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Tuesday 24 November 2020
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Health, Fitness & Kayaking

Do you keep yourself fit & healthy to become the BEST kayaker you can be? Or, do you choose to kayak as a way to IMPROVE your health & fitness? Have you ever really thought about it?

Jackson Kayak team members, Samantha Brunner Ruppelt and Heather Herbeck, are teaming up to give you some guidance and suggestions on how your health, your fitness and your love for kayaking can affect each other and how to use these three components simultaneously to create longevity in your mind and body!

First, we would like to introduce ourselves and give you a little background on who we are and what we do:

Samantha Brunner Ruppelt
Years Paddling: 7 years
Years in Health & Fitness: 6 years
Hello there! My name is Samantha Brunner Ruppelt. I have been paddling for about 7 years, and paddling for Jackson for almost 3. I graduated from the University of Memphis in May of 2010 with a degree in Exercise Sport Science and am currently in the process of applying for physical therapy school. I have been working in a therapy setting for 6 years now and have seen a wide spectrum of injuries and clients, and have helped rehab many injuries that are very common in the sport of whitewater kayaking.


I am also an NSCA certified personal trainer and have had the opportunity to work with many people of all ages and physical abilities. I teach many group classes as well and emphasize a balance in all muscle groups and muscular form over strength. I bring my physical therapy background into everything that I do when training (such as including muscular stability as well as strength). I feel that it’s not enough to just be strong, you have to be able to have the control and stability that it takes to use and channel that strength. My specialties are core, shoulders, and craziness!

Heather Herbeck
Years paddling: 9 years
Years in health & fitness: over 15 years
I have participated in sports since I can remember, competing in Basketball and Track through my college years. When not practicing, I spent my time in the athletic training room, working with many of the other athletes. I’ve had my share of injuries as well as my share working with others to heal their injuries. I graduated from Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, CA in 1998 with an Exercise Science Degree, emphasizing in biology. With this degree, I went on to work 5 years in a physical therapy clinic.
With a strong passion for fitness, I slowly moved my emphasis towards personal training and group exercise instruction. I spent over 10 years in the YMCA practicing my profession, with 5 of them being the Fitness Director. During this time, I became an American Council on Exercise personal trainer, a YMCA certified trainer and instructor and a YMCA Fitness Specialist.
I have now expanded my interest into a program called Crossfit. As a Crossfit coach, I work with clientele on functional movements to enhance their everyday lives as well as in their sports’ performances.
My clients describe me as a “form nazi”. Executing correct form has always been important to me. Longevity and quality of life is high on my list of things to educate each of my clients about. As I like to say, “We don’t train harder, we train smarter!”

We’re looking forward to sharing our knowledge and advice to everyone out there. No matter your age, your ability, your choice of kayak . . . we will touch on topics that will increase your strength, improve your concentration, decrease your chances of injury, and more!

Our next topic: “It’s almost Spring and we all know what that means . . . lots more kayaking: Progressing from “off-season” to “in-season” while minimizing injury.”

Heather & Samantha