If you love the outdoors, kayaking is the perfect heart-healthy activity for you. Anyone can kayak -- it's very simple, requires no experience and amazingly little upper-body strength. It's an especially great activity for those who have lower body (knee, foot, hip, joint, etc.) pain or problems. Kayaking is a low-impact sport, which means that it has little or no wear and tear on the body's joints (unlike running, soccer, football, which are all very high-impact sports).
It should be surprising then to learn that you can burn quite a number of calories kayaking. In just 30 minutes of kayaking, you can burn around 200 calories. The number of calories you burn will, of course, depend on your weight, exercise regime, and how vigorously you are kayaking.
Kayaking is great for building upper-body strength. What's great about it is that it isn't difficult at first -- anyone can rotate the paddle without too much trouble. But as you practice, your body slowly builds considerable upper body strength (including arm, back, chest, and stomach muscles). Unlike lifting weights at the gym, you won't even notice yourself getting stronger.
Even if you aren't out there to burn calories, which most people who kayak are not, it's an extremely relaxing outdoor activity. All you need is a kayak, paddle, life jacket, lake or river, and you're ready to go! And it's always more fun with a friend. The calm of the water is very seductive, and you'll find yourself spending hours on the water on beautiful blue-sky days.
Another great item to take along kayaking is a pair of water shoes like Keens.
Keens are especially great shoes because they are extremely versatile. These sandals have webbing so they are perfect for water sports. They also have a rubber toe, which makes them perfect for hiking (no stubbing your toe on rocks). Also they are extremely supportive and breathable.