Row, Row Your Rowing Machine

So evidently running, cycling, some boxing, and strength training aren’t enough athletic activities to keep me entertained so I’ve added something else to the mix.
I mentioned over the weekend I got a new “toy’ and finally was going to use it this morning… hello rowing machine 😛
As I’ve shared, I’ve totally pulled myself out of running until it no longer stirs up my injury. This includes power walking as well ’cause my mile pace is usually between 12-13 mins and has the same effects on my body as running. This has been sooo hard but ultimately, my goal is to run forever so if I can’t for a season, I’ve accepted that.
However, I’m not gonna sit back and do nothing. As you know from my athletic antics, I spend a lot of time on my bike to get those miles I love and (got addicted to running). I’ve wanted to do rowing for awhile because I know the overall, total body benefits it offers… and the killer cardio it offers as well.
Rowing and cycling will keep me strong for when I can get back on the road. Swimming season will soon be upon us, so there’s that too =) I intend to keep my body physically strong during this time so when I do get back on the road I can focus on just building up my mileage again.
Ok..rowing. I had a (brief) encounter a few years ago with a machine and loved it. I’m not a big “machine” person when it comes to working out. I like activities that make me really use just my body. However, rowing definitely serves a very good purpose.
The past few weeks I’ve been doing my homework looking at all the vast models out there and trying to get the best one for what I was planning to spend..oh..and making sure the rail had enough length for my long legs to fully extend 😉
I finally found one that had consistent good reviews AND had been used by people taller than me who gave it thumbs up in the tall people department ha
A quick youtube video clip last night to review technique ( ’cause I want my form to be right) and I was ready this morning.
My goal? “Oh, let’s do 15- 30 minutes and see how you do”
An hour later… haha… I’m finishing…dripping sweat and feeling great.
I loved the workout it gave me! 10 minutes in I was starting to sweat like when I’m running. I love how this is an activity I can really throw myself into. I have a decent level of physical fitness so I just let myself go to see how much I could push and get out of it.  Rowing is a strong activity…..I think that’s what I liked about it…. what’s going to keep me coming back to it…
 The harder and faster you row with this machine, the harder the workout. Slow down, and the machine adjusts to a slower pace. No worrying about having to adjust the tension for a tougher workout.
Mentally, I tried to keep the idea in my head of actually rowing a boat across the lake, it allowed me to really focus on keeping my movements smooth and fluid.
So what ARE the benefits of rowing ? Why should you do it ?
Using a rowing machine can help to build and tone your muscles, strengthen your cardiovascular function and increase your stamina, Rowing burns calories rapidly, making it a suitable addition to your workout regimen if weight loss is your chief priority. Using a rowing machine is an endurance exercise that increases heart function making it a great non-impact cardio activity. Rowing uses virtually every major muscle group in your body. With little pressure on the joints, due to the activity’s low-impact nature, rowers work their legs, hips and buttocks with each stroke. They also use upper-body muscles, strengthening the back, shoulders and arms. The trunk and core are engaged in the exercise as the rower performs each stroke.
All the muscles listed in blue are used during rowing. You can see why it’s such a beneficial exercise.
So if you’re looking for something new to add to your regimen or maybe you need something that’s a hard workout but easier on your joints, perhaps you should consider rowing. I’m pretty excited about having a new activity to add in to what I do.
And hmmm…. maybe I could start training for the Olympic rowing team ?  😉
olympic rowing
Tell me… have you done this activity before ? Do you like it ?

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8 years ago I began what I now refer to as my "journey into lifestyle fitness". After a yearly check in with my Dr he said I looked "really good on paper, but I might consider losing a few pounds" I wasn't offended... I knew I needed to but it seemed like to much work at the time. In that year we had adopted 2 girls out of foster care, plus caring for my 3 sons & husband sort of left me on the back burner taking care of "me". I told him I "used to" walk & he encouraged me to at least get back to that. I left his office that day, started, & never quit. As time moved on my walks increased in length & speed. I started mingling some jogging into it...then after more time some short sprints. One day I realized I was doing more running than anything else. I learned to run longer and farther. I constantly challenged myself to do more. I realized I had turned into a runner & was loving it. I have since run 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, and my first 50K scheduled for March 1,2015. Not bad for a girl who just started off walking not quite 2 miles! My body was now beginning to show the results of my work as weight & inches dropped off. I began to add in boxing & weights on days I wasn't running. Over time as the fat left, my new muscles were waiting underneath =) Obviously, I also made some food changes. Nothing drastic..just started eating less and trying to eat better.. I hated diets and how they made me feel....deprived & left out of all the adjusting & eating less of what I liked and moving more.. I found myself getting in decent physical shape. It began my thinking of lifestyle and not "dieting". As I got stronger,healthier & more fit it was an easier process to "let go" of some of the foods I had enjoyed. I had more energy, strength and confidence in what I could do. It was empowering. It made me realize that I probably wasn't the only one who wanted to lose weight, be healthy & strong but not always be on some sort of "diet". Maybe my journey & what I had learned & been doing might possibly help others to success in their lives... I consider myself to be rather normal and ordinary ( meaning I haven't always been into fitness and healthy eating) it has been a steady, daily, learned process with good days and bad days and my hope is that you too, will see the greatness in you, and that you have the ability and power to change and do anything you put your mind to. If you want change, you can make it happen. It's just one day at a time, making smart moves and better choices, and before you know it, things are happening. Get started on your journey, really, what do you have to lose ? And yet, so much to gain =)

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