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With Fall in full swing its not too soon to set some resolutions to help you maintain good health and fitness as the winter months approach. A lot of people let their workouts slip once the colder weather arrives but Fall can be a great time to re-energize your exercise program and challenge yourself to something new.

There's nothing like a fitness challenge for keeping you motivated to exercise. You probably know someone who is running the NYC marathon next Sunday and dedicated themselves to a training program through the spring and summer months. A marathon requires countless hours of training to achieve a peak level of endurance. However, first-rate fitness can be attained and maintained with much less time investment. Getting off the couch is the first step. As Mary Wittenberg, CEO of NYRR and organizer of the NYC marathon recently stated "If we can get everyone in the city to say hey I can run a mile that's my goal". Can you?

Run a Mile, Row a Mile

Whether you walk, run or row, a mile is a good place to start. Research shows that the time it takes you to cover a mile is highly predictive of hearth health. Two recent studies, at the University of Texas Medical Center and the Cooper Institute, found that heart disease risk increases markedly for every minute longer it takes you to cover a mile and that your fitness level today is highly predictive of your heart disease risk 30 years from now.

You can use your mile time as a benchmark to assess your fitness and cardiovascular risk. A 10 minute mile for a middle-aged man and an 11 minute mile for a woman indicate a moderate level of fitness. From a risk-factor standpoint you want to avoid low fitness and injury. So before you jump on the treadmill or head outside to see how fast you can run a mile - first consult with your doctor.

Why run a mile when you can row a mile? Many people, fit and unfit, have physical limitations that prevent them from running. The great thing about indoor rowing is that almost anybody can do it, anytime (come rain or hurricane). Rowing is the most complete and effective total-body exercise you can do.

And if you're the competitive type or just like a physical challenge that tests your fitness you don't need to run a four hour marathon. I recently participated in the Concept2 Challenge Series, a monthly indoor rowing challenge that's open to anyone. The October challenge is a one mile row (1609m) that you can do at home or at the gym, on the water or even live online with other indoor rowers.

Across the country a new indoor rowing season is getting underway. Whether your goal is to stay in shape, develop your fitness or to compete, why not sign up for a rowing class, challenge or race this Fall.

The ultimate indoor rowing challenge is the Olympic distance of 1.25 mile or 2000 meters for time, the standard race distance contested annually at the Crash-Bs every February. An international indoor regatta that's open to all, with 2K races taking place in age-group categories for men and women. It's not about winning but challenging yourself and it makes a great training goal to get you through the fall and winter months. And now is the time to start training!

For more information on indoor rowing classes, clinics and competition contact


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