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Rafting fitness exercise

In the past twenty years, rafting has grown rapidly as recreational sport. It's easy to see why - rafting allows you access to the type of fast moving white water previously the reserve of expert paddlers.

The forgiving nature of rafting - and of course the presence of an expert guide - means that even total novices can run rivers that would require years of practice to negotiate in a canoe or kayak.

Thus holiday makers and thrill seekers can go rafting on big white water in Europe, North America, even places like Nepal. Trips vary from a couple of hours to a week or more - and if you are going on an extended trip, a little conditioning work before you go will enable you to enjoy your trip more.

The two types of workouts that will help most are cardio and strength training. Cardio workouts would include running, walking, swimming, biking, or any of the cardio machines you find at the gym. Increasing your cardio fitness will give the endurance to get through long days on the river without being exhausted.

Strength training will make the actual paddling easier. A general upper body and core program, working with moderate weights and higher numbers of repetitions, will improve your strength endurance and mean that you can paddle more efficiently, and for longer periods of time.

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