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Tuesday, May 10, 2011


It seems like allergies are hitting everyone really hard this year.  People are sneezing and coughing everywhere and our cars all have that lovely yellow/green film on them.

I suffer from allergies year round, but they change.  In the fall I wheeze, in the winter I get an itchy throat, and lately, I just seem to have a persistent headache.  It's totally bearable, but still a bit unpleasant.

When allergy season would hit, I'd usually workout solely at the gym with the AC being a welcome treat to my lungs.  Right now I can't imagine going for a run outside, which is wickedly ironic since this is a wonderful time to run outside.  But it will pass.  This is apparently tree pollen, and while it's high now, it's on the outs.  Next comes mold I think.  Nice, right?

So when you must workout inside, what do you do?

For me, Spinning is the best.  However, I haven't taken someone else's class in ages.  There's always the treadmill, or the stair climber (not the stairmaster), or another favorite is the arc trainer.

I used to use the arc trainer on occasion, keeping it a somewhat high resistance and not going overly fast.  Then one day a trainer was working out next to me and he told me I should back off on the resistance, keep the incline low, and focus more on the cardio aspect.  He was right.  I now keep resistance around 15-20 (out of 100) but strive to keep my strokes per minute (or whatever the measurement is) no lower than 160.  This results in calorie burning of over 10/minute, which rivals running with less impact.

If you've never tried this machine, I'd encourage it.  Some have moving arms, others don't, that's your preference.  I prefer the moving, but if I'm stuck with a no-arm machine, I try to pump my arms on my own.

My only issue with this machine is that my feet tend to creep forward and if I'm not careful, my toes get jammed in to the front of the foot compartments, so I just make sure to pull my feet back a bit if they're about to be crunched.

Other suggestions?

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