Yes, but is it exercise?
I have had a long interest in exercise and its effect on health. I grew up in the school of aerobics where long, slow distance (LSD) was the way to go (I even had a sub 2.5 hour marathon in my 50's). We knew that this improved maximum oxygen consumption (MaxVo2), usually resulted in a leaner person and (maybe most importantly) reduced belly fat.
Our nation is now plagued with an epidemic of diabetes and young folks with the metabolic syndrome (fat, borderline fat levels and blood pressure and most of all....INSULIN RESISTANCE). This insulin resistance is what causes type II diabetes. Folks with this (often older and over weight) actually have high levels of insulin...but they are resistant to it. This, in turn, leads to atherosclerosis and heart attacks. So, we ask, how do we cure this? Run marathons? Paddle?
New research now shows that doing intense (really intense...maximum all out) exercise for 3 30 second repetitions 3 times a week will improve your insulin resistance in a matter of weeks. Amazing. What about your aerobic capacity?
It turns out that that is entirely determined by Mom and Dad; i.e., its genetics and you can get a test to see if you will respond greatly or not at all. Sorry, it's the cards you are dealt.
Meanwhile, keep paddling. It pays to be happy. One last thing: the most fatal thing you can do is sit and do nothing. Sitting around correlates with shortened lives along with high blood pressure and more than anything else.