Looking for a way to beat the summer and workout at the same time? Well have you tried kayaking? I am not talking about white water river kayaking, but getting out on a lake, bay, or inlet for some paddling action.

If you live near water, or are planning to vacation near water, you should have an easy time finding a place that rents kayaks and all the associated gear. Or better yet, you can introduce yourself to kayaking on a guided nature tour. Do consider taking a lesson, to learn how to maneuver the boat as well as the very important skill - how to get in and out of your kayak while you're in the water. They are really easy to tip.

Chances are you will start off with a beginner kayak since they offer greater stability and are more difficult to tip over. If it's your first time, I recommend going out on a day that isn't too windy, so the water is less choppy.

What's so great about kayaking? To find out

When you go kayaking, you are sitting down with your legs out in front of you and you use your upper body to paddle. This means your hamstrings get a great stretch while your arms and back do all the work. It's the opposite of running or biking, where you're using mostly your lower body, but it's still a great cardio workout. Plus it's an excellent complement if you already run or bike regularly, so you can work your entire body.

You can control just how hard your muscles work, and you can control the speed. Paddle really fast, and you'll be flying along. If you get tired, just stop paddling and you'll cruise along in your little boat. After you kayak a few times, you'll build up the strength and stamina in your upper body to go for longer outings. Another great thing - if you get too hot, crisp refreshment is only a hop away.

Fit's Tips: Since you are on the water, you've got to be extra careful about sun exposure. Wear waterproof sunscreen and apply it every 2 hours. Get yourself a good pair of polarized sunglasses and a stylish hat too to protect your eyes from the sun's powerful glare.