Springtime in Boston is a truly magical (and very small) window of beautiful weather and stunning natural scenery.  Brilliant tulips, crocuses, and hyacinths dot the front yards of the houses on my street, and everything seems to cheer up and start anew.  I’ve been thinking about how best to use this time to get active and keep moving.  Walking in the local parks and gardens has been a favorite, but this week, a different idea occurred to me, and I seized on it: kayaking!

Photo by dbking at flickr.com

Photo by dbking at flickr.com

I have kayaked two or three times in my life, and contrary to my usual expectations, completely loved it.  Though I hated when my arms felt tired after seemingly five minutes of paddling, the fun of being on the water and the beautiful scenery (and ducks!) more than make up for it. It had been at least a few years since I tried it, and I was excited to see how the experience would hold up.

So this weekend B and I went to the Kendall  Square location of Charles River Canoe and Kayak with a couple of friends and kayaked for about an hour.  We were each in a two-seater, and I won’t lie, it definitely helped to have B in back for when I needed a break (or extra horsepower).  But all in all, it was just a fantastic experience.  Lovely views, fresh air, and great exercise, including use of more muscles than I’d anticipated, especially in my back and shoulders.

As a friend remarked, one of the big plusses of this kind of exercise is that you tend to continue past the point you’d give up at if you were in the gym, both because of necessity (that boat ain’t paddling itself back to the rental place!) and the entertainment/distraction factor.  I love exercise that actually gets me places in the real world.  Exercise that feels practical – like I’m accomplishing something!

I was so enthralled with the experience that after I came home, I promptly threw down for a groupon for a season pass!  By my count, I’ll have gone enough times to make it cost-effective if I go something like seven times.  Sounds like a goal to me!

I know where I’m spending next Saturday morning, anyways…

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