Health: Paddle Away Pudge

Get fit, have fun and de-stress with Philly’s area kayaking trips

Before the weather gets so ungodly hot that you ditch outdoor activity for the cool, climate-controlled environment of the gym, hit the water to tone those arms, whittle that waist and score a nice tan. Starting this month, you can join guided kayak trips on the Schuylkill.

The Schuylkill Project and the Schuylkill River Development Corporation have both teamed up with Hidden River Outfitters, a company of kayak pros that offers lessons and guided trips all over the Philadelphia area.

Grab a friend and push off from Manayunk Brewery on Main Street. For only $50, you’ll enjoy a quick lesson on how to paddle like a pro, an hour-and-a-half trip upriver and back, and a relaxing, healthy meal of salads and sandwiches at the Brewery when you return, happily tired and invigorated.

Schuylkill River Development Corporation offers hour-and-a-half kayak tours between Walnut Street Dock and Fairmount Water Works for $40 per person. They also have longer, more advanced trips down to Bartram’s Garden for $75, which includes a box lunch. Or, for a touch of romance and tranquility while you tone up, try one of their moonlight trips heading out around sunset.

Water, sun, food you don’t have to feel guilty about ‘cause you just torched about 600 calories, maybe even a little romance … sounds like the makings of a perfect weekend to us.