Gray Matters — Beer makes the bike better
Belfast — Those who have been reading this column may know I'm trying to do a better job of staying on top of my own physical fitness, a mission that has had its share of highs and lows over the last month or so.
I think it's fair to say that what I am about to describe in this week's column is one of the lows I've encountered in my journey. But since I find it funny to laugh at myself and figured some of you might enjoy a chuckle or two at my expense, I thought I'd write about it anyway.
While I have done really well getting back into the gym between three and four days a week, I'm still trying to figure something out for the days when my schedule doesn't allow me the time to complete my normal workout. That said, I do have an exercise bike in my living room that has mostly been used as a coat rack/dust collector over the last year or so.
So one night I decided it was time to get in a few miles on that bike. I meant well, but after a few minutes of going nowhere fast I got pretty bored and decided to watch a movie from the comfort of my couch instead.
There's got to be a better way to do this, I thought.
Well, the next evening I found out that there is indeed a better way to do it — it's just not all that healthy. This is the point where I must mention that I am not an authority on exercise or nutrition and this is in no way intended to serve as a suggestion for a potential health plan.
And now to get on with how it's done. In the compartment on the bike typically used to hold your water bottle, replace said water bottle with a frosty cold beer. I did it as kind of a joke, but you know, I think it was pretty effective.
I told myself to continue pedaling until I finished that brewski, and guess what? I managed to go 15 miles before I killed that beverage, and I probably could have gone a bit farther if I'd had another one in the fridge.
I think it's probably because it's just the right kind of activity for consuming a nice cold beverage. Think about it: you're already sitting down, you can go as slow or as fast as you want and there is no danger of colliding with a pedestrian or vehicle.
So the next time I was too pressed for time to visit the gym I tried the beer-on-the-bike method again to see if my previous success was a fluke. Sure enough, with the help of Sam Adams, I biked another 15 miles and it was fantastic.
Of course since I discovered this neat little trick I've had some people point out that I might need to bike a greater distance to burn off the calories I take in as a result of the beer, but I say calories, schmalories. There's nothing like a slight beer buzz to make you feel like you've accomplished something greater than you really have.
They say the best way to stay in shape is to participate in activities you enjoy. I think I might be onto something here.