Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My bike; a love/hate relationship

For Christmas, my husband and my parents bought me a recumbent bike. I had been walking, mostly outdoors, and by December it was just too cold to walk outside for any length of time. The bike not only allows me to exercise indoors, but it helped me burn more calories in a more effective and low impact way.

With my schedule, it was hard for me to consistently exercise every night. I had to let Hubby take over some of the household chores and I had to really push myself to stick to it, but after a couple of weeks, I had a routine carved out each night before bed. Now, I don't sleep well unless I have exercised first.

I bought a bike with a full seat on it. It has a tall back on it to prevent lower back strain and allow for comfort. I love that I can do other things while riding which has helped me to stick with my commitment more easily.

At first, the bike and I argued. I had to really dig deep to work up to an intensity that I felt was effective. After about fifteen minutes, I would start to get crabby and tired, but I kept pushing through because I knew I could do it if I really wanted to. Usually after about a week of consistently trudging ahead, I could feel the workout getting easier. I try to constantly challenge my body, so I never keep it easy for more than a week.

The past couple of weeks, things with my grandfather have been really bad. He is slowly fading from us, and its been really hard on me. At first I skipped the bike, but lately I have been craving it. I didn't realize how much I relied on that half an hour for myself. I tend to lean more on my ipo.d these days and I've moved the bike into the living room, so that I can workout alone (Hubby's computer is in the bedroom). I picked out a handful of uplifting, happy songs, that help me to set a positive, fast pace for my workouts, and I often lose track of time now. Sometimes on the weekends I may exercise for an hour if Hubby doesn't do an occasional time check.

It feels so great to finish my workouts now. I stop pedaling and I feel a true sense of accomplishment and energy. I feel revived and uplifted. I love that I have been able to find a positive outlet for my anxieties and frustrations. When I have a bad day, those are the days that I walk in and head straight for my bike. Hubby knows that this is my time to vent and relax. It's my escape.

I'm telling you all of this, because many people fall off the resolution wagon towards the end of January. They get frustrated and overwhelmed. This is the time to push the most though. It is important to make the most of your time. Do what works for you. Instead of thinking that you are going to have to squeeze in some time to exercise, allot a specific time, and make it all about you. If you like television, watch television, if you like music, get you some positive tunes to help you pass the time. If you need to be quiet, turn everything off and focus inward. Let your family members know that this is your time, and you need their support to keep going.

The first time that you end a workout and feel the stresses of the day fade away is an empowering and addictive moment. If you can strive for that moment in all of your workouts, not only will you look forward to your workouts, but you will also find that you are better equipped to deal with stressful days and frustrating situations.

I hope this helps encourage even one person to stick with their routine and push forward into spring.


Kristin said...

I'm inspired to get off my ass and start exercising again. Does that count?

The Lynchs said...

Thanks for the encouraging words! I started running (well, pathetically jogging/walking, haha) this year and it's been a challenge to stick with it. I always feel so much better after though!