Committing to winter exercise

20 Jul 11 07:00AM EST
Post by Matthew Steen  Matthew Steen Google Plus
Bike trainer

I recently decided to put some thought into getting more exercise. The weather was getting colder, and while I love winter, the part I love about it is getting warm.

I generally cycle to work, so I thought about how I could get some more exercise without having to spend any extra time braving the cold winds.

My first thought was a stationary, or exercise, bike. I saw myself using a bike in the house quite frequently. Thoughts of entertaining myself with the iPod or TV while I spun away seemed to make the idea a pleasant one and I’m positive I would continue into the summer when the weather turned wetter. I took the opportunity to read our article on home fitness equipment and even thought I could hook it up to a heart rate monitor to get an idea of just how much exercise I was getting.

Then reality set in – am I really going to be able to maintain this kind of commitment when I love baking, gaming and watching TV so much? Preferably all combined?

Really, the only times I will use it is when I’m feeling guilty about not using it. And if I have enough baking, gaming and watching TV opportunities, it will distract me from feeling guilty.

Realistically, I didn’t need a massive piece of equipment that will sit there staring at me all the time, especially as we live in a place with limited space. I don’t particularly like gyms, and while I could do cardio workouts without equipment, I was really into the idea of cycling. I went down to my local bike shop and asked them if they had any ideas.

That was the first time I saw the trainer. A trainer is a small device that your actual bike sits on the back of which turns your bike into a stationary bike. It hooks into the rear wheel and you can spin away, some even come with magnetic gearing so you can increase the resistance while cycling. So I now have a small piece of hardware, which I can easily store when I want to use my bike for riding, that lets me use the bike inside for exercise when I don’t feel like braving the elements.

While a trainer doesn’t come with an inbuilt fan or many of the other bits and pieces high end stationary bikes come with, it only cost me $100. I can put a fan in front of it and I already have a bike meter that shows me how far I have ridden, calories burnt, etc. It also fits under my bed so it won’t stare at me and make me feel guilty.

So how much do I use it? Usually once every few months, but I have the advantage of keeping it for much longer than I would have a stationary bike which took up much more room. It also means my wife can use it with her bike as well and she prefers it to having a monstrosity sitting in the living room staring at us both.

I guess whether it’s a bike or cardio, gym or running, it all depends on your commitment.

Have you had any great ideas that make it easier to commit to exercising? Or ideas for doing away with the big heavy equipment and replacing it with something more versatile?


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