Fitness Plan

By Andy Whitcomb

Sep 09, 2014

There is a wide variation for definitions of the word, “fit.”

There is a wide variation for definitions of the word, “fit.” Some of it has to do with preparation and intent. If you are trying to stay healthy and relieve stress, your plans may include exercise to “stay fit.” On the other hand, if the plans unravel because of unexpected blunders, you may “throw a fit.”

With all of the lure rigging, casting, and fish-landing action, fishing from a boat is a fair amount of exercise. And when I’m on a sunset powerboat cruise, I suppose I’m working my arms as I wave to other boats and repeatedly lift my iced tea. But some boats offer a more robust form of exercise. Kayaks, canoes, and rowboats are such a great workout for arms and back muscles that several versions of home exercise equipment mimic those motions. With their Mirage propulsion system, Hobie kayaks even can be peddled instead of paddled for leg exercise. This also frees up hands and arms for perhaps more important things like casting.


I bought a preowned boat this summer. This 14 foot aluminum boat has the room my family needs for an outing (for now). To make the boat go where we want, “Plan A” is the 9.9 hp outboard (minor exercise). “Plan B” is an electric trolling motor (minor exercise). “Plan C” is the backup electric trolling motor (minor exercise). But if those plans fail, this boat also has a “Plan D”: oars (serious exercise, especially on the river). “Plan D” actually may swap with “Plan A” on some small quiet lakes that don’t allow motors or when I want to get even more “ripped.”

As exercise goes, no matter what “Plan” you are on, propelling a water craft is definitely the way to go. Reach your target heart rate, then fish. Or, just sit back and enjoy the view on the water.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.