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STILL ALIVE AND KICKING: Enjoy the slow-paced exercise a canoe excursion has to offer

Clifford Crandall Jr.
Sentinel columnist
Posted 7/31/22

Kayaks are sleeker, come in pretty colors, made of lightweight material, they look fast, and you can have your own little boat. Check out the VIDEOS in the media gallery.

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STILL ALIVE AND KICKING: Enjoy the slow-paced exercise a canoe excursion has to offer

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Hi! Today’s suggestion is canoeing.

Kayaking is the big choice now. Kayaks are sleeker, come in pretty colors, made of lightweight material, they look fast, and you can have your own little boat. Well, I am old, and I have a choice, and my choice is the canoe that allows me to do more with less hassle.

Canoes have two and sometimes three seats. Launching them is not difficult and there are some places that have you get in the canoe on a launch ramp and push you free.

Then when you’re done, they pull you and the canoe back out and up the ramp. If you have to launch a canoe yourself from shore, be aware you may get your feet wet as you push the greater part of the canoe off the shoreline.

What do you need? Some items would include sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, something to drink and some snacks, a seat cushion, a phone if you wish to take pictures — I put mine on silent while out canoeing — a towel or two and either sneakers, sandals, or water shoes.

One of the many advantages in a canoe is the ease of which you can talk to the person you’re canoeing with. No paddling your kayak close to each other to hear, and although there are two-person kayaks, the ease at which you can turn to face and see the person in the canoe with you is much better.

As a result of all you have done through life, you may have some aches and pains.

Once seated on your seat cushion you can bend your knees or stretch your legs out, you can arch your back or twist at the hips and shift your body easily so that you can enjoy the activity.

The canoe seats allow you to sit higher above the waterline, making it easier to see the wildlife around you. Depending on where I have been, I have observed bald eagles, alligators, muskrats, deer, cranes, ducks, geese, dolphins, manatees, and oh yes – people! They are so much fun to watch.

Going into the wind during your excursion, especially in an open area, will be a bit more of a physical workout. Mostly it’s a calm activity, and you have a leisurely experience enjoying nature and the quiet.

The North Country season will be wrapping up soon. But this activity is there for you if you go south for the winter or just for a short vacation. Its good exercise, and mentally and emotionally stimulating.

Some of you may have to learn some new skills, but that’s fine. You’re not done learning yet, and no one is grading you — so have fun learning.

You end up on a slow boat to nowhere and that is what you looked for in a vacation or retirement, how cool is that?

Keep in Mind – Mohandas Gandhi said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

Clifford Crandall Jr., 75, is founder and grandmaster of the American Martial Arts Institute, 8382 Seneca Turnpike in New Hartford. He has produced a monthly column and video series, “Still Alive and Kicking,” promoting life-enhancing activities for seniors.

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