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!

2 comments:

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.

LB 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.