Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Taking a Spin Into the New Year

Sometimes you have to call an audible. I had planned to begin the new year the same way I ended the old one -- with a nice walk with Sadie the Superdawg. Problem is, Superdawg wore herself out between the long walk yesterday and trying to keep up with our house guest for the past week, 3-year-old yellow lab Dasher the Wonder Dog. When I asked if she wanted to go on our walk, she stirred only a little from her nap, looked at me as though I was crazy, and promptly went back to sleep.

Desperately needing some exercise, I turned to the neighborhood workout room. I could have walked, but a walk never seems the same unless Sadie girl is accompanying me. An extended spin on the exercise bike turned out to be pleasant, especially since I controlled the remote and kept the overhead TV tuned to the South Carolina/Wisconsin bowl game. Great win for the Gamecocks!

An exercise bike is my best friend in the workout room. Treadmills or elliptical machines are hard on those of us folks who have back, knee, or other orthopedic challenges. The exercise bike is just right. You can get a good burn by spinning 7 miles or more, without putting yourself on the disabled list in the process. When I did my cardiac rehab nine years ago, I begged the nurses to reduce my required minutes on the treadmill and add them to my exercise biking. One favorite nurse would let me do that. (She even gave me back rubs while I pedaled -- totally spoiled this old survivor!)

At various times, I have owned exercise bikes, but I find fitting them comfortably into the household to be a problem. Grandkids tend to climb on them, risking injury. The machine is clunky to move about, and not really aesthetically pleasing. Not least among the drawbacks, purchasing a durable one with some pleasing bells  and whistles can set you back at least $700 to $800. When we lived in Blue Ridge, I had a basic one in the basement -- and so it was out of the way, but so much so that I rarely used it. I suppose in the event of a tornado warning, I could have ridden it until diving for cover.

Here on the coast, we have no basements because of the water table; however, I am fortunate to have a workout room (and outdoor pool) as part of our HOA arrangement. So I don't really need an exercise bike at home, because I have one just two blocks away. Since it looks like my seƱior Superdawg is going to need occasional rest breaks, I no doubt will be using the exercise bike all the more in this New Year. Even on the days we do walk (and I hope that will be most every day), the bike can help me supplement the walking and step up my fitness quest.

                                             © Robert G. Holland  2014

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