This is the perfect full-body workout, according to Harvard scientists

As much of the country enters lockdown again we are all inevitably preparing for how we are going to keep ourselves entertained as well as in shape.

Though we may be slowing down when it comes to new series and movies on Netflix and other streaming platforms, one thing that hasn’t slowed down is the bevy of new at-home workouts. So many fitness brands have pivoted in the past 10 months to make your living room, bedroom, or even closet into a personal fitness space.

Countless studies have shown that exercise is tremendous for your mental health but it doesn’t hurt if it also helps you lose a few pounds (especially after all that gratuitous holiday eating.) Though Peloton and SoulCycle are dominating in the spinning arena, a workout that could have a major year in 2021 is at-home rowing.

According to Harvard Health, rowing machines give you as close to a total body workout as possible on any machine. They work the back, arms, and legs simultaneously. Geoff Keller, a physical therapist with Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital told Harvard Health, “Besides being a great cardio workout — it’s easy to reach the desired intensity in a short amount of time — rowing can address all the major muscle groups at once and doesn’t put stress on your joints or strain your back. “

Helaine Knapp, the CEO of CityRow, high-intensity indoor rowing classes with studios across the country that now has an at-home machine, the CityRow GO Max Rower, told Ladders, “I was initially drawn to rowing because it’s so, so good for you. It works 85% of your muscles with every stroke and is low impact. Because it’s full-body, it’s incredibly efficient, so you can get a killer workout in 20 or 30 minutes.” Perfect for a workout in between Zoom calls and you can fit it in your home office as it folds up and can stand vertically.

The amount of time this workout takes should really be emphasized here as just adding a 20 to 30-minute workout a few times per week can actually add years to your life. A study published in 2017, by PLOS One found that inactive older adults who added just 48 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week lowered their risk of major disability compared with sedentary people.

And though rowing seems a bit repetitive, it doesn’t have to be. Knapp added, “It’s also incredibly versatile – you can do short high-intensity bursts of rowing for a HIIT workout, you can do long endurance rows. It’s great for steady-state cardio. Pretty much anyone can row and be challenged by it, from newbies just starting a fitness program to marathoners to professional athletes.”

Though gyms are open and there are always the great outdoors, the fitness industry has been transformed this year in terms of home exercise equipment and streaming classes. Even with the vaccine, it looks like at-home fitness is here to stay. A study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of AI fitness and lifestyle app Freeletics, found that seven in 10 Americans believe they don’t need a gym to keep in shape and over 50% said they plan on canceling their gym memberships.