Ten weeks of 2022 have passed. New Year’s resolutions have become habits – or not, and bathing suit season is just around the corner. So, it’s a good time to either reward yourself for setting and meeting goals, or take a hard look at reasons you don’t exercise and come up with another plan.
If yours is the latter case, you’re not alone. According to the Heart Foundation, only five percent of adults in the U.S. exercise the prescribed 30 minutes a day. Rather than return to the scene of past, failed regimens, consider a change of scene – one that addresses the reasons why you do not exercise regularly. Dallas United Crew (DUC), a non-profit offering rowing at White Rock Lake, has an adult program that sweeps away the most common excuses.
Physical fitness and physical literacy may be the most common barriers to exercise. The good news is the basics of rowing are easily learned, and intensity can be graduated to match your fitness level. Speed in a rowing shell comes from technique and power in each stroke, not quickness or agility. Anyone who has successfully ridden a bike or used common exercise equipment, like a step machine can readily row. Those with joint pain or injury will be pleased to learn that rowing does not involve the impact of running, nor the side-to-side cutting motions of court and field sports. In rowing, you can build leg strength without agitating old injuries.
Joining DUC’s adult rowing program, known as DUC Masters, can change how you feel about exercising, too. Gone are the boredom and isolation of endless repetitions on an exercise machine. Crews consist of eight rowers and a coxswain, so rowing comes with a built-in social group. “The team encourages each other, and there is a soft expectation about attendance. We can’t row unless everyone is here, and to get faster we need to practice together,” reflects DUC President and rower, David Slear. “Once you feel it all come together, you’re hooked, and you want to be there.”
Like to win? Rowing gives you both individual and team goals. DUC’s training includes indoor rowing, which can measure individual speed and distance. Over time, the dedicated will see performance gains. Crews celebrate each P.R. because it means a faster team boat. DUC Masters crews race competitively, too. DUC regional regattas and as far away as San Diego and Boston.
Sunrises on White Rock Lake are another way rowing can change how you feel about exercise. Sunrise light is devoid of ultraviolet light (UV), but saturated with infrared light, which stimulates collagen and increases healing. About an hour after sunrise, UVA light enters the mix, triggering the production of serotonin and dopamine and releasing endorphins. The end result? You feel good.
A fresh group of beginning DUC Masters will start learning to row this Monday, March 21st at 417 East Lawther Drive. Visit www.DallasUnitedCrew.org to learn more.