Workout Out in Cleaner Air



The air quality around here still gets to unhealthy by later in the afternoon, because of particulate matter from the fires. But in the mornings the last couple of days it’s been “fair” so I’ve been able to exercise outdoors. I can wear an N95 mask if I have to, but that makes it unpleasant. I think the improvement is because the wind is coming from off the coast with clearer air (it’s not picking up the smoke from the Santa Cruz fire because that’s north of us). The closest fire to us, the SCU lightning complex, has now grown to over 370,000 acres (up from 157,000 a week ago). But the firefighters are starting to get a handle on it, it’s up to 35% contained and doesn’t seem to be growing as fast. The fight is still raging statewide, here is today’s summary from Calfire: “Since the lightning siege that started on Saturday, August 15, 2020, there have been nearly 14,000 lightning strikes. During this time-period, there have been more than 700 new wildfires, which have now burned over 1.38 million acres. The significant acreage burned makes the fires collectively larger than the State of Delaware. In this siege, there have been 7 reported fatalities and nearly 2,100 structures destroyed.” My thoughts are with the firefighters in their heroic efforts and with those whose homes are threatened or have been destroyed.

Workout Out in Cleaner Air 1
The view from out in front of our house this morning, much clearer than it’s been, and the air didn’t smell smoky

Yesterday I was able to go for a brisk two hour ride with intervals thrown in, and today I did strength training, my canoe and kayak trainer, pole walking, and “heavyhands” walking for 90 minutes. It’s much nicer to be able to do this outside with no mask.

Workout Out in Cleaner Air 2
Using the kayak trainer in the garage

I also kludged up a ski trainer with resistance bands. This mimics the very nice one by Concept2, but just uses resistance bands and a bolt in the ceiling. You can get a really good workout with it, crouching to get the legs involved, “hip-hingeing”, and using the abs and arms:

Workout Out in Cleaner Air 3

After the ski trainer, I do a reverse motion with dumbbells (the same motion as “kettlebell swings”). This uses the back to balance the abs used in the ski trainer, and uses opposing arm muscles.