I have to say up front that I have never tried skiing (something to do with a horror of going downhill fast and out of control and hating the cold) but my friends love it and as we have been snowed in in many parts of the UK in the past couple of weeks I thought it was about time I talked about it.
There’s a natural rhythm to skiing which is like the best workout you ever had and it appears while you are enjoying yourself (!) you don’t even notice you are exercising! An ideal combination.
The reason it is so good in terms of exercise is that each downhill run is like a 10 minute high intensity “mini” interval training workout. Then you get a little necessary rest while you make your way back up in the slope in the ski lift.
Plus you tend to do it all day long so it’s not just a one hour workout followed by sitting at your desk all day. It keeps your metabolism stoked all day long. It’s like having 10 or 15 mini workouts a day.
You know I wish I could bring myself to try it! But it’s never going to be a sport to love with me
My friends on the other hand who love skiing have to get in training each winter before going off on their skiing vacation – it’s Wengen in Switzerland this year. I am a little jealous of that I must admit as I brave the cold in Scotland without the fun activity to go with it!
They say it’s tough to do the right exercises before they go to make sure they are ready for the slopes but they say they have to do it otherwise they suffer quite a bit and don’t have such a great time when they are away.
Now I see that Mike Greary of Truth about Abs fame has brought out a new ski fitness program guaranteeing rock hard legs that last all day long when you’re skiing so I’ll be pointing that out to them next time I see them.
I have a lot of respect for Mike’s programs – he walks the talk every time and he certainly knows what he is talking about when it comes to skiing – he can’t wait to get out on the slopes every winter. Complete Madness! LOL
I always say that the very best way to exercise is to do something you love and guest author Holly McCarthy in the article below is very much in agreement.
You never have a prima ballerina complaining about dancing or a baseball fanatic complaining about playing a game in the park.
What will you find to love this year? If you don’t think there’s anything, you haven’t tried enough activities!
But if you still insist there’s nothing that will get you going, Holly has 4 more ways to encourage you to exercise …
Top 5 Ways to Enjoy Your Exercise
Exercise! Now all of us know its benefits and how we must make it a part of our daily lives so that we may be fit and healthy. Most of us start a fitness program with great enthusiasm but find it difficult to stick to the program when we get bored or when the results come too slowly. It is quite a challenge to beat exercise boredom. But that should be no excuse to quit your workout. Check out these tips to make your exercise program more enjoyable.
- Do physical activities that you enjoy doing. Nothing can be more fun than doing something that you love doing. You like dancing? Then maybe your exercise routine should be all about dance – some salsa, jazz or, ballroom dancing would be a lot of fun and at the same time give you a perfect workout. Don’t like dancing? Then, how about bicycling, swimming, or maybe even a game of football or basket ball? That should do the trick. Exercise does not have to be about boring gym equipment alone?
- Join a friend or a group of friends in their routine. Wise was he who said ‘the more, the merrier’. Unless you are one of those loners that like no company, working out all alone can be very boring. Join a group and make exercise more fun. A group can keep you more committed to your routine and it will also cheer you up when you are down. Friendly competition and challenges can keep you greatly motivated. Also, a few laughs with friends while working out can make exercise something to look forward to.
- Have a nice mix of activities. However much you like what you are doing, there is a chance that it will get monotonous when you do it everyday. So have a nice variety of activities so that when you are bored with one activity, you could try another one. I love dancing, power walking, bicycling, and high energy aerobics. But I get very bored when I stick to just one of these. If its dance for Monday and Wednesday, I try bicycling on a Tuesday and Thursday and aerobics on Sunday. Believe-you-me, this is a great way to beat the drudgery that goes with exercise.
- Take your routine outdoors. Yes, I agree, gym routines, swimming in an indoor pool and aerobics in a studio are fun and effective but make sure you do not miss out on the pleasures of working out outside too. Jogging through the local park, a walk along the beach, ice skating in winter can all make exercise more exciting. And if it is done in the morning, you get to take in the cool fresh air too – an added advantage!
- Take a break occasionally. If in spite of the above tips you find your exercise is getting boring, just take a break. I know you have to be consistent with your exercise. But a break from routine once in a while will do no harm. In fact, it will make you return to your routine with more gusto. While taking that break, you could do some stretches and lunges as you clean your windows, rake your garden or run up and down the stairs at home. That way you will not feel very guilty about your break.
Now, if exercising could be made fun and enjoyable, who wouldn’t want to go for that healthy and chic body that comes with it?
This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of geriatric nursing certificates She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com
If you are struggling to keep your fitness motivation going after starting out full of enthusiasm in the New Year it’s time to give your fitness regime a motivational boost.
If you are not already using a heart rate monitor then seriously think about getting one.
The thing is that a heart rate monitor will show you how much fitter you are getting before you feel any difference yourself. And you will always have something to challenge yourself with.
I have a Polar F6F which is a great little mid range heart rate monitor. It is like having a coach asking you to work a little bit harder, a little bit longer, an extra few calories during your fitness session yet it tells you if you are pushing yourself too hard. You never have to reach a level higher than you are capable of, yet you can’t get away with slacking either – your heart rate will tell you when you are.
And if you like to see your progress in black and white you can plot your results until the cows come home until you are literally off the charts from where you are just now.
Lazy by nature, I use my heart rate monitor whenever I exercise so that I can’t get away with anything. And I’m convinced (in fact, I know) I wouldn’t do half as much without it)
Just now Amazon have some great deals on heart rate monitors with up to 30% off – if finances are a bit tight don’t go for anything fancy – the basic functionality will do just great and you can always upgrade if you get hooked. (The Polar F6F is my second heart rate monitor.)
If you bought fitness equipment and it was covered by a year long parts and labor warranty you would expect that if the machine went wrong in the second week you would be fully covered for repair wouldn’t you?
Me too and Noridic Track buyer Howard Baulch thought so too.
But not according to Nordic Track Customer Services department.
Howard writes that his Nordic Track Audiostrider 990 has not worked at all since he received it late December. Nordic Track suspect a bearing problem yet they are trying to make him pay for parts delivery and call out charges in the second week of ownership!
See the full tale here Nordic Track Audiostrider 990 customer service problem.
Hopefully with a bit of publicity Howard will have better news from Nordic track soon. But whatever happens in the end, this sorry tale shows a complete disregard for customers at a time when I would have thought every customer should be treated like gold dust.
If you are thinking of joining a gym, don’t.
I’m not joking.
January is the very worst time to join a gym – it will be crowded, full to bursting with new gym-goers, fresh from making their New Year’s resolutions and you won’t be able to move easily from machine to machine. You might love the atmosphere at the gym by March and might even enjoy going but the crowds in January will put you off like nothing else.
Also, if you think you truly want to join a gym, consider whether you have enough commitment to keep going after January is out. For most people it is a complete waste of money. 80% of the people who join a gym in January never go much beyond February (if they even last that long).
Though you think the pain of paying for something and not using it will make you go – it doesn’t seem to work for most people. The pain of going to the gym seems to be bigger than the pain of paying for it!
If you think you want to become a regular gym goer, think about what a commitment that is. How much time will it take you to get to the gym, get changed, work out and get showered and home again, three or more times a week? What will you NOT do to make time for that? And if you don’t think you will have to give anything up, then think again so that you can be ready for how much time will disappear rather than surprised!
If you still think you want to join a gym, prove to yourself that you are committed to fitness…
Keep up a non-gym exercise routine for two months and then reward yourself with gym membership. You can work out with weights at home (the weights will cost less than a gym membership) and you can run or walk for cardio training.
Better still take up an exercise you will love, something where they won’t be able to keep you away, like dancing or skating or rock climbing – whatever floats your boat.