Many people of all ages exercise because they enjoy doing it. Increasingly, many of those same people also look to the health benefits of exercise. Rowing is one of the best exercises for health purposes because it is non-impact (you are sitting down) and uses the whole body.
Many people who were not previously either athletes or regular exercisers are taking up rowing. It does not require experience or a high degree of coordination. You can do it alone as well as in a class or with a group. And you can do it at your own speed, using equipment that produces resistance in proportion to how hard you are working rather than requiring you to set a speed or turn a resistance nob on a treadmill or bike. You can warm up and work hard or vary your pace whenever you wish without having to adjust settings.
As more of us reach our more senior years (which, depending on your perspective, may be anywhere from over 40 to over 80 or 90), we experience a transition from living as if we are immortal to recognizing that there will be an end. We notice an increasing tendency toward muscular weakness and a steeper burden to try to stay in shape.
But when we exercise as we age, we also notice positive health effects, from increased wind and energy to the many enhancements that explain why the medical community urges exercise for health and to delay aging. (More on those topics another time.)
A week ago, the NYTimes published a one-page article in the Sunday Magazine on calculating your fitness age. It noted that researchers at a Norwegian university developed a simple set of questions you can answer to help you assess your age in relation to your fitness (and as opposed to your chronological age in years). To try it yourself, go to www.ntnu.edu/cerg/vo2max .
What does this tell you about the effects of your exercise?