Rowing to Recover

We live in the woods. I spent a day cutting up logs and moving them, bending over to lift and then carrying heavy items in the yard, doing other physical labor. I was tired, my joints felt stiff and my muscles were sore. While many people would want to sit and rest at the end of such a day, I like to row to recover.

Rowing when the muscles and joints ache can help the body recover. On the indoor rower, you are no longer straining or twisting (nor need you be in a boat, but you do have to contend with balance, wind and wave on the water). Instead, you are repeating a relaxed motion that stretches out tired and sore muscles to allow them to let go of the tension of the day. The muscles, small and large, that tightened with physical labor can relax as you row. 

Also while you row, you are getting the heart pumping, but not with the extreme exertion of lifting a heavy log. Instead of causing your pulse to jump dramatically for a brief time, you raise the pulse slightly from a resting rate and let the heart work moderately and consistently as long as you row. During that time, the heart pumps the blood evenly through the body to cleanse the muscles and nourish the organs. Waste material from cells passes into the blood stream and your deeper breathing expels more chemicals the body needs to be rid of than if you simply stop moving to rest. If you row hard enough to break a sweat, the shower afterwards is even more refreshing.

Rest dynamically.

And then you can still have that glass of wine when you are done!