Posted by: trish alexander | May 12, 2011

Falling off the wagon

It’s been cold and rainy here in Seattle although I admit that sun beckons me outside just now (wait ten minutes, it will be cloudy) and the weather is not supposed to reach 70 degrees until mid June.

Thus, I am finding I must be crafty in finding ways to get or stay in shape. The long winter and poor spring has helped me ‘pad’ myself a bit more than I like and I’ve fallen off the exercise wagon… what is a Seattlite to do?

Friday, Saturday & Sunday I skate at the rink (Bellevue Skate King) and although I can get in great skate sessions, I am far too efficient in skating to do much good for my cardiovascular & muscle development. I know there is some, but not a lot.

This past Monday, even though I woke up with the local strain of influenza, I decided that seven days a week of exercise was necessary so I began by walking around Greenlake, a man made lake which is 2.7 miles (about) around and it is the busiest park in Washington state. With walkers, joggers, strollers, long boarders and even skaters, it gets plenty of use.  After the walk, right after, I was a bit sore as my body was made neither for walking or running (including missing the menisci in both knees). After that walk I felt a bad kind of sore, the kind of high-impact-not-good-for-my-body sore so I grabbed my Nordic Walking Poles  and went Tuesday. No pain, and I walked much faster with the poles. On Wednesday I clipped on my pedometer and the distance was 4,500 steps in 38 minutes. And it felt good. And it was pouring rain, even the turtles were hiding. I mean pouring. The feeling of being outside to exercise in the rain, was magical. As skaters when it rains we just look out the window and look wistfully at the smooth pavement, but I’ve found something I can do every day.

For other types of cross training, I put a P90X DVD in the player (occasionally) and enjoy the weight workout. I wish I would do it more. And some days I get on my Stairmaster (bought on Craigslist for $75, $10 delivery) but when I’m tired or sick it’s really hard to talk myself into getting on that taskmaster.  I just got a Total Trainer on Craigslist too but I need to set it up in my spare room so it’s available anytime.

What I like about the Nordic Walking is that it’s easy to do (trust me, 90% need a lesson or two but after that you are good to go) and I can do it in any weather, anywhere.  And I’m likely to do it. If I’ve got a good movie from Netflix on the computer then I can get on the Stairmaster, Total Trainer or simultaneously watch P90X . It all works.  I just gotta do it.

Why do the exercise?  It’s an easy answer: because I don’t skate as well when I weigh more. I know how much to weigh because my skating feels effortless. When my abs are solid my form is better. When my cardiovascular system is running well, then I adore trail skating.

It’s easy to get out of shape, hard to get back into shape. I think the Nordic Walking is my consistent ticket and the other forms of exercise I need to do more consistently will be picked up because I’m enjoying the fitness again.  Anyway, it’s a plan, and I love a good plan.

[In the name of full disclosure, I should say that I am a Nordic Walking Instructor ]

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