I suffer from ragweed allergies. Big time.
There’s also ragweed’s friends mold and fall elm that like to kick my bum. The real crime here is that just as the weather turns great for running in Austin, I’m shuttered indoors.
Fortunately, as an in-home personal trainer whose specialty is designing challenging workouts with minimal equipment, I can stay home and still get in a good workout. But for folks who need to get out of their house to exercise for that little extra breathing room, I have a few ideas for you that won’t cost you a penny.
Mall walk. Seriously. You may think this is something for the over-sixty set, but I have come to learn that they’re on to something. The mall is open early (like right after school drop-off time), air conditioned, and decently well-populated. Most malls have a ‘mileage chart’ posted near the information kiosk if you need to know how far you’ve walked. For me, walking for a certain amount of time works well.
Climb stairs. Where are you going to find these stairs? There is a four story medical building near me that has a practically-unused stairwell. (Ironic much?) If you’ve never tried stair climbing on real stairs, set a target time for your workout and climb & descend steadily. If you’re looking for a higher intensity workout, try taking the stairs two-at-a-time up and then jogging down. You might be surprised how quickly you get fatigued. Just remember to get your whole foot on each stair and stretch your calves afterwards– if you forget either of these points, you’ll feel it the next day!
Trial Membership. If you really must get your cardio on, most gyms give a seven-day trial membership for free. Try to time the start of your membership around the peak of allergy season (although ours has come early this year, sniffle sniffle) so you can maximize the allergen-free indoor haven of a gym. Similarly, smaller fitness studios often give free trial sessions, so if you’ve been considering trying one out, now would be a good time.
Here’s hoping that if I run into you in the grocery store in the next few weeks, you take pity on me. I’ll be the one with the puffy eyes behind my ten-year-old glasses that get worn only in late September and early October. Even though I may look a fright, know that I’m still finding ways to keep fit indoors.
Good health and great happiness to you.