Month: June 2018

A Weekend at Home

Athletes–from swimmers and ball players to runners and rowers–like to stay healthy and in peak shape. They believe in the basic principles of exercise and nutrition to maximize well-being. Inhaling cigarette smoke, first or secondhand, is not in the picture. Few top-tier sportspeople smoke any more. Did they ever? Statistics aren’t clear on the subject. I, for one, have never indulged, and I don’t even like to be in a room that reeks of smoke. If I have to for some reason, I run screaming for some fresh air. I wouldn’t dream of letting a smoker in my car.

You would think I could control my environment and where I chose to go, but visiting my family is an exception. I stay with my parents from time to time and they celebrate the occasion with a big group dinner. Aunt Sue can’t help herself. She lights up at the drop of a hat. It doesn’t matter when or where. My mother usually throws her out and points to a chair on the patio; but the night of the event was a rainy and cold one, forcing Sue to stay close at hand to all the relatives. Did I detect a few scowls?  A few brave ones moved away from her chair. When I tried, she cried, “Where are you going, Jack?” I had to suffer the entire night and the rest of the weekend due to lingering odors in the carpet and upholstery.

Not only this, but I had to eliminate the smell from my clothes. Even packing them in a bag and shoving it in the back seat made the car give the impression of an ashtray. I should have put my backpack in the trunk. I had forgotten the power of cigarette odors. They just don’t go away on their own. You have to wash your hair and spray the heck out of your clothes until you can wash or dry clean them based on what I read here: I wonder what spouses of inveterate smokers do. They have to live with it and suffer stale smells. I bet Aunt Sue’s husband, Uncle Sam, has a case of Febreeze in the garage.

You can light a match for a quick fix or spray an area with a scented essential oil like lemon or eucalyptus. This works well in cars and closed spaces and many prefer it to the generic smell of the popular air deodorizer. I sent my mother various tips and tricks I found online so she could take action next time Aunt Sue comes over. A fragrant candle could be an alternative gift. She didn’t complain with others around, but I know what she was thinking.

Rowing Machines: The New Way to Get Fit

Rowing machines are a great way to learn rowing – you get to practise everything from working your arms, legs and your body. More importantly, you could try it out for your exercises even if you aren’t looking to try out rowing as a career. They are great for cardio and strength training, and here are the different types of rowing machines you can try out.

  1. Magnetic Resistance Flywheels

It’s a flywheel here, with an electromagnet. The resistance on offer here is a bit smooth, and you can measure it easily too with the help of a digital display. It’s what you would find in most gyms there, and you could measure anything from the calories burnt to the distance you have covered. However, it does take up a bit of room, so you do need a large enough space.

  1. Air Resistance Flywheels

You have a flywheel here – kind of like a cylindrical fan blade. You need to pull on the handlebar – and you have increased resistance depending on how hard and fast you pull.

In some models, you could even adjust the airflow with the help of a lever, and this the resistance. It is kind of like the real experience, but the heavy noise can put off many. Also, the machine can take up a lot of space.

  1. Water Resistance Flywheels

You have paddles suspended inside here, and an enclosed water tank. Working with it does give you the real feels – you need to pull the handlebars, and you get the resistance as you would when wading through the water.

It offers a real-life experience, and you have more resistance as you row harder. Plus you could adjust the resistance too by adding or removing water.

The downside? Since it has water, it’s going to be heavy. However, you do have less noise here compared to the air resistance model.

  1. Piston Resistance Flywheels

These have hydraulic pistons that offer adjustable resistance. Each of the piston is connected to handlebars, and are perfect for an arm workout. With the handlebars fixed, you also have a less natural stroke though – which might mean that while it’s great for strength training, it won’t give you the real life experience you would want.

You would love the fact that it’s pretty compact and has a fixed seat position. With its relatively affordable pricing and you could even fold it up and store it under your bed, just make sure it doesn’t stay there!