Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Three R’s (3, 6, 10)

As a homeschooling parent, I could be referring to reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic, but I’m not – only one of those actually begins with an “R”. I am instead referring to the three types of cardiovascular activity I prefer: running, rolling, and riding. Sure, interesting aerobic classes like cardio kick-boxing and boot camp style can really be quite fun but require me to be in a room with other sweaty people and pay a membership fee for the privilege OR to squirrel myself away in the bowels of my house and growl if anyone approaches my lair as I need extreme concentration to follow the dyslexic chicky-do moves on the video. (Have you ever wondered why all The FIRM video aerobic instructors have southern accents? I’m convinced it’s to add to my confusion about the moves – “What did she say?”)

So, while the weather holds out, I will continue to keep up some level of outdoor aerobic activity. Typically when I run, like today, I run 3 miles. When I rollerblade, as I did on Wednesday, I go for 6 miles. When I ride my bike, like I did yesterday, I pedal for 10 miles. So I can move myself 3, 6, and 10 miles in about the same amount of time – not all at the same time! Sometimes, not even in the same week! But still, I’m writing about it because it is a major accomplishment for an Avid Indoorsman such as me. Interestingly, despite my grand efforts toward being able to run for 3 miles continuously (by far the most difficult of the three activities for me), I have not yet reached elementary conditioning, defined as the ability to run a mile in under 10 minutes. Really – not even close. But I persist.

When the weather becomes too inhospitable for outdoor exercise, I’ll be looking for some good indoor activities. If anyone has any favorite exercise tapes, or indoor work-outs, let me know. Meanwhile, I’ll be checking out the paleo-exercise and other wellness links on Spark A Synapse and Noodlefood.

If you’re looking for in-home equipment, this is a good website that reviews the various specific pieces and systems.

Happy Work Out!


Burgess Laughlin said...

"When the weather becomes too inhospitable for outdoor exercise, I’ll be looking for some good indoor activities."

I am not sure what you mean by "good." When the wind is too strong, the rain too heavy, or the ground too icey, I use the treadmill in the exercise room of my apartmemt building. It is not boring. I use the time to think, review language flashcards, or read (simple stories, like those by L'Amour).

I never go faster than 3.0 mph, but I do gradually increase the incline for an even more intense workout. I get more of a workout from 30 minutes on the treadmill than I do from 1 hour of walking. (I usually walk for 1 hour, twice a day, outside.)

If you are considering buying a treadmill, then I would suggest making sure it has (1) a bookrack or can be lightly modified to accept one at near eye level; and (2) side rails that you can hold onto, not only for safety, but also for steadiness while reading.

Lynne said...

I love my eight year-old NordicTrak 2000 treadmill. With four semi-frequent users in the house, I'm always concerned about how long it will last. Luckily we were able to easily replace a control panel that blew some years back, and even though it's been very durable, I couldn't replace the whole thing anytime soon and need to plan beyond it.

In all those years, I have been able to read only one book, The Great Gatsby, while on the treadmill. I usually do a 40 minute walk/run interval training with inclines, so I spend the time watching Dawson's Creek or Firefly for the 8th time or some of Ken Burns documentaries when I'm on it. I never find it boring.

Still, that is along the lines of what I meant by good indoor activities. For example, jumping rope may be good for you, but I don't really see it as an indoor activity - at least not in my house where the basement (where I would do such a thing) ceilings are quite low.