Sometimes circumstances try to get in the way of our good intentions with exercise and fitness. This happened to me during the first six months of the year. Hiking is an enjoyable sport that I have enjoyed for years. It gets me out in nature and it gives me a great opportunity to exercise. Over the years I have hiked on some gorgeous trails and we have been treated to the splendor of some amazing overlooks. This has been a favorite hobby that Jason and I have done together. But something happened and for some reason, I began to stumble during our hikes. It seemed as if every few times we went out to hike that I had some kind of mishap. To make matters worse, it wasn’t just a stumble, for some reason I lost the ability to catch myself and many times I ended up face down on the trail. Understandably, I was worried.
This has been one of my primary sources of exercise on the weekends. We have hiked and walked countless miles. I didn’t want to lose this avenue of exercise. Determined, I continued to go for hikes and I refused to allow my lack of stability deter me from a hobby that I enjoyed. That was, I didn’t let it stop me until we were on a trail while we were visiting the New River Gorge. We had decided to hike a trail that was marked as strenuous. We knew it would be difficult but we wanted to try it. We figured that we would take it slow and break as often as needed. Gamely I started down the trail. I was doing great. Sure it was steep and rocky in some places but I was handling it well. That is, I handled it well until I came to a steep downhill that was comprised of jagged and uneven rocks. There were no handholds. There were no trees. There would be nothing other than my inherent ability to help me stay upright. And as I already said, that ability had seemed to have disappeared from my life. I stood there and debated for a long time. I wanted to hike this trail. Apparently, there are fantastic ruins at the bottom of the trail. I wanted to see those ruins! But I knew it was foolhardy to proceed. We turned around and I went back to the car in defeat. I vowed that I would conquer that trail and I meant it!
Over the course of our visit to the area I continued to think about that trail. I continued to lament the fact that I didn’t feel comfortable enough to safely navigate that trail. I couldn’t stop thinking about it! The solution didn’t come to me until we were driving home at the end of a long fun weekend. Trekking poles! I would get trekking poles! Sure, I knew that I needed to work on my core strength and glutes in an effort to make my body capable of hiking any trail again but I needed something to help me in the meantime!
I have no clue where the solution came to me from. I had never used trekking poles. I had never had a friend that used them. I knew next to nothing about them! But just randomly, out of the blue I said “Trekking poles”. We got home and I immediately began to research trekking poles. I didn’t know if I was grasping at straws or if I was on the path to a real solution to my issues. Just a few clicks into my online research and I knew that I may have found a viable solution to my problem. Oh yes, almost every website I went to talked about the benefits of trekking poles for stability! They raved about the fact that it helps steady someone as they traverse over rocky areas, up hills and down hills. It sounded like it was exactly what I needed!
As I read further though, I found that trekking poles had even more benefits for me. Somehow, over the last six months, falling wasn’t my only issue. I had also been experiencing random instances where my hands would swell during a hike. It happened on cold days and it happened on hot days. One day I could be absolutely fine but the next day my hands would swell up so badly that my fingers felt like they would burst! Trekking poles had been known to help with that issue as your hands are not hanging at your side and are rather very close to level with your heart! How perfect! I would get two benefits for the price of one!
But I wasn’t done reading yet. Trekking poles are great for someone with arthritis in the knees. That extra stability and support helps take the immense pressure off the bad joints in your legs. Ohhh! Really? Three things that the trekking poles could help with! I was definitely hooked and I started to search for a pair that would be perfect for me.
I eventually settled on a pair of LEKI trekking poles. They came highly recommended both online and at my local trail outfitter store. They were sturdy and just what I wanted and hopefully what I needed! I couldn’t wait to go on a hike!
We tried out the trekking poles during a hike on the Appalachian Trail when we went to the Weverton Cliffs and overlooks. The trail was rocky and uphill with some steep switchbacks. I used my new poles the whole way up and while I did feel myself stumble a few times, the poles were the little extra stability that I needed to catch myself and avoid disaster!
I did not allow my issues to get in the way of exercising and moving! I searched until I found a solution. I refuse to allow circumstances get in the way. I will keep working to find solutions for issues. If there is a will, there is a way!!!
I don’t know about you, but I do NOT like to exercise and work out! I know that it is necessary for me if I want to be a fit and healthy person. I also know that exercise will aid my efforts to lose weight. But I just don’t like to do it! In fact, I typically look for any and every excuse I can find to avoid it! I personally prefer to go outside for my workouts! But there is a heat wave happening in my area. I don't want to go outside and exercise, because it's hot!!!! So I have had to devise tips for exercising during a heat wave. It is harder to use the excuse that ‘it’s too hot’ when I have an abundant supply of options at my fingertips. Below I will share these options!
Join a Gym
The quickest solution is to actually join a gym. Research the gyms in your area. Visit those gyms and gauge the surroundings to pick the facility best suited to you and then join! A membership in a gym will give you access to a wide variety of machines that will help you keep up with your workout goals. You will have treadmills, bikes, elliptical trainers, rowers and weight machines. Some gyms will even offer classes and fitness groups. The opportunity for working out during a heat wave is endless if you join a gym!
Buy Exercise Equipment for your House
I had been biking regularly and I knew that I would not have that option readily available to me as the seasons changed. I was afraid that what skills and endurance that I had gained would diminish in the ‘off season’. I began to research options. I thought about getting a gym membership. However, I knew that with my schedule and long commute to work that actually taking the time to go to the gym would be a deterrent. I decided to look at some home options. I researched long and hard and eventually I bought an exercise bike. Now there was no excuse as to why I couldn’t hop on that bike and ride! It didn’t matter if it was bitter cold. It didn’t matter if it was scorching hot. Those excuses were invalid. I could ride inside my nice temperature regulated house whenever I wanted to.
While I bought a new exercise bike, there are plenty of ways to add a piece of fitness equipment to your home gym at a reasonable rate. Yard sales and flea markets frequently have used exercise equipment for sale. I know someone that bought their exercise bike for $25. It didn’t have all the bells and whistles and it didn’t calculate their mileage, but as she said, “the pedals work”. I personally bought a stair stepper/lateral trainer at a yard sale for $5. It might be boring to keep stepping and go no-where, but it certainly gets the job done! Ask your friends and put out the word that you are interested in a piece of exercise equipment! Years ago when I was training for a long distance bike event, I had a friend loan me an exercise bike. A few years later, I was given a treadmill and also a high quality weight set! People buy exercise equipment and then bore with it and/or get tired of having a ‘clothes hanger’ in the corner of their room. They just want to get rid of it and will happily give it away!
I have a treasure chest of goodies. In other words, I have a collection of workout VHS tapes (yes, I still have them even though I don’t have a VHS player) and DVD’s. I can open that treasure chest and within minutes I can be exercising my heart out…in my living room….in my nightgown….in the middle of the night…..in the air conditioned room! I have a world of options available to me. I can “Sweat with the Oldies”, or “Walk away the Pounds’. I can do yoga, step aerobics or toning. Anything that strikes your fancy…it’s right there!
But what if you don’t have a collection of exercise videos? Youtube is a fabulous place to visit. First it’s fabulous because you can visit my channel, but it is also awesome because you have a wealth of exercise classes available to you right on your tv screen. I have seen and heard of people doing Zumba and weight classes and I personally have done Yoga with a youtube yoga video. It is an amazing resource!
Small equipment to get to workout from home
There are a variety of things that you can get to build a small home workout center without having something like a big exercise bike or elliptical trainer. Sometimes space is an issue. No fear, there are other options. You can get resistance bands. These will use the weight of your own body to give resistance during movement that will help build muscles. You can buy a stability ball. I have one (two) and I have used it and I am SORE when I am done. You can get a great workout from that stability ball. You can get one set of weights or a kettle ball. The sky is the limit. Find what you have room for and use it!
Exercise with NO Equipment
What if you have NOTHING. There is no money in the budget. There is no space in the house. Nothing is going to work. I am here to tell you that you don’t need to have ANYTHING other than yourself! There are so many options and ideas for you
Check out my weight loss story!
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