Active Aging

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines active aging as "the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age." Concept2 CTS supports wellness and fitness centers dedicated to providing aging adults with ways to engage physically, mentally and socially through rowing.

Active aging communities include households, senior centers, health clubs, YMCAs, hospitals, retirement communities, and continuing care facilities. Any facility with an active aging population can benefit from these recommendations.

Why Rowing?

There are many benefits to rowing, but there are specific advantages for older adults:

  • The low-impact nature of rowing is easy on joints.
  • The seated position on the indoor rower helps rowers work on balance.
  • Rowing engages core and back muscles needed for functional movements.
  • Rowing promotes flexibility with a wide range of motion, but the rower can adjust to his or her own abilities.
  • The indoor rower can be adapted for individuals with specific needs.

Rowing can help with diabetes, weight control, and osteoporosis. It is also effective for helping individuals stay fit, healthy, and independent. Concept2 CTS helps aging adults stay active.

Creating Meaning

Rowing for active aging populations is as much about staying fit for daily activities and independent living as it is about engaging in a meaningful activity.

Concept2 offers motivational tools such as an Online Logbook for tracking workouts and online challenges, which encourage rowers to complete certain workouts in a given time frame. Challenges reward consistent and frequent rowing instead of speed.

The Million Meter Club is particularly popular among older adults: Concept2 provides prizes for individuals who row one million meters. It doesn't matter how long it takes to complete the distance. Just track total meters until the distance is reached! Read about 80-year old Doris Walsh, from Laguna Woods, California, who rowed over two million meters in a year and just keeps going!

Active aging communities may want to consider making it a team effort with our Team Million Meter challenge to make it a social group goal.


Age group records continue to be challenged and broken in indoor rowing. The Concept2 World Rankings allow individuals to upload fast results and compare them with others.

Indoor races are competitive events where individuals race simultaneously on the Concept2 Indoor Rower. At the 2010 British Indoor Rowing Championships, 100-year old John Hodgson raced 2000 meters in 13:32.6!

Share Ideas

Older adults are a diverse group with unique needs. Please share your programming ideas, successes and questions with Meredith at We look forward to hearing from you!

Norma on the Concept2Norma, age 92, rows three times per week at the Medically Oriented Gym (MOG) in Grand Island, New York. The additional height of the Model E Indoor Rower makes a big difference for Norma to get on and off the indoor rower. Norma had a double knee replacement a year ago and loves to row!
Rowing at Pensacola State CollegeThree dedicated retirees at Pensacola State College have collectively accumulated over 50 million meters!
Bob Awtry on the Concept2Bob Awtry set a 1987 world record for men 70–79 in the 1000 meter distance and keeps rowing over the age of 90!
John Hodgson on the Concept2John Hodgson competes in the British Indoor Rowing Championships at age 100.