Benefits of regular exercise on a rowing machine

If you are receiving the full benefits of a rowing machine, you are likely burning upwards of 800 calories an hour. While this statistic in itself can be trumped by some high intensity (and hence high risk) workouts, the fact that the rowing machine workout is medium intensity and brings a range of specialized long term benefits, makes it far superior to other types of workout options. Assuming you are using a rowing machine for maintaining fitness (and not for professional sports) and you have a regular body type, we have compiled a list of benefits of regular exercise that your old gym trainer perhaps never told you about.

Improved heart capacity

Most people who purchase a rowing machine consider improved stamina as the foremost among the benefits of regular exercise. They are not totally wrong, but mistakenly consider stamina to be improved lung workout and muscle contraction/relaxation cycle capacity alone. The capacity of the heart to pump sufficient amounts of blood to the lungs, limbs and brain without causing imbalances for other parts of the body is vital to improved stamina.

Now given that rowing machine workouts require large amounts of oxygen and the heart becomes habituated to providing large amounts of blood at short notice to compensate for the high oxygen requirement. Over time, the heart develops a higher and more beneficial metabolic rate, allowing you to carry out strenuous work for long periods without getting fatigued.
Benefits of regular exercise on a rowing machine

Better Diurnal Rhythm

Diurnal rhythm refers to the cycle of alertness, relaxation and sleep that we undergo during the day. The human body is made for short periods of intense activity followed by longer periods of relaxation and recuperation. Rowing machines provide a balanced workout that takes care of all parts of the body, thus providing the intense workout needed by the body without causing any one body part to work harder and so become fatigued easily.

This, coupled with the improved heart health ensures that the body enters the natural diurnal pattern it is meant to follow. Benefits of regular exercise stemming from this include better alertness during the day, easier digestion, reduction of sugar/diabetes issues and better sleep.

Improved Hormonal Activity and Musculature

Like blood, our hormones are produced in direct proportion to the body’s needs for them. A slow metabolic rate can cause the hormone product to be retarded. Among growing children, this can lead to major growth problems, while among adults, the common issues noticed are poor concentration, lack of enthusiasm and lowered libido.

On the other hand, the increased metabolic rates constitute direct health benefits of regular exercise because the metabolic rate causes rapid increase in hormone production. This in turn fulfils the various’ organs needs for hormones, and improves the general health of the body manifold. Indeed, hormonal problems like hyperthyroidism and diabetes triggered due to hormonal imbalance in insulin levels, have been found to be greatly reduced when the patients took to regular low intensity workouts on rowing machines.

Musculature, on the other hand, does not mean simply the muscles of the limbs, which grow visibly better-defined as exercise progresses. The improved diurnal cycle, metabolic rate and hormonal activity together ensure that the muscles in all parts of the body, including those not directly related to the workout eg. the muscles of the bowel and those in the diaphragm below the lungs, are benefitted.

Looked at from another viewpoint, if a rowing machine allowing for a wide range of exercises is purchased in keeping with our rowing machines buying guide, the skeletal muscles (muscles that move various bones and hence play an active role in moving the body) improve over the long term only when the muscles in the rest of the body improve in step with them. As the health benefits increase over time and the skeletal muscles grow steadily, the need for better supportive muscles also grows, and this need is catered to by the improved diurnal/hormonal system. This in turn can make digestion, excretion and breathing more efficient and less prone to diseases.

Immunity against Diseases and Blood Loss

If the rowing machine is maintained properly and chances of injury during workout are minimized, it can be expected that the benefits of regular exercise will lead to better blood production. As part of this process, more white blood cells and platelets would form. White blood cells (or WBCs) act as guardians of the body, producing antibodies to fight against antigens produced by invading bacteria or viruses.

Platelets, along with a number of hormones, help in blood clotting, and this is vital to prevent loss of blood when injuries occur. As platelet and hormone production improve, blood clotting improves. This in turn can reduce blood loss significantly in case of serious accidents, etc.

Lastly, the improved blood circulation that accompanies regular exercise can help the WBCs and platelets reach their target areas faster, defeating antigens and plugging injuries before significant damage has been done. Indeed, unless one is afflicted with a disease like thalassemia, even injuries to vital organs can become non-life threatening for exercise enthusiasts, as compared to those who are erratic or do not carry out workouts at all.
Exercise on a rowing machine

Improved Mood and Mental Health

Hormones manage the state of our body as well as the state of our mind. Indeed, many hormones, or proto-hormones are created in the brain, from which they move to various glands and are refined, modified and stored there. Thus, the brain as the repository of hormone manufacture, is impacted and in turn impacts the overall health of the body. With improving hormonal demand and supply (as seen above), the brain will be more active in producing hormones without becoming fatigued.

Furthermore, the greater hormones will improve the faculties of various lobes, thereby improving our senses and “moods” significantly.


Health benefits directly stem from the quantity and quality of the workout, just as they increase proportionally to the regularity of the workout. Assuming that tips in our rowing machine maintenance and tips guide have been followed and there are no debilitating health issues, the above benefits of regular exercise should accrue to the exercise enthusiast over a period of 3 to six months. This may vary from person to person, since the existing metabolic rate at the time of initiating workout is a vital parameter that decides how quickly one can begin experiencing these benefits. Of course, the key to continued health improvement is to keep up the workout and modify it according to the changes in the body, whether positive eg. better musculature and stamina, or negative eg. a non-workout related injury.