Not long after my gastric bypass surgery, my husband and I went on a day trip to Boat House Row in Philadelphia. The boat houses were filled with the shells that the rowers practiced with and competed in. We watched practice runs that were taking place on the river. I was impressed by the long, thin shells being pushed by the rhythm of the rowers. I knew immediately that it was something I would have to try. Years later, after I moved to Indianapolis, an opportunity presented for a fun exercise that is also a great way to burn calories.
I was browsing the internet to find outdoor activities in the area when I saw an invitation to learn how to row as part of a team at the Indianapolis Rowing Center. I immediately registered online for the adult classes. Not only did I love every minute of it, but I continued to fill the purpose of My Bariatric Life. I decided after my gastric bypass and my plastic surgery that I would become more active as I lost weight. I try to engage in activities that are not only fun but promote better health. Rowing did both! Read: How to Have a Happy Workout
Benefits of Rowing
What I most enjoy about rowing is that it is a moderate, enjoyable form of exercise that works out all the major muscle groups. Quads, glutes, lats, triceps, biceps and abdominals all get a good, healthy session when you row.
The quads that make up the four main muscles at the front of the thigh get an excellent workout because of the rhythmic and repetitive motion of your full body. Abdominal muscles get an equally good workout because of the continuous back and forth motion of your entire body.
Rowing also demands that you breathe properly. Rowers can make use of their breathing techniques to create force and energy. Full lung theory maintains that the rower should exhale during the stroke drive and inhale during the stroke recovery. The empty lung theory is the opposite. The rower inhales during the drive and exhales during the recovery. Read: Yoga Brings Inspiration and Self-Realization.
Have Fun and Burn Calories at the Same Time
Perhaps the best benefit of rowing is that the exercise is guaranteed to burn calories. Calories are burned because of the amount of energy that is expended with each rowing motion. Fat around the midsection is also burned because rowing works out abdominal muscles. Beginning rowers will not burn calories at the same rate as more experienced rowers, but devotion to the practice will change that.
According to a study by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, rowing on water vigorously will burn calories at the rate of 844 per hour if you weigh 155 pounds. The same person will burn 493 calories rowing moderately and 211 calories rowing lightly.
If you are not an on the water type of person, rowing machines found in gyms are an excellent way to get cardiovascular benefits and toned muscles. Be aware, however, that rowing on a stationary machine will burn calories more slowly than rowing on water. Read: Plus Sized Gyms for Exercise
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life
Photo: Rogue Rowing Club