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Exercise & Fitness

Rowing or paddling after age 60

June 1, 2022

If you’re new to these sports, or if you’re returning to the water after time in dry dock, you’ll want to know the risks.

photo of people kayaking, in the foreground is a man by himself in a red kayak and behind him two people in a green kayak

There’s something quite satisfying about dipping an oar or paddle into the water and pulling your craft along the surface. It’s hard work that produces tangible results (moving from here to there). And when you add the calming element of nature and the camaraderie of working with others, rowing or paddling winds up being a great physical workout with many health benefits. Still, it comes with some risks to consider.

Types of activities

A variety of water sports involve either rowing or paddling. Rowing can be done with one or two oars. You can row in a long boat called a shell that accommodates two, four, or eight people; you operate just one oar in that setup. Or you can operate two oars in a smaller boat called a scull that accommodates one, two, or four people.

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