It’s been a while since me and my torture simulator spent some quality time together – but since all of the muscles associated with walking appeared to be tied in a knot when I woke up this morning I’ve had something of a duvet day.
It occurs to me on days like this just how invaluable Apple Watch can be – as there’s absolutely no hiding from a day where you don’t fill all of its little rings. Unless they’re full there’s an ever present sense of guilt. They NEED to be completed.
I’ll go so far as to say that this alone on some (slightly darker) days has been responsible for me making the choice of getting out of bed as opposed to pulling the covers back over and hibernating.
It’s been that fundamental.
Since it’s been raining on and off all day (plus rather cold) and I’ve been Mr Cramp I decided that aside from my weekly shopping trip and making some mini quiches with a huge salad that the only thing I definitely had to do and could not avoid was my exercise bike.
Mostly because of my walking objectives I turned all of my attention consciously away from this around a month ago and never moved it back again – which is a shame as it had become a regular part of my day. The fact was though it didn’t add to my miles walked – made the ones I WAS doing more tiring – and (temporarily at least) just didn’t fit into my life.
Honestly I expected this to have a stamina consequence when I finally got around to getting back in the saddle – but I am surprised to say that it didn’t.
I popped on my usual hill climb programme, and in 34 minutes (two minutes warm up and two minutes cool down either side of a 30 minute workout) I managed seven virtual miles – which was pretty much where I was on a standard day the last time I was on there a month or so ago.
It seems that although I get my heart rate higher in a shorter time and for a more sustained period on my exercise bike that walking as much as I do also has a surprisingly similar positive impact on both my cardio capability and my leg stamina.
When I’d finished I sat on the bike for a moment – and watched my heart rate drop back to normal – which I have to say happens pretty fast these days – and I rather enjoy seeing it return to a resting beat. When I first stepped on this bike such a recovery could then be measured in hours (literally) rather than minutes – which is something of a triumph I think – and makes me feel really good about myself.
Today I’ve also been abstractly looking at the price of a gym membership vs the price of a home multi-gym.
It seems that although you can choose a PAYG model with some locally (they start at around £5.50 per day at places like Freedom Fitness) yearly subscriptions quickly climb into the hundreds of pounds – and before you know it in the top tiers (such as Nuffield Health) want the best part of a grand to let you through the front door for 12 months.
The multi-gym therefore seems like the sensible choice – as once I have it it’s always available, and my motivation to do exercise has never depended upon a room full of other people sweating like mad.
But there’s unfortunately a (large fat) fly in the ointment.
Somewhat ridiculously the majority of such gyms in my price range have a user weight limit of 19.5 stone – and I’m currently 21.5. While discussing this with a mate he suggested I ignore this restriction and buy one anyway – but honestly it’s one thing to have a chair turn into matchsticks underneath you – but quite another to have a multi-gym collapse on your head.
I don’t fancy chancing it. I’ve broken waaaay too many things over the years to think that things like this will never happen.
They do. A lot. To me.
On the plus side I’m not far off – and I think that eventually this is the route I’ll take – although it definitely requires further thought (such as exactly where to put it). My friend also pointed out to me that e-bay is a good option for things like this – so I’ll be keeping my eye out.
In the meantime however I think my exercise bike will be making a comeback. I rather enjoyed feeling the burn on it today – and it made my aching creaky legs all nice and loose for tomorrow – when I have a walk planned in yet another place I’ve not been before…
Hopefully it won’t rain – I’m taking my human good luck charm with me and he’s never failed me yet internet!