February 4, 2013
No Space? No Equipment? No problem!
You just finished shoveling away the latest round of snow that fell yesterday, and now you’ve heard that even more is coming tonight. As you wearily put your shovel back in the garage, your eyes fall on your favorite Trikke, all folded up and enjoying its winter slumber. As you gaze at it longingly, remembering how happy you were riding it on those gorgeous spring days, you wonder if you’re up to the challenge of getting back on it this year. You’ve packed on a few extra pounds from those holiday feasts, and your muscles have weakened while you’ve rested in bed fighting the cold or the stomach flu.
|Rokk-It Red and Lean Green settled down for a long winter’s nap|
Although it’s often hard to believe, spring really is just around the corner, and it’s time to start thinking about getting yourself back in shape so you carve your Trikke through a nice, long ride when that first warm day arrives. You find yourself wondering just how much of a setback this winter has been to your fitness.
You will definitely lose muscle mass during long spells of inactivity, but a week or two off in the winter may not be as catastrophic as you think. The time it takes for your muscles to start to atrophy varies due to many factors, including your gender, the type of training you were doing (endurance versus power), and whether you are a recreational athlete or a competitive athlete. Take a look at this article to assess where you might be, and then commit yourself to an indoor exercise plan until the weather becomes more Trikke-friendly again.
I went a full six weeks with no exercise of any kind this winter, but I got back into the game in early January with my kettlebell workouts. While I did feel a slight regression, I was nowhere near as unfit as I was a year ago when my fitness journey was just beginning. In fact, during a workout last week I got that delightful burst of energy again, letting me know I had re-crossed that hurdle where exercise goes from being a miserable chore, to being energizing and uplifting.
I have been touting the benefits of kettlebell workouts for a while now, but I realize they may not appeal to everyone. Perhaps you have a similar situation to mine that restricts your indoor exercise options? You can’t afford a gym membership, you don’t want to go to the gym because you don’t like the atmosphere, or you don’t feel it’s worth joining one for just those few months of the year that Mother Nature conspires to keep you indoors. But you also find yourself living in a small house (or apartment), and you don’t want to toss your comfortable recliner to the curb just to make room for a new treadmill or elliptical.
My kettlebell workouts are ideal for doing in cramped indoor conditions, but if you’re looking for something else, here are 27 otherexercises you can do in the comfort of your own home without purchasing any additional equipment. Using nothing but your body and a floor mat, you can customize a fitness routine from a variety of squats, lunges, crunches, planks, pushups, and more. This is also an exercise plan that you can take with you when you travel. If you need some extra motivation, print these out and tack them up along with some photos of you on your Trikke. Know that you are doing these workouts now so that you can enjoy more miles of carving later.
I’m talking big here, but how am I actually doing with my New Year’s resolutions? Well, I’m still a bit “off” in the eating right and having fun categories, but I’m happy to say that I’m really back in the groove with my exercise routine. I’ve already started moving from the 5 pound kettlebell up to the 10 pound one for a number of moves, and I feel like my fitness is back where it was before I stopped in late November. The number on my scale stubbornly refuses to budge, but I can’t help but wonder if that’s because I’m building more muscle mass again. What matters most is that I feel fantastic again! I’m starting to look forward to my workouts, and I’m feeling energized upon completing them.
The finally tally for January is as follows: 14 Trikke miles (2 rides) and 9 kettlebell workouts. Considering I spent the first week of the year battling a head cold, I’m more than happy with this result and am looking forward to even more success in February.
Hang in there through these final weeks of winter, and keep your eyes on the prize of being fit enough to Trikke on that first warm day. Heck, here in the northeast anything above 40 degrees without snow or ice on the ground will meet my requirements for being “Trikkeable”!