Mix it up with exercise

Try something different

The more you exercise the easier it becomes to try new things. It is no longer a monumental task to drag a 30-pound kayak to the river. Learn to use one. Paddling up and down a river doesn’t seem like exercise — it’s more like playing or exploring. Though kayaks are difficult to carry in a truck, there are places to rent them for a reasonable price. Try it.

Bicycling is still possible in the winter, but here in Wisconsin, where I live, it does get a little more limited. Running is still viable. Kayaks just don’t work that well on the ice. I like to do some alternative exercise to running at least twice a week. Complementary exercise provides variety, a relief for your muscles and your mind. Variety also helps prevent overuse injuries.

Winter changes the options. So I pull the cross-country skis out of the attic and put them in the truck.

Cross-country skiing is great exercise. It works the upper and lower body. You can seek your own level of cardio with it. You can do a slow, rhythmic traditional walk or pick up the pace. On groomed trails you can really pick up the pace and skate. The basic equipment is a pair of skis, poles and boots. Sure, you can buy specialized clothing, but that isn’t necessary. Just dress warm and comfortably. Skiing itself warms the body. Wear layers so that if you get too warm you can take one off. Dressing in layers is a good idea for all winter exercise.

Not all sports fit all seasons, but don’t view this as a disadvantage. This is a chance to break out some new toys. Truckers adapt to new environments on a daily basis. Truckers looking to exercise also adapt. I have trouble running in high altitudes, so I jump on the bicycle or hike a trail. In winter, I am less apt to ride the bike. Ice and bikes don’t mix well. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are great alternatives.