Sunday, July 3, 2016
Summer is often the time when people look to get in shape and lose some weight. And with the Brazil 2016 Olympics just around the corner, no doubt many of us will feel inspired by watching those honed and toned athletes in action.
Of course, the Olympics covers numerous sports, but one that always gets great admiration and is fast gaining in popularity is rowing. We want to take a look at why rowing is such a good form of exercise and how it can improve your health.
Whilst many people jumped on the spinning bandwagon for the ultimate calorie burn, it seems that rowing trumps it. A vigorous rowing session can help you to burn up to twice the amount of calories of spinning or running.
This also makes it great for weight loss. This significant calorie burn will naturally result in more fat being burnt in the body. This will improve the percentage of fat mass and fat-free mass, known as body composition.
If you have high levels of fat in your body, then rowing provides a very effective form of aerobic exercise that will work all your muscles, burn calories and fat quicker, so you can have a svelte physique in no time.
The reason for this exceptional calorie and fat burn is due to the motion of rowing. It’s often a misconception that rowing is all about the arms and upper body strength; it is in fact around 60% legwork and 40% upper body. Furthermore, it uses a whole host of muscles, providing a complete workout for your body in one, rather than just using specific muscles. A rowing session will work the core muscles in your trunk, middle and lower back, as well as your legs and arms. Not only that but the motion of rowing, whether you’re out on the calm water or on a rowing machine in your local gym has backward and forward resistance, rather than a single direction like cycling, therefore you’re continuously working your muscles and burning calories.
Another great benefit of rowing is that whilst it is considered a low-impact form of exercise, it still provides excellent results and an intense workout as part of the NHS’s recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week. Despite the fact it looks strenuous, and it can be if you want it to be, the actual motion used in rowing is relatively safe. When executed properly, it isn’t likely to cause strain or injury, even to newcomers, which makes it the perfect exercise for people of all abilities, including those who don’t do regular exercise.
With coronary heart disease cited as the UK’s biggest killer, it’s vital to give your heart and lungs a good workout with regular cardio-respiratory exercise. As rowing uses such a wide range of muscle groups and is highly physical, it will improve lung capacity, meaning more oxygen in the blood will be pumped around the body by the heart.
At the same time as promoting weight loss, rowing also works to increase muscle strength in your entire body. As a result, your muscles will be stronger. This can also help to give you better joint mobility and stability too.
Rowing can be a good way to reduce stress levels. Besides the production of endorphins in the body, it can also be a good way to relieve tension, unwind and escape your worries, as well as meet new people. Whether you choose to do outdoor rowing on the river or do indoor rowing, you can find a new hobby as well as an exercise, plus, with outdoor rowing you can choose to row solo or be part of a rowing team.
If you fancy taking up rowing or simply seeing it in action, there are a number of rowing regattas throughout the UK that will give you a great insight into the sport.
Henley Masters Regatta
Friday 8th and Saturday 9th July 2016
Thames, South East
Talkin Tarn Regatta
Saturday 2nd July 2016
Brampton, near Carlisle North East
Saturday 9th July 2016
Burton-Upon-Trent, East Midlands
Saturday 30th July 2016
Warrington, North West
Whether you’re thinking of rowing on water, or would prefer to stick to the machines at your local gym, considering rowing as part of your workout can certainly have its benefits.