Books and Exercise
I recently finished “reading” Stationary Bike, a novella by Stephen King. I use quotations because I was actually listening to the audiobook instead of reading the printed words with my eyes. It’s about a guy with a high cholesterol level. In order to lower it, he gets a stationary bike. Instead of setting it up in front of a TV or whatever, he points it at a wall where he’s painted a picture of a forest-y trail (he’s a freelance artist). He also takes a map and plans out the route that he’ll be “biking.”
All of this is intended to make the exercise more entertaining and motivating – going somewhere instead of biking nowhere in your basement and picturing your surroundings instead of the four bare walls surrounding you.
Long story (not really because it’s only 1.5 hours long on audiobook) short, his reality warps and he gets chased by the men working to clean up his cholesterol. No, he doesn’t die (though you and he both think he will), but he does learn a really good life lesson: everything in moderation.
Normally I wouldn’t post about my reading here, but this story was all about fitness and health (and horror in a sense but that’s beside the point). What I found laughably unbelievable about this story was how easy exercise came to him and how easily he lost weight.
Now, I know men find it easier to lose weight than women but this was ridiculous. He lost 15 lbs in 2 weeks! Seriously? After that they stopped giving a timeline so I don’t know how long it took him to lower his cholesterol (from 225 to 173), but he lost almost all of his beer gut in that time too. He also found his daily bike ride so therapeutic and enjoyable that he had to set an alarm clock for 2 hours just to remind himself to stop.
Nice. I wish exercise were that easy in the real world.
I wish eating healthy was as easy as King wrote it too. Still, I enjoyed the book. More, I enjoyed the idea of losing myself on a fake trail. That sounded seriously enjoyable – biking my way to some location and imagining myself on the trail though I was safely ensconced in a room on a bike that wouldn’t move or fall over. When I wanted to stop, I could and not have to worry about biking or walking 5-10 miles back the way I came.
When my lady bits got used to the bike seat, I enjoyed the Spin class. I loved seeing how far I could make it in 30-45 minutes and trying to top myself. But I have no stationary bike at home and no longer have a gym membership (sometimes I mourn it but not usually). And I don’t have any trail programs or anything that I could lose myself in even if I did have a stationary bike.
Curious to see if there were programs like that, I searched the internet and found one promising site. It even gives a free demo! I don’t know what it’s like because I have no reason to download it (it’s offered digitally though the rest I believe have a DVD option), but it looks pretty cool.
Might be fun for anyone looking for new ways to entertain themselves while biking/exercising. For me, I’ll have to stick with audiobooks and music.
Audiobooks are an awesome way to lose yourself while working those cardio machines. I found them especially useful on rowing machines. Forever rowing nowhere, I’d close my eyes, feel the breeze on my sweaty face as I went forward/backward/forward/backward, and listen to whatever audiobook was currently on my iPod. Usually Pride & Prejudice or something from Nora Roberts.
I’ve tried Lord of the Rings but it just didn’t float my boat when it came to exercise (crocheting, yes, exercise, no). I suggest something exciting or just something that makes your heart pump and your blood race.