Fitness

I Love Summer

Summer is a great time to stay fit because there are so many outdoor activities. There is nothing that beats jogging in the park. It is a beautiful environment—all those tall and leafy green trees—and there is a nice path that is never overrun. You find yourself with maybe one or two other joggers and the way is perfectly clear. You smile as you pass the occasional participant and often you stop to talk. Once or twice you go for coffee to have a chat.

There is something glorious about the warm days that makes you friendly. It is because you know you are getting fit and it makes you feel positive and upbeat. I alternate jogging with a gym workout which is a normal occurrence for me. I warm up with the treadmill and go on to other machines that tone and firm various parts of the body. There is a lot of lifting, bending, lunging, stretching, and the like. You want to break out in a sweat to know your time has not been wasted. But sometimes it gets too hot and the sweat is an annoyance.

When this happens I opt for my above ground pool to stay in shape. It is big enough to do decent laps and the cool water is a blessing on a hot day. It doesn’t replace a gym routine, but it is a welcome alternative when you get bored by the usual regime. The pool offers various strategies for staying fit. You can swim of course and kick your legs harder than usual. You can lean against the side of the pool and stretch and bend. Varying your strokes while swimming gets all parts of the body so don’t forget to do the backstroke or the butterfly along with the customary crawl. Varying your speed and technique is the key to success.

I have to clean the pool as a rule once a week, so I incorporate using the pool cleaner in my workout. I like to spend at least an hour doing everything. Then I get out of the pool, turn off the cleaner, dry off with a towel, and proceed to rest on a lawn chair. I don’t have to do the cleaner every time so I add a few extra exercises out of the pool to make up for the time I usually put in. Getting an above ground pool was a special treat for which I had to save up. It turns out that it was a great decision. As someone who likes to work out, it gives me an alternative place and the toning takes on a different color so to speak. Each exercise you do addresses a different muscle, so it is wise to vary what you do weekly. They say that swimming is the best overall workout there is and I believe it if you do it right and for a long enough period of time.

A Fun Way to Supercharge Your Fitness

Fitness isn’t confined to the gym alone. Sure, we go there all the time and it is usually our workout place of choice. Some people like to jog in the park or around the neighborhood, but others have other options. In the gym, all the equipment is close at hand not to mention the weights, ropes, stretch bands, and more. If you want a trainer to show you the ropes, you got it. The gym is the temple of health. You see people almost treat it with reverence. More and more people are becoming regular aficionados. They hog the machines for hours. They have their routines and it is a fixed part of their life schedule. You either go early in the morning or after work as you prefer. No matter. The important point is to stay fit and healthy. After all, the experts say eat right and exercise: these are the rules of a sound life. It is rather simple. Just do it regularly and with zeal. The results will come.

Playing sports is a close second for me to the gym. I love the group camaraderie and the outdoor venues. There is no better way to supplement your gym workout. What is different in my book is doing it at the beach. It is a unique place to indulge as you bask in the warmth of the sun and enjoy vistas of the water. It is easy when you are hot to take a quick dip. Playing volleyball, for example, on the sand adds a new level of intensity to workouts. It seems that the density of the sand means that you have to use more energy to lift your feet and move about. I highly recommend switching your playing field to the beach for a nice change of pace. It’s a fun way to supercharge your fitness. Otherwise, things can get a bit dull.

Yes, I have to tote a lot of stuff with me to the beach—the usual sporting equipment and a cooler full of cold beverages and maybe a few energy-boosting snacks. It is all part of the process. No, I don’t carry them one by one to my destination of course. That would be tedious. I have a beach wagon like these that fits in the back of my van. You can put everything on it all at one time so you can transport efficiently and quickly with little fuss or effort. I got it years ago when I first started my beach sports activities and it is always waiting and ready to go at the drop of a hat. In essence, it stays compact in the back of my vehicle. Come winter, it goes in the garage. If you don’t have a beach cart, you better enlist some friends to help carry the equipment. Be wise, however, and get yourself a cart. It’s so practical that you won’t mind make beach trips a regular endeavor.

Locker Room Funk

I am lucky enough to have a home gym and it is not miniscule. It takes up the entire spare room and I can fit quite a bit of equipment inside. I have a small treadmill, stair climber, and some weights and balls. I have been known to invite friends over to work out, but there is a residual problem: locker room funk. Even one person can create this sorry state of affairs, but try two or three at once. You have to air out the place mighty fast if you want to reuse the room in the immediate future. Odors linger everywhere. While you can resort to those nasty perfumy room deodorizer, an air purifier like one from the brand Therapure is surely a better way to go.

Some genius invented this appliance to give a family a healthy home environment, and it is much appreciated by those with asthma, allergies, and odors. As the parent company of Therapure says, we pulled out all the stops when we created our Therapure line of home air purifiers – to help you ensure the air your family breathes is free of allergens, pollutants, irritants, germs, and toxins. Our new Therapure Tower air purifiers are engineered for maximum effectiveness and because of this, we outpace the competition. Well, I certainly believed the ads and went out and bought one that uses a HEPA filter, has UV light, and boasts of Photo Catalyst technology. The device tackles odors as well as it does airborne pollution of other types. As the ads go on to say, it is tough on germs but easy on your wallet under $150 at the most, so you have no excuse not to own one to cure locker room funk. I selected the TPP220M that is compact and portable, great for spare rooms like my gym. The tower design is attractive and you have a choice of a couple of colors. You get an automatic timer so the machine keeps on working while you attend to other matters in your home. You can spend a little more to get more power (triple action purification if you have a larger room and want maximum protection against indoor pollution, including odors.) It is up to you to decide if you have a “heavy need” for a more expensive model. Those with chronic health conditions swear by them. As for me, the basic model will suffice. You get enough efficiency and technology to satisfy your needs. Only a real gadget lover would want more. For looks and affordability, just follow my lead with the basic TPP220M. There are vast numbers of these air purifiers on the market so you can watch for deals and specials.

Now that the air purifier is in constant use, I never balk at inviting friends over for a day at the local gym. I don’t have to fear offending the subsequent groups. No one wants to smell locker room funk. I wasn’t about to spend a lot of m y spare time scrubbing and disinfecting. With the Therapure, I don’t have to.

Training for a Biathlon

The athletics endeavor I chose to participate in or support are varied. Sometimes while I do not indulge in something in particular, I have a friend or relative who does. Thus, most sports pique my interest. Water recreation, winter sports, and anything from a relay race to a marathon are possible. You might also include baseball, tennis, golf, or hockey. I am currently training for a biathlon that includes cross-country skiing plus rifle shooting. I already have a firearm awaiting use in its gun safe.

I am looking forward to the excitement of this challenge and having to do two activities equally well. For me, a biathlon can’t just be any two sports. This time it happens to coincide with my skills and interests. Whether you are an amateur or a pro, a biathlon or triathlon has its special moments. It is an entirely different animal from the basic, most common events. You feel a particularly strong sense of achievement when you do well at multiple tasks. It is a feeling like no other. Hence my decision to participate. Plus, the biathlon is part of a fundraiser for a gay cause.

I am getting out my rifle in order to clean and inspect it for imminent use. I must assure myself that it is in good order. I guess you might say that checking it over and then shooting at a gun range are part of my training. I don’t want to be rusty at half of my upcoming challenge. I love cross-country skiing and have been tackling that aspect of the event as frequently as I can. In the area where I live, there is ample opportunity.

I bought the best gun safe for the money, and installed it in the spare room that I also call the rec room of the house. Because it houses a weapon for sports, it is not in the bedroom close at hand for robbery protection where you might expect it. I certainly could put a pistol or two in there as there is plenty of room. For now, it is the repository of one lone rifle. Maybe in the future its purpose will grow. After all it is water and fireproof and could house vital documents, precious assets, or even cash.

I am a pretty good marksman and shot, so this part of the biathlon should go smoothly. If my skiing can be brought up to snuff, I have a good shot of winning or placing. No matter. Whatever happens, I will enjoy the process.

Practice makes perfect and I am diligently doing my best to advance my skills. Meanwhile, the rifle goes back into the gun safe when not needed to make sure there is no unauthorized access. Guns are a big responsibility whether to deter theft or for athletic usage. Accidents in the home can happen at any time with members of the family or even guests. It pays to use the gun safe for the purpose intended and keep firearms locked up and secure.

Machismo and the Modern Sporting Culture

abs_exampleIt’s no secret that the modern sports culture is obsessed with machismo. The modern sports culture is a place where toxic masculinity is on full display. Toxic masculinity defines the male gender role as that of someone who is violent and unemotional. Sports don’t have to celebrate violence. They don’t have to celebrate stoicism and immunity to pain, or a feigned immunity to pain. They don’t even have to celebrate strength, since a good portion of sport relies more on lean athleticism than actual physical strength. However, that isn’t the way modern sports turned out.

As a result, modern sports can present a hostile environment for gay people and for all women. The stereotypical man obsessed with sports insults people by calling them ‘gay’ or by calling them ‘women,’ which indicates the level of regard that he has for both gay people and women. Sportswriters will parade their misogyny around all the time in their writings and in their interviews. Men in this culture perform their masculinity by watching and consuming sports, and you get the impression that sports would hold no interest at all for many of them otherwise, just like few people would be interested in the Olympics if the ceremony was not such a showcase for nationalism.

However, this situation is starting to change as LGBT people become more accepted by society in general. Even the most macho men in this culture are starting to accept that they can’t get away with being hostile towards gay people, and others are becoming genuinely accepting of them. They might still gender-police men for not being ‘man’ enough, whatever that means, but they might let it go when the man in question is actually gay. It’s a weird mix of ideologies that don’t add up, but it is the exact situation that you would expect from a society that is still at the crossroads when it comes to gay rights and the mainstreaming of gay people.