If you’ve currently got an exercise routine and are looking to switch up your activities,or even if you are brand new at exercise and want to try out different cardiovascular workouts, then there are plenty of choices to choose from! From running and hiking to biking and kickboxing, the list is almost endless of the different cardio activities you can implement into your routine. A popular choice that you can do both indoors and outdoors is one that is often overlooked – and that is rowing. If you’re eager to get outside and catch some rays while absorbing some Vitamin D (while not pounding the pavement with your running shoes) rowing is the perfect alternative. Let’s look at some of the benefits of rowing in general, and then break down the pros and cons of rowing indoors versus outside!
Benefits Of Rowing
Whether you are rowing indoors or taking your workout to your local body of water, there are several benefits to this exercise! Rowing is perfect for every fitness level, from beginners to advanced athletes. Not only is it low impact and easy on your joints, but it’s also a full-body workout. Rowing also has positive benefits on your cardiovascular system, strengthening the heart and lungs and improving overall heart health. Rowing has also been noted to be highly relaxing for many people, especially if you’re able to participate out on open water. The overall movements of rowing can be very soothing, which can help to decrease stress and make your workouts even more enjoyable.
Pros of Indoor and Outdoor Rowing
Indoor rowing machines allow you access to rowing at pretty much any point in time; this is especially true when there is inclement weather. However, being outside allows you to soak in the sunshine and fresh air, but can be tricky if the weather takes a turn for the worst while you’re out on the water! Being outside can also be a huge plus for those that get bored while on the indoor rower – sitting down on a machine and cranking out a 2000-meter row is great for your heart, lungs, and body, but if you need more mental stimulation while you’re working out, then outside is the perfect place to go!
As far as resistance goes, when you’re outside you can adjust your own pace by rowing faster or slower, while rowing indoors allows you to control the resistance and speed easily. If the water is working in your favor outdoors, you’ll be able to build strength and endurance working against a current; if you’re inside, you’ll need to control all of these factors independently in order to get the workout that you desire.
Cons of Indoor and Outdoor Rowing
If you don’t live near an accessible body of water that allows boat traffic, that could be a big hindrance if you’re trying to row outside. Think also about your travel time to and from that body of water – does it take you an hour to get there? If that’s the case, you might find yourself not getting out there as frequently as you would if you rowed closer to home (or even indoors). Being outside on the water also will inevitably cause you to get wet; if you’re okay with bringing along a towel to dry off after your workout sessions, perfect! If not, you might find yourself sitting in wet clothes on the way home.
Rowing indoors allows you to skip the wet clothes, but also doesn’t allow for any sun exposure or taking in the sights of the great outdoors. You can also place your rower just about anywhere inside, but some do take up substantial space, so you’ll need to find a place to stow your rower so that it’s not in the way when not in use. Lastly, injuries can happen out on the water (i.e. underwater objects that are unseen, sunburns, bug bites, rip currents, etc.) that wouldn’t happen if you were rowing indoors.
Regardless of whether you choose to row inside or go exploring outdoors, the results of your rowing will be the same – you’ll get a fantastic cardiovascular workout, as well as improve your health and wellness levels! You’ll just need to determine what factors are important to you regarding where you decide to row, and what’s most convenient for you. If you can’t decide on one or the other – do both!