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Winter Paddling and Fitness - fine for the Faint Hearted!

You roll out of bed with the best of exercising intentions and a day of paddling fitness in your plan. But, as your toes hit the icy floorboards and shivers race up your spine, all thoughts of chilly harbour waters diminish as you head instead for the comfort of the hot shower – you’re resigned to a day of hibernation, but what a waste…

Down at Manly Oceanworld, the water is glassy, almost jelly like in it smoothness. The water clarity is amazing and alive. Although the air temperature is sub 15, the water is a spa-like 19 degrees or more.

The daily ferry commuters head off to the stress of the city whilst you smugly don lifejacket, grab a paddle and feel your cortisol levels beginning to drop immediately. Instead of an icy shock, the water feels warm to the toes and before you know it, you’re whole body is pleasantly warm as toast. Manly Kayak’s Centre’s fitness classes are a great way to fire up the body’s thermostat, guaranteeing you will save on energy by switching off your home heater for the rest of the day.

Other great reasons to brave the cold:

- Burn more calories: The cooler air temperature encourages greater calorie burning as your body must expend more energy to stay warm.

- Immunity Boost: Research shows that athletes who exercise in cooler temperatures experience less downturns in their immune system than those exposed to cooler temperatures only sporadically. They suffered half the colds and upper respiratory infections.

- Feeling good: the colder temperature stimulates the parasympathetic system responsible for rest and recovery leading to the release of dopamine and serotonin, both of which keep us feeling happy. Couple this with the endorphin rush of exercise, and you’re ecstatic!

Manly Kayak Centre is well equipped for all-season paddling and has a wonderful range of thermal pants and tops to keep you snug and motivated. Reef shoes from target or Big W are all that are needed to avoid frosty toes and a spray jacket will protect you from the Southerly breezes. Remember to always take water as hydration is still an issue.

So resist that morning shower and join the fun on the Harbour!

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