Row Yourself Younger – The Ideal Exercise For Anyone Over Forty

“There is no better exercise in the world than rowing a single scull or a Whitehall… it exercises your whole body while it immerses you in a rhythm and takes you to places that are good for your soul.”

Chris Crowley, author of New York Times bestseller ‘Younger Next Year’


Staying fit over the age of forty is necessary to avoid stiffness, associated aches and pains, and an overall loss of strength caused by physical inaction. One of the best ways to stay fit, get fit and keep feeling young and vital is rowing a modern all water rowboat equipped with sculling gear. Getting out on the water really does exercise your whole body, “while it immerses you in a smooth rhythm and takes you to places that are good for your soul.”

To be able to row almost anywhere, for fitness, fun, and adventure requires a stable safe boat. This type of boat is not like the skinny unstable rowing boats called rowing shells used for racing and competition. It is also not at all like a clunky aluminum skiff designed pretty much exclusively for use with an outboard motor.


Here is author Chris Crowley rowing a Classic Whitehall Spirit® 17 row boat.

The latest research into keeping the body fit and healthy states that using as many of your muscles, simultaneously, in a non-destructive stress-free way, activates your ‘youth hormones’, and these are what keep you feeling great with youthful energy. In other words, the continuous smooth motion that works the entire body when rowing fits all the right criteria for fitness and that youthful feeling.

Runners, triathletes, and cyclists use rowing as cross-training thus saving their knees and joints for serious competition. Rowing provides close to double the calorie burn of jogging and is a smooth way of getting fit, feeling and staying young and living pain-free.

A rowing boat that is ideal for fitness and exercise is reasonably light, lean and fast under oar power. It is totally safe and stable in wind, waves or calm water and is perfect for rowing anywhere, on lakes, rivers, and oceans. A good example of an all-water row anywhere type of rowboat is the Whitehall Spirit® Solo 14 built by Whitehall Rowing & Sail in Victoria, BC Canada.


One feature that is absolutely necessary for fitness is the boat must be equipped with sculling gear and sculling oars. Rowing a boat equipped with a sliding seat enables the use of legs, back and arms, all active in the row stroke in an even symmetric way that causes no stress on the knees, joints, or connective tissues.

Up to 90% of the body’s muscles are engaged, thus creating almost double the calorie burn of jogging with no stress on the knees. The forces are evenly distributed and the entire body is used. There is energy flowing through all of the body’s muscles and connective tissues. While rowing it’s easy to control your output to avoid stressing yourself. Both young and old can enjoy the benefits of rowing.

Healing Sports, Chris Crowley, Fitness, Whitehall Rowing and Sail Rowboat

Another major benefit of being out on the water is an overall sense of well being caused by the fact that rowing takes place in a natural, outdoor environment and fresh clean air. It feels like you are in your own castle surrounded by a wide protective moat.

For many, it’s the perfect way to let go of stress and relax your mind. So along with physical benefits, there are these great mental benefits as well. Many health practitioners say stress is a major cause of disease. Stress relief for some is perhaps an even greater benefit from rowing than fitness.


Philip Hulme, avid Whitehall rower says, “Being inside in a smelly gym sitting on a rowing machine, breathing recycled air is no comparison to being out on the water, breathing fresh clean air and feeling free as a bird rowing my Whitehall Spirit® Solo 14.”

Many people who rowed competitively while in school or in college have training and experience and are already prepared to go rowing. However, most people over the age of forty have never rowed in a slide seat boat or any type of rowboat before. Fortunately, learning to row in a stable all water rowboat is quite easy and by watching one of the online How to Row videos provided by Whitehall Rowing & Sail they can get the basics down quickly to join the thousands of rowers that are enjoying a sport that will change their lives for the better.