I like a stationery bike, and when it comes to selecting the type, I vote for recumbent. For years I rode the “original” kind, higher and more like a regular bicycle, but once I discovered the other, I was hooked. Somehow they make me feel like I’m sitting in my living room relaxing, no matter what level of intensity I select. It’s comfortable for my lower back, so makes me more willing to exercise more often. In fact, I not only use them at the gym, but there is a NordicTrack living in our own home. Here in Kamas, Utah, South Summit High School has a state-of-the-art rec center, and that’s where I’ve been exercising, with the exception of skiing when the season is on. It has two pools, treadmills, stationery bikes of all breeds, ellipticals (which make me nervous; I always expect the person using one to suddenly take flight or spin off and land on a nearby quad machine).
Of course there are free weights. There’s also a rock climbing wall, pool and Foosball tables, and specialty classes from core strengthening to zumba.
With all this wealth of equipment at my disposal for no charge, I decided to put my bike on the auction block at our now-famous recent yard sales. It sold. That’s the good news. Here’s the bad: In their diligence to keep the center up-to-date in every way, not long ago management replaced the bikes I use. The problem is, it’s like someone said, “You want recumbent? I’ll give you recumbent!” These puppies give new meaning to the expression laid back; if I weren’t trying so hard to read the book I always have propped up on the control panel, I’d be in danger of drifting off to sleep. It’s a good thing they aren’t upholstered, or it would be even worse.
I was in a quandary. My hips don’t like the treadmill anymore, I’ve successfully managed to avoid the dreaded elliptical, and the new bikes … well, you know. And the buyer of my bike is coming to pick it up this Friday. What now? It’s still two months until the white stuff arrives. Do I overcome my (perhaps unfounded) fear of strange machines? Flip around on TV for early morning exercise shows? Resurrect my Pilates DVD?
It’s been said the best place to hide something is to place it in plain sight. Nearby the new bikes I saw one I’d never noticed before. It’s recumbent, higher (which feels great for a change), and has a ramrod straight back that gives excellent support. I can read, watch TV, or—not possible on the regular recumbents—hunch over and pretend I’m doing the Tour de France if I want. It even has armrests.
Whatever your exercise method of choice, I hope you do something for your body. And I’m looking for good press on ellipticals; you just never know when I might just fight my fear of flying (in the gym).