafood with the winter workout back home with a sledge hammer and a shovel. It wasn't much fun until the sun came out and set with pinks and purples:)