Kiwanis Park in Tempe, Arizona offers an abundance of amenities for visitors looking for way to get active.

        I had driven by Kiwanis Park nearly everyday in the two months I have lived in Tempe, yet never stopped or considered it as a place to get some exercise. However, after visiting the park once I know I’ll be going frequently,

     A few weeks ago, while looking for a place to practice taking video footage for my multimedia class, I wandered into the park only a few blocks from my apartment. The park centered around a small lake offers visitors a variety of ways to get active making it a convenient way to get in a workout close to home whether I choose to work out alone or in a group.

      There are a good number of parks (I counted at least 15 through the Phoenix Park and Recreation website) that offer unique recreational activities. For many people (namely myself) an abundance of these parks are overlooked as great resources for exercise.

            A couple weeks later on a Sunday morning, I returned to Kiwanis Park.  At 8:30 a.m., the parking lot was already about half full, yet during my visit to the park it never felt crowded.

Paddleboats are available for rent at Kiwanis Park on weekends. (Photos by Donyelle Kesler)

            There is a path that wraps around the lake and while I jogged around it, others walked, biked and skateboarded and there was plenty of room for everyone.  What impressed me even more were the amenities offered at the park including multi-purpose fields, volleyball and tennis courts, a pool and a fitness facility.

            The first thing I noticed was a small shed-like structure that rents pedal boats, something I always wanted to try.  For as little as $15 an hour on Saturdays and Sundays, visitors can rent these paddleboats fitting up to four people, as well as bikes and kayaks.

            Paddleboats are a form of waterborne transport powered by a pedaling motion, similar to biking.

            Based on information I found researching paddleboating, you can burn around 300 calories an hour pedaling at a leisurely rate, but I like that it is a low-impact leg workout that puts you in the water which is a good change of pace.

            While paddleboating wasn’t the most challenging exercise, it definitely is a great activity to start with if you haven’t worked out for a while or want to take kids or friends with you. And while cruising the water at sunrise or sunset you can definitely forget you’re exercising at all.

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