The health benefits of rowing
06 December 2010 | Puerto Escondido, Mx
Every one knows that rowing is good exercise. Rowing exercises most of the body's muscles without putting undue shock loads on the knees or other joints. It a safe way for us seniors to keep our bodies in good shape with little risk of injury. There is something relaxing about quietly moving though the water with the gentle chuckling of the water under the bow, watching the sea life around us that rejuvenates our soul. We seem to be more part of nature and the great scheme of life. Rowing is good for both our body and our soul.
Boaters are perfectly placed to partake in rowing as they have a boat on the water and most carry a dinghy. Seniors can remember when most boaters had a hard dinghy that was rowed to shore. Sure a few people put a little outboard on the back and putted around, but a lot rowed. There were a few Zodiacs and Avons out there with 25 HP outboards that roared around sometimes pulling a water skier. 30 years ago SeahorseV, our Mapleleaf 48, carried a 12 foot Whitehall rowing skiff. It carried our 4 teenagers, my wife and myself safely with enough freeboard. With 2 sitting side-by-side pulling one oar each, it would outpace some with small outboards. It was a joy to row so it became our water taxi, our runabout. The whole family used it with the skill of much practice and so it also became our exercise machine.
Today almost all boats carry an inflatable of one type or another. Inflatables are the popular, you might say the 'style' or what you 'must have'. Indeed there are few other choices readily available. So do we use them for exercise? Oh no, they do not row well at all. It becomes frustrating to put a lot of energy into the short oars that just seem to stir up the water without much effect on the forward motion of the inflatable. But they do move out very well with an outboard of 9.9 or more HP. The only people that seem to row them are those that are out of gas or have a malfunctioning outboard.
However the point is to row for exercise so who cares if the inflatable waddles like a duck at about the same speed, you still can enjoy the results. Just remove the outboard or even raise it up and row. Tell yourself that it does not matter how fast you are going. It will do you good even if you only row one way and motor back. After all if you were sitting on a rowing machine you would not be moving at all. Think of it as a rowing machine with a view. Come on you seniors! Row! Row! your Boats!