Are walking and rowing machines good exercises for Seniors

by Kevin

At 81 years of age I go to gym twice a week spending 12 minutes on a stationery bike and 12 minutes on a rowing machine – both at a gentle pace. I walk for 30 minutes each day before breakfast.

I hope these are good exercises to avoid the need for knee and hip replacements which so many of my contemporaries are having.

I have atrial fibrillation so cannot do any strenuous exercises, but am otherwise in good health.

Are both these exercises appropriate and the best I could be doing – I am not a “natural” athlete!!

Thank you,

Comments for Are walking and rowing machines good exercises for Seniors

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

May 23, 2011 Walking and rowing machines
by: Douglas Schrift

Jack Lalanne once said walking was the king of exercises?. He is right in that walking improves not only our mood, but our endurance and strength as well.

Walking keeps the joints lubricated and nourished, strengthening the ligaments and tendons throughout our ankles, hips and knees. Walking works to strengthen our heart and lungs by increases in our respiratory and heart rates.

When walking, pick a pace that increases your breathing and heart rate. Swing your arms freely, straighten your spine and look straight ahead, not at the ground. Lift your heel up and then place it down, try not to step with a flat foot.

The rowing machine not only improves our strength and endurance in our legs and upper body, but does so in a way that simply walking cannot. When correctly performed, rowing targets the legs, back and shoulders quite nicely.

Make sure to pull back all the way through the movement by squeezing your shoulder blades together at the end of your pull, while straightening out your cervical spine.

This addresses one of the primary structural deficits of seniors, namely the forward flexed posture in which the shoulders and head come forward creating a rounded spine and decreased stature.

Your have chosen two great ways to work out, especially for older adults! Good job.


  1. I have used a concept 2 off an on for 20 years starting at age 59. This machine saved my life. I required multiple by pass surgery at age 75 due to living the American dream and accompanying diet. I was walking the next day.

  2. Which rowing machine would you suggest we don’t have a lot of room and we are in our 70’s but my husband used to love rowing. we are in the U K

    1. I just checked and there are a number of rowing machines. I like the piston rowing machines for their price, small profile, and simplicity. The important point in using a rowing machine is your form. I coach seniors to always finish the stroke by squeezing your shoulder blades together and bringing your elbows back some. Good luck!

      1. I am considering buying a home rowing machine and would like one easily stored I am familiar with gyms and machines. Have just sold cross trainer as took up so much room and was very heavy to move. Please advise. Husband has atrial fibrillation. I have high blood pressure. Both conditions under control. I would be glad go advice. Many thanks

        1. A rowing machine is a great tool for seniors. It strengthens the legs and back while improving your posture muscles. Especially if you remember to bring your elbows back at the top of the movement to open up your chest. A quick look on Amazon, and I found several lower priced models that have a very small profile and won’t break the bank. Good luck!

        2. the concept 2 has been recommended by my dr.. I have copd and I am on oxygen, from what I have learned it will help me considerably . I Today ordered my Concept 2..model E I am excited to begin a new lifestyle.

    2. I have had both anConcept 2, and now have a Water Rower. The Water Rower is my favorite, hands down. The rowing action is so smooth because the fan wheel goes through water, so you hear the swoosh and feel of the water with each stroke. It is a much more natural experience, and the belt drive is very smooth and quiet.

Leave a Reply