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The benefits of rowing

Fitness | Jul 31, 2015

Exercising requires patience and dedication. Better fitness results don't occur overnight. Depending on the exercise, you will see the results at different points. For instance, the Couch to 5K running program has gained popularity in recent years. The program was designed to help anyone run a 5K race in three months, even if they had never run before.

If running isn't for you, there is another low impact workout that is enjoyable and beneficial: rowing. You don't need an actual row boat, as your fitness center or local gym likely has these machines. If not, you can purchase a rowing machine for your house or apartment. According to Livestrong, these machines vary in price, and range from $180 to as high as $1,250.

Why row?
Rowing is beneficial because it targets every part of your body. This exercise increases your heart rate and breath volume, and as a result, your body's cardiovascular fitness reaps the benefits. According to Money Crashers, high intensity rowing workouts provide better stamina. Over time, workouts will feel easier.

Consistent workouts will also increase your muscular endurance and muscular strength. Livestrong said this is due to rowing targeting the entire body. The increase in strength and endurance comes from the exercise's motion of repeatedly pushing and pulling against varying levels of resistance. To see the best results, you will have to accept fatigue and push your muscles by increasing the machine's resistance. Harper's Bazaar writer Nicole Catanese said rowing is replacing spinning and biking as a popular workout.

In an interview with Bazaar, Garrett Robbins, an exercise physiologist, said rowing increases the rate at which you burn calories.

"Rowing burns two to three times the amount of calories of spinning," said Roberts.

Seniors should also look at rowing exercises because it is low impact. You aren't standing up and your feet remain on the foot pads, so there is minimal impact on knees, elbows, hips and other joints.

"Rowing is replacing spinning and biking as a popular workout."

Social aspects
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to exercising. Some prefer to do their routine on their own, whereas some may prefer working out with a group. Another benefit of rowing is that you can do both. Some days you may want to plug in music, tune everything out and push yourself. Later in the week, you can go to a group rowing session led by an instructor.

If you're looking for a new exercise, or want to start working out again, look no further than rowing. It's an all-body workout with low impact movements that make it an ideal exercise for seniors.