Row Row Row!
This week's Beet is dedicated to Mary Kent's cousin, William Hagood IV whose life-long passion for kayaking was such an inspiration.
This week, The Weekly Beet reports from the chilly waters of South Carolina's Saluda River. Mary Kent goes paddling, revealing the incredible benefits that kayaking has on the body!
Originally used by native Eskimo hunters in the sub-arctic regions of Asia, the word kayak means 'man's or hunter's boat.' The first kayaks were made out of seal skin and were evenly stretched over frames of driftwood. They were precisely measured boats fitted and hand-crafted to the exact height of the hunter. All hunters were assisted by their wives, whose life-saving touches laced and sewed the waterproof jacket also made from skins known as the Tuilik. The Tuilik provided the essential seal between the Eskimo and the boat, giving protection against the frigid waters. Because most Eskimos could not swim, the kayak came in super handy when it came time capsize on the rough waters of the North Atlantic. From this, the action of turning the boat upright after a capsize became known as the Eskimo Roll and has remained throughout the sport of kayaking. Click here to see the Eskimo Roll on video.
Today's makers of kayaking equipment have tossed the skins for hi-tech materials such as polyurethane and replaced the ancient Tuiliks with groovy, Patagonia-esque, jacket and spray shirt combos that attach to the cockpit of the boat, sealing out water from both boat and body. The shape and the curvature of the original kayak has long remained and proves genius to such Eskimo skill. What started as a use for survival has now turned into a popular sport blending, aerobic conditioning, upper body strengthening, and flexibility. The beauty of kayaking is that you are placed in nature, which makes it feel more like relaxation, than exercise.
Here's what we love about kayaking:
- Helps with weight loss by burning serious calories.
- Increases heart rate.
- Tones arms, upper back, and chest.
- Strengthens core muscles and flattens tummies.
- Works out quads and lats.
- Alleviates stress.
- Helps with posture.
- Increases flexibility.
- Connects us to Mother Nature.
Kayaking is super fun and can be enoyed by anyone! You definitely don't have to be a pro to paddle downstream. Our recommendation is to find a calm river in the beginning. Grab a friend who is already a kayaker or hire a guide to show you the basics if your dream is to kayak in white water. It's easiest to learn in a 'sit on top' kayak and once you get more advanced you can test out the whitewater kayaks that have the skirt attached to the deck. Always wear a life-jacket and a helmet! But, most importantly, enoy!
Row row row your boat! Go kayaking! Don't miss a Beet. Stay tuned for next week.
PS. Mary Kent is wearing shorts by Quicksilver.
PPS. Check out Della Britton Baeza president and CEO of The Jackie Robinson
Foundation on Ladies Who Launch.
PPPS. Thanks to Paul Goff for an excellent kayaking trip, being a very patient guide, and taking fab photos!
"The Weekly Beet is simply exciting! Never before has Alternative Medicine been researched and presented in such an 'upbeet' way."
- Dr. Andrew Weil
"The Weekly Beet is a great gift to the world of health and happiness. It is also a testimony to the power of one person to make a difference in the world. If you have a dream and a passion, now is the time to step forward and make your dreams come true!"
- Joshua Rosenthal, Founder of The Institute of Integrative Nutrition