This spring, I invested in a new bicycle – for those interested, I chose a Norco XFR 3 which I am completely satisfied with, and for a shameless plug I bought it at Different Bikes in Burnaby, B.C.. I just got back from a 10km ride as I start to craft this, which I followed with a swim in the pool in my complex. No, I’m not nutty enough to be training for a triathlon, although I know a few triathletes who would encourage me. The truth is that while I bought the bike as a fun activity during warmer months, I have recently been suffering through some foot pain (plantar fasciitis)and thought a non-impact workout would be helpful.
It is also a welcome change. Part of the problem with workout routines is that they can become just that – routine. I mentioned in one recent post how part of the joy of being fit is being able to do pretty much whatever you like, and the purchase of my bike was a bit of a whim. I have found that I really do enjoy using it, and have used it to get groceries and run errands, and intend to get out on it at least one or two times per week. If I go a good distance, I can get a fair workout – nothing as sweat inducing as one of my runs mind you, but in the summer heat it’s a bit easier to get out mid-day on your bike than it is to get out for a run that might give you some additional pressure due to heat exhaustion.
Likewise, swimming laps in a pool, especially an outdoor pool, can be a good workout but also wonderfully therapeutic and relaxing. Cool water, sunshine, probably a lounge chair or two if you want a break – these are all pretty wonderful things, and swimming is an amazing workout. But wait there’s more – golf (one of my favourites!), hiking, rock climbing, crazy local attractions like Vancouver’s Grouse Grind or Ontario’s Bruce Trail, canoeing/kayaking/paddling, beach volleyball, rollerblading, baseball, soccer – you name it, there are lots of things out there that you can do. If you want to join an organized sports team that is slightly beyond the beer-league that most companies or industries promote – simply drop by your local recreation centre of go to your city or town’s website, and there are lots of things you can sign up for.
You can even exercise a heck of a lot more than your body – you can exercise your sense of service as well. Sign up for one of the many runs or rides for a good cause. Organize a team for a dragon boat and raise money for a charity. Start your fundraising and training now for a fall run like The Run for the Cure. The point is to do something different while the weather is good. Too many of us spend too much time doing the same thing, and often being really active only indoors – while the weather is conducive, get out and enjoy it. Especially now, as there are only a few weeks of great weather left! Most importantly – break your routine but keep active!