the incline

About three days a week I pretend I’m hiking up a mountain. I do this at the fitness center on an incline treadmill. This is what I see in my mind as I climb up the vertical feet…

IMG_2212
Conundrum creek trail, CO

No matter how fast I walk my loops or miles, it’s sometimes difficult to get my heart rate up into my training zone without some jogging. These days, I try to avoid jogging as much as possible (OK – always) because it aggravates arthritis in my back.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least three days a week of vigorous activity for someone my age. Vigorous means twenty minutes (or more) of activity in my target heart rate zone. Vigorous used to mean at a high rate of speed for me – in other words, get there and get done as fast as possible. Now, I need to work harder slower and it’s OK. My cardio can once again be over within thirty minutes if I climb.

Thankfully, I find the incline treadmill very kind and comfortable to my knee, back and ankle joints. I love that I can increase the % grade to get into my zone and start sweating within 10 minutes.

Best of all – I’m practicing my mountain hiking. Just in case…

IMG_2221
Maroon bells, CO

It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.

– Sir Edmund Hilary

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