* If You Are Able to Add it to the Checkout Cart, Then it is In Stock and Ready for Pick Up or Shipping *
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart

    Blog — PaddleVA Family

    5 Reasons You Should Be Paddling

    5 Reasons You Should Be Paddling

    As if you needed a reason to get on the water…here are five.

    Absolutely nothing compares to being out on the water. It’s not just the workout. It’s not just the beautiful scenery or that moment you enter the flow state – that time that quiets your mind. It’s that magical combination of all of the above. That’s why we love it.

    You probably don’t need motivation to get out on the water, but maybe you have a friend you’ve been after to grab a paddle. Here are our top five reasons you can share with the uninitiated about why paddling is the best. 

    Improve Your Cardio-Respiratory Fitness

    “Rivers have what man most respects and longs for in his own life and thought — a capacity for renewal and replenishment, continual energy, creativity, cleansing.” 

    – John M. Kauffmann

    Why paddling? It’s a prime activity to improve lifelong health. Even flatwater paddling maintains steady movement that gets your heart pumping, a form of exercise known as “steady-state cardio.” An increased heart rate elevates your lungs’ ability to oxygenate your body. Recommendations from the American Heart Association point to 30 minutes of aerobic activity each day, five days per week, to decrease risk of heart disease. As an ideal cardio-respiratory workout, paddling strengthens the heart muscle and helps your lungs function more efficiently. This makes paddling not only a great form of exercise by itself, but also a great way to cross-train for individuals who already have an existing fitness routine.


    Get A Full-Body Strength Workout

    “We play in a variety of places, wherever the water is good. If the creek is running and you want to run the creek, we’ll do that.”

    – Eric Jackson

    Paddling builds heart and lung health, but it also builds overall strength and flexibility. Over time, you can increase frequency and duration, growing stamina. Those who haven’t spent time on the water may think that paddling only works out your upper body. But while it is great exercise for your arms, chest, and back, don’t underestimate this workout’s comprehensive power. Rotational movement engages your core. Leg pressure engages lower-body muscles as you stabilize and balance your boat. Better yet, paddling is a low-impact workout, great for cross-training and preventing joint damage. It may even be a good, low-risk exercise while recovering from certain types of injuries (but make sure to clear it with your doctor first). 


    Escape Everyday Stress and Anxiety 

    “When I’m out on the boat on the water, no one can hand me my kids. I don’t have my phone, no one can get a hold of me, forget it, I’m gone.” 

    - Emily Jackson

    Just 20 minutes in nature can reduce stress hormone levels, according to a 2019 study. In other words, paddling isn’t just great exercise for your body; it provides relief for your mind. Unplugging from screens and moving your body – even gently –  improves focus and releases endorphins, allowing your brain to rest and rejuvenate. Over time, the repetitive motions become relaxing – almost meditative. Benefits of being on the water include decreased tension, elevated moods and even better sleep. 

    Connect with Nature

    “What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal 500 on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.” 

    – Pierre Trudeau

    One of the biggest benefits of kayaking includes a reconnection with nature and the mindfulness that comes with it. Our lives move so quickly these days that paying attention becomes a challenge. While paddling, the slow-paced, gradual movement from shoreline to shallow flats to narrow inlets to the open water allows you to focus on the shifting natural beauty around you without distraction. Bonus? You’ll absorb plenty of the “the sunshine vitamin,” (a.k.a. Vitamin D) to boost your immune response, bone health, and brain and muscle function – while also increasing levels of “the happy chemical” (serotonin).


    Build Community

    “You can’t be unhappy in the middle of a big, beautiful river.” 

    – Jim Harrison

    Boating improves your day, but it also improves your life. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, if you’re a paddler, you’re part of a community that extends beyond the water. Out solo? Chances are you’ll bump into a fellow boater and make a connection, even if it’s just a friendly wave. Paddling in a tandem boat or with a group? Exploring together, traveling to a common destination, problem solving and encountering challenges builds camaraderie. Paddling offers plenty of quality time and connection with others.

    The benefits are big, so grab your paddle and your PFD and get ready for a day on the water. Just getting started? Come to our store or give us a call, and one of our experienced paddlers can recommend quality gear and give you a few boating tips. Old pro? Come see what’s in stock. At ARC we’re the go-to resource for your adventure needs in the water. After all, we’ve been in it for decades: For the love of paddling, since 1977.


    Written by Jessica Broaddus

    A Kayak Fisherman's First Ultra Running Race

    A Kayak Fisherman's First Ultra Running Race

    Disclaimer: There are no fish pics in this post. No paddling either. Side note: Cancer Sucks.

    In 2010 I was training for my first ultra, logging training runs in the New River Gorge. I wanted to run a 50 miler. But I wrecked some ankle tendons during my training, and a subsequent marathon. My gait compensation caused me to develop plantar fasciitis. After that, I struggled to run long distances and gave up my dream of running an ultra.

    Read more

    New River Gorge, WV : Family, Friends and a little Whitewater Kayaking

    New River Gorge, WV : Family, Friends and a little Whitewater Kayaking

    Nestled in a small town on the rim of the New River Gorge is an eclectic community of outdoor recreation enthusiast, artists, and native West Virginians. The town is Fayetteville, WV and it served as my, and my wife's, home base of operations for many years. I met my wife there and we had our first child in those mountains. The Appalachian hills of West Virginia have long held a special place in our hearts. Harriet was drawn to the river and me to the rock cliffs that lined the gorge. Lately we'd begun to miss the earth, the water and the tribe that recreates upon them both. It is an important place.

    Read more