Going nowhere fast
I've been noticing a lot of my blogging buddies lamenting about the difficulty of exercising in the winter in various parts of the country. There's no doubt it's harder. The picture above was taken from the internet, since I feel embarrassed about actually taking pictures of my fellow YMCA enthusiasts working out. At our local Y, we have a long string of treadmills and elliptical machines like those pictured above. They are not hard to use, but they are so boring!
I notice many people with earphones listening to either music, news, or maybe even learning a foreign language or something similar. It's the only way to make yourself do this solitary exercise. I find it does help to be surrounded by people who are also working out; it gives me incentive. I don't think I could ever ride that treadmill long enough to have that butt. And you wouldn't find me dressed in a bright red clingy outfit, either. For obvious reasons.
For me, I love the camaraderie of the exercise class. The Y has one every weekday at 9:00 am, which works perfectly into my morning routine. I catch the bus at 7:50, quaff my morning latte while reading the local newspaper, and walk the few minutes to the Y in order to change and be ready to work out by then. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we show up for Joanne's class, which has a loyal following of perhaps 40 people, even when it is raining, like today.
Just like in any class, everyone who shows up regularly ends up migrating to the same spot in the room. I like the south side, not very far back. Joanne has a set warm-up routine, and then we bounce around to what is called "low impact" aerobics. Some people barely move their arms and feet, and others are in danger of bouncing off the ceiling. I love to watch in the mirror what others are doing behind me. We do the aerobics part of the class for 40 minutes and then we cool down with some slower music and spend another 15-20 minutes doing floor exercises, working on abdominals, butt muscles, a little light weight stuff, some push-ups, and finish off with maybe five minutes of stretching.
I wear ankle weights and wrist weights, not much, only a pound each, adding an extra four pounds, but it sure makes me sweat a lot more. I also try to maximize the arm and leg movements, since I'm disappointed if I don't work up a bit of a sweat by the end. Our women's shower room has a sauna (which is usually very hot) and a steam bath. I shower and dry my hair and am out of the Y by 10:30, head to the bus terminal and am home by 11:00 am.
On Thursdays, I head up to the hills with the Senior Trailblazers. All summer long we go to the High Country, but during the short rainy days of winter we stay close to town. This Thursday we will hike up to Raptor Ridge, up 1,600 feet elevation and a round trip of about 8 miles. By the end of the day I am spent but very happy and feel a great sense of accomplishment. Our leader just sent an email today saying that the weather report "stinks a little less than usual" because we will most likely not get rained on.
Without this routine I would really not be enjoying myself. I find that on days when I can't get my usual workout, I feel rather depressed and grumpy. Sitting at my computer and watching the birds while I blog is so much more satisfying when I've had my workout. When the holidays close things down, I need to find another outlet.
Today, Monday, everything has returned to normal and I am smiling as I write this. What do you do for exercise? What are your options?