So here it is — March — clearly T.S. Eliot was not referring to P.E.I. when he called April the “cruelest month.” In these parts the title could well be accorded to the month of March, with its pot pourri of weather offerings – cold and rainy, sometimes snowy – when every nice day is a gift – or a cruel tease, depending on your world view!
How do you deal with this random mix of weather when you’re dying to rescue your bike from the garage but the forecast calls for blowing snow or freezing rain? What other activities will keep you in cycling form and ready for the Becel Ride for Heart P.E.I. on June 2?
Check out these options for keeping fit during this temporary hiatus from all that “free” exercise you get from doing your work commute by bike!
Cross country skiing
Slipping and sliding on icy sidewalks and roadways is nobody’s idea of fun. But when it snows, why not make for the cross-country ski trails? Experts tell us that one of the differences between cross-country skiing and other forms of endurance exercise is that it’s more than just a workout for your lower extremities — your upper body plays a big role too. And if you can’t go skiing try showshoeing or skating.
Not for the faint of heart but running is a great calorie-burner and it will help to keep you toned. Just remember that running is high impact so not a good choice for those with joint problems. Off-road running is much more joint-friendly though — the softer ground under your feet is a heck of a lot more forgiving. A once-a-week run can work wonders for your overall ﬁtness.
Whether reclining in your basement or one of the bank of 50 at the neighbourhood gym, an exercise bike can be a satisfying winter workout. And pedaling to nowhere while listening to music or watching an episode of your favourite sitcom can be relaxing. For the really brave, who think their glutes can handle it, sign up for a spin class on your lunch hour — it will energize you for the rest of the workday, although you may want to stand while finishing that report!
So folks, just a few suggestions for staying in good shape for Ride for Heart P.E.I. even when the weather is lousy. Kudos to the very intrepid who refuse to let weather stop you from getting out there on two wheels — who don’t see winter as the “off season,” just a series of a few “off days.”
But for those of you who hesitate to venture onto those snow-covered cycling paths or roadways, hopefully these suggestions will reduce your risk of having to “start from scratch” when Old Man Winter finally releases his grip!
However you decide to spend your time during winter’s final gasp, take it from me that it is time to register for Ride for Heart P.E.I. by visiting www.rideforheartpei.ca!