How Indoor Rowing Helped Me Maintain a 75-Pound Weight Loss and Gain Confidence (Everyday Health)

Posted: Jan 22, 2024 in In the News

This article originally appeared in Everyday Health on January 22, 2024.


How Indoor Rowing Helped Me Maintain a 75-Pound Weight Loss and Gain Confidence

By Colleen Stinchcombe

Emma Roose, now 36, was like any other active kid — she loved riding her bike, running, and playing with her friends. At 11 years old, she was riding her bike across her neighborhood cul-de-sac to visit her best friend when she was hit by a drunk driver. The driver dragged her down the street, breaking her leg in two places.

“Getting hit by that car was definitely that one moment in my life where I was like, ‘Oh, my body's gonna be different from now on,’” she says. The stress of the car accident — paired with her parents’ divorce — seemed to trigger other physical conditions, like a mysterious case of hives, and Roose found it harder to stay active.

She intermittently went to the gym as a teenager and often restricted her eating. As she got older and had children, “life got away from me. I wasn’t prioritizing myself,” she says. It wasn’t until after the birth of her second child that she realized something needed to give. “I was 27 and I was really overweight, like almost 240-something pounds, and I was really unhappy,” she says.

Roose knew her brief stints at the gym and restrictive eating patterns hadn’t worked before, so she decided to change her mindset. The new goal was to keep her routine doable and consistent. She committed to exercising for 30 minutes a day, beginning with Beachbody (now called BODi) workouts at home, then joined Jazzercise with her grandmother. She began losing weight and enjoyed the activity so much she became a Jazzercise instructor. Over time, she lost 75 pounds. There was just one problem: Her knee, which had been affected by the car accident, was always causing her trouble.

“When I was doing Jazzercise, it was a lot of jumping and twisting motions,” Roose explains. Every couple of months, she’d have to take a week off after she’d get sharp, shooting pains in her knee and it would begin to swell. “I remember my mom telling me, ‘You're gonna blow out your knees if you don't stop doing this.’”

How Rowing Made Me Feel ‘Powerful’

Not long after, she took a job in sales at a new indoor rowing studio called Row House in Temecula, California, which now has 90 studios open and over 300 licensed locations throughout the United States and Canada. The studio wasn’t even open yet when the owners recommended she take a training course to be an instructor. “I ended up doing that and fell in love,” she says.

There were lots of things to love about indoor rowing: Her knee never got aggravated, for one, even when she was teaching nine 45-minute classes a week. Rowing machines allow you to set the resistance to an appropriate level, according to the American Council on Exercise, which is one of several reasons why rowing is accessible for many different fitness levels.

And being an instructor at a boutique fitness facility changed her idea of what fitness instructors needed to look like. Before working there, “I felt like I had to look a certain way or be a certain way,” she explains. But “everybody's so different and so accepting.”


Read the full article here.


More ACE in the News