Here’s Why It’s Healthy to Be a Weekend Warrior

In this case, we’re talking about those whose weekends are packed with all of the physical activity they don’t get during the week.  We all know that regular exercise is one of the keys to healthy living, but many of us just don’t meet the CDC’s guidelines for exercise.  The CDC recommends 2-1/2 hours of moderate aerobic exercise or 1-1/4 hours of vigorous aerobic exercise per week.  For all the reasons there are, too many of us fall well short of those goals.  Many, though, have weekends that are active enough to come close.  Some have questioned whether one or two days’ worth of physical activity can really make up for a mostly sedentary week.  In a nutshell, the answer seems to be “yes.”

While most doctors and other health experts agree that hitting your weekly exercise goals by spreading it out over the course of the week is still the ideal, cramming it into one or two days every weekend is way better than not getting it at all.  Whether you enjoy spending your weekends engaged in sports or other activities such as kayaking or hiking, making the most of the free time you do have can definitely make up for not exercising during the rest of the week.

In addition to getting the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal benefits of regular exercise, a weekend-warrior regimen also serves to reduce some of the stress that too often builds up during our busy workdays.  Too much stress can lead to any number of problems including, among many others, poor sleep, loss of energy and focus, neck and back tension, and an overall less-than-great mood.  The key, though, is in actually hitting the CDC’s recommendations for weekly exercise time.  Obviously, some is still better than none, but hitting those guidelines gives you the best chance for fighting off health problems like heart disease, loss of muscle mass and strength, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, to name a few.  Regular exercise can also help prevent or minimize the aches and pains associated with arthritis and a sedentary lifestyle.

If there’s a downside to only exercising one or two days a week, it’s that this can lead to more injuries, especially for those who are overly sedentary the rest of the week.  While those who exercise daily might be more likely to sustain injuries related to overuse, those who exercise more sporadically are more prone to acute injuries, which can be more serious.

For those who don’t have (or let’s face it, won’t take) the time for regular workouts during the week, there is good news.  Several recent studies have shown that just five to ten minutes of jogging or light running a day can have a major positive impact on overall health.  Again, meeting the above recommendations is the absolute ideal, whether during the week or on the weekends, but most of us can definitely find five or ten minutes for a bit of a jog every day.  It doesn’t have to be anything more than jogging in place, and that ten minutes can be two 5-minute sessions.  Five minutes before work can help get the blood flowing and the brain in gear, and another five when we get home can help shake off some of the day’s stress.

All in all, whether you get your exercise by spreading your workouts out during the course of the week or cram it all into a fun weekend, the benefits are numerous and well worth the effort.

The Best Kayak Brands You Should Buy

Whether on a quiet lake or faster-moving water, kayaking can be a great way to enjoy the great outdoors while getting some exercise.  If you’re in the market for your first kayak, you might be wondering what to look for.  Below, we’ll take a look at the different types of kayaks available and help you understand what your top considerations should be as you shop.

For beginners, recreational kayaks are the best choice.  They tend to offer the most stability of all models.  They don’t offer the superior performance of more advanced models, but their stability offers a great way for beginners to get comfortable with kayaking.  These models also tend to be the least expensive, which makes them another great option for new kayakers.  Additionally, their durable construction makes them better able to withstand the added bumps and bangs that often occur while you’re learning.  These models are meant for use on the calmest waters and those looking more for recreation than speed.  Touring kayaks offer a bit more performance and maneuverability.  They can handle faster-moving water and are better for longer distances than recreational models.

For advanced users looking to tackle rapids, whitewater kayaks are the best choice.  These models offer the utmost in performance and maneuverability, but aren’t nearly as stable as recreational or touring models.  In other words, a whitewater kayak really doesn’t make sense for a beginner unless your eventual goal is riding rapids.  In that case, your learning curve will be steeper and the process of getting comfortable kayaking might take longer, but using a whitewater kayak on calm waters (like a lake) could work.

If you find yourself short on storage space or want a kayak that you can easily carry with you on camping trips, you might considerable an inflatable model.  Visit best inflatable kayaks if one of these easy to tote and store models is right for you.  In addition to pros and cons of the reviewed models, you’ll also find more info on what to look for to find your best match.  Newer inflatable models are made of rugged materials that can withstand all conditions.  Just make sure that you allow your kayak to dry thoroughly before folding it away for storage to avoid mold and mildew growth.

If you want a kayak for fishing, there are models designed especially for fishermen.  They’re generally pretty stable to allow you to stand while casting and reeling and include extra storage for your fishing gear and, hopefully, a great day’s catch!

Whatever your intended destination(s), keep in mind that kayaking, like so many other endeavors, will require some patience and practice.  If you have the opportunity to do so , you should look into a few lessons with an instructor or other kayaker who’s proficient enough to help you learn some of the most basic techniques.  Your first few outings should also be on enclosed calm waters.  Smaller lakes are great training grounds because there are fewer currents to fight your efforts to paddle.  Even a pond can be a great place to start.

All of the kayak varieties listed here can be found as single or tandem (two-person) models.  You can also find them all in sit-on or sit-in versions, with sit-ins generally being more stable.  Sit-in kayaks are also a good choice for those who plan to kayak in cold (and especially cold and windy) conditions, as they offer a bit more protection from the elements.  Check out for reviews of some top two-person models.  You’ll find pros and cons on several models, including fishing models, as well as more shopping tips.  One of the best tips for anyone who looks to the water for recreation is to remember how important it is to always, always maintain a healthy respect for the water and its power.  Even the calmest-looking water can be dangerous, and fast-moving waters can be positively deadly.  Open water can not only be faster moving than it looks, but underwater currents are unpredictable.  Always remember to wear a life jacket and never, ever try to tackle expert rapids without being exceptionally well prepared and well trained.