My Winter Workout Land

Between December’s bad weather and fighting a head cold this past week, it’s no wonder I have not ridden my Trikke since November 22.  No, that’s not a typo.  I’m ashamed to admit it, but just over a month has elapsed since I have done anything resembling exercise.

This has not been good for my body or my spirit.  Even before I got sick, I was starting to feel the lethargy brought on by inactivity as well as the shorter days.  I’ve fallen back into the doldrums, fearing that all my progress on a healthy lifestyle was circling the drain.  Luckily I have not gained back any of the weight I lost, but I haven’t made any progress losing the additional 50 pounds I should either.
I’ve finally come to grips with the notion that the northeast is experiencing what most would call a “normal winter”, and waiting for those “nice days” to return so I can bike and Trikke is just not a realistic fitness plan.  So I was feeling well enough today to pull out of my tailspin, and recommit to an indoor exercise program for the winter.  I decided to return to the kettlebell workout program that served me so well in the summer.
For those of you unfamiliar with kettlebell workouts, they are weight lifting moves that combine strength training, core fitness, and cardio all into one workout.  Unlike conventional free weights, which target a single muscle group, kettlebell moves are more complex and target multiple muscle groups at a time.  This allows you to get a more complete workout in a shorter time, and also mimics the real world motions you would go through in other sports and activities.  Remember that your Trikke is a full-body exercise machine, so why not adopt a similar full-body exercise program?
The kettlebell system I chose is called Kettleworx, and I have the 6 DVD set with the 5 pound kettlebell.  The premise of this system is you do three 20-minute workouts a week.  Each workout focuses on one of the following: resistance training, core fitness, cardio, although all of those elements are present to some degree in each workout.
When you include the warm-up and cool-down, each workout is about 25 minutes long.  For most of us, it would take this long just to drive to the gym and back, so a short workout like this can help eliminate the excuses that come with our time-starved lives.  Furthermore, the Introduction DVD recommends you take a day off in between each workout to give your muscles a chance to rebuild.  Doesn’t the commitment of 25 minutes a day, 3 days a week sound like something anyone can handle?
So with this choice of exercise program made, I’ll write my commitment to doing it on this blog to hold me accountable.  I just completed the Week 1 Resistance Training workout, and although I’m hurting, it feels great to have taken my first steps back towards fitness.  I’m going to set the due date for each week’s workouts to Monday, since my typical weekend is Saturday thru Monday.  This will give me the greatest chance of actually getting it done.  My plan looks like this:
  • Week 1 due 12/31/12
  • Week 2 due 1/7/13
  • Week 3 due 1/14/13
  • Week 4 due 1/21/13
  • Week 5 due 1/28/13
  • Week 6 due 2/4/13

Tonight’s workout was difficult, and a literal painful reminder of what happens when you let your fitness plans slip.  I recall the first time I did that workout in the summer though, as it was much more difficult than tonight.  After I completed the six week plan, it was actually becoming fairly easy, and I was looking to move up to a 10 pound kettlebell.  One of the joys of this program is that you’ll make rapid progress.
There’s a lot of good news from tonight’s workout.  First of all, I realize I am still in better shape than I was 5 months ago.  Secondly, tonight is the worst I’m going to let it get.  Each workout from here will get easier and more enjoyable.  Finally, I can already feel a boost to my mood from the exercise.  These endorphins do wonders, and it literally feels like someone flipped a switch in my head making me happier and more vibrant again.
I hope all of you are holding up well this winter, and finding a way to keep fit indoors if you’re among the majority of us who live in cold climates.  I’d love to hear what your winter plans are, and how you’re doing with them.  As for me, I’ll make an update here every Monday to share my progress with you.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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