Looks fun, right?!
Well, a few members of the NYSSSA faculty and I went rafting on the Sacandaga River today! It was a wonderful way to spend the sunny day while getting quite the workout. (Sadly, that's not us in the above photo as you get totally soaked when doing this activity and the camera would not have made the trip out of the river alive....)
Eddie, Marisa (me), Adrian and Erika
all ventured out in our PFV's (personal flotation devices) and rafted down 3.5 miles on the river. We experienced some pretty decent rapids as well as calm parts of the river that we quite relaxing. The best part of our day was that while we we able to enjoy the most incredible scenic landscape around us, we got our workout in without even thinking about it. Here's how it went.....
Before we got into the water, we were climbing up and down hills (engaging our hamstrings) and carrying the raft. Once we got into the raft we were instructed to "all front" or "all back"; this meant we used the paddles to row in various directions and worked our arms with the challenging natural resistance of fast moving water. As the raft moved along in an unpredictable pathway, you were forced to engage your core THE ENTIRE TIME or else you could fall out. I had to stabilize my pelvis and I felt the engagement of my entire stomach area.
At one point, we got out of the raft and I swam for a good 10 minutes (!) around the vast river -- mostly like a frog with my arms and legs resembling the breast stroke (while on my back and then flipping onto my stomach.) I was able to increase the range of motion in my hips and my shoulders, which are two of my most tight areas, with a safe low resistance of the calm water. This is a major challenge for me while standing vertically in a dance class, so I took advantage of this moment! Getting back into the raft took several tries as you had to hoist yourself back up. All the while we were laughing, sweating, getting soaked, and taking care of our bodies in a fun and new way -- different from taking a dance class or hitting the gym. It was incredible to be surrounded by inspirational sights and to have a sense of accomplishment by the end of the day.
Take a look at some of what we saw....
Sometimes all you need is a change of venue to spice up your workout and to motivate you in a new way. This week, why not see how creative you can be, especially while we have such nice weather. Playing frisbee, hiking in the woods, running in the park, climbing trees, walking to your destination instead of driving there, swimming.... the list goes on and on. As long as you are moving your body in an active way -- it counts! (And ending the day with an ice cream treat also helps - that's what we did!)
So.... anyone have a great outdoor activity story to share while motivating our next workout?