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Friday, January 15, 2010

Work It, Walk It

I am a big fan of home fitness equipment. I’m not saying a home gym, but hey, if you can afford it and have the space, why not? What I mean is having a key fitness item or two at home.

I’ve talked about my beloved recumbent bike that sits just off my kitchen. While things are baking or setting or whatever, I can sit down and give my arthritic knee a rest and also get some exercise, something very good for arthritis sufferers too! That’s exercise I wouldn’t get at a gym because first, I wouldn’t drag my butt to the gym and more to the point, I’ve made exercise convenient to incorporate into my normal routine. I was listening to a doctor on a Christian radio station just yesterday who encouraged that very thing! The doctor’s advice was a bike or treadmill in front of the TV, instead of being a couch potato, be a couch salad!

The truth is, I was a serious walker before the arthritis go too bad to do it. I would wear the knee brace at the end of a mile in the park, but I’d stop at the park and go on the walking trail for a mile every afternoon until it snowed. I used to walk the mile up to the Meijer near home in Northville for small grocery trips too. I started on the stationary bike in the winter because my Mom had one she wasn’t using and, well, the price was right! But, oh, I miss the walking and I’m doing all I can to try to get the knee back to close to 100% so I can do it again.

There is a great Online Sports Store in the UK, Sweatband Sports and Fitness, that has some great choices for in-home fitness “toys.” That’s the way to think about them, toys – something that makes things more fun, better at home! They have among their stock bikes, elliptical machines and treadmills.

A treadmill is something I think I’d want to use when my knee is ready to start doing a little walking work. I wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a path in the woods when my knee tells me “enough!” A treadmill would let me go a little further each time with bars for support. It’s also a machine that can sit in the atrium off the kitchen next to the bike!

There are two basic kinds of treadmills. One is the folding type. Folding ones are a little less expensive and great for areas with limited space, because they can easily be folded down and stored after using them. The other type, the fixed ones, are a bit more pricey, but also sturdier and have more functionality. If you have space for a fixed treadmill, it’s also something you can easily step onto and walk, even just a little when you have a minute or two for a little extra exercise. The fixed are definitely a good choice to keep you from slacking on your fitness goals too!

I think I’ll eventually want the fixed type when my knee is ready for a treadmill. I know I do use my bike a lot more because it’s there and ready to go. Ultimately, every little bit helps! Why not make it easy?

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