Replacing Old Habits with New – Hiring an Exercycle or Stationary Bike
Rather than simply try and discard an old habit that is detrimental to health, I decided to replace it with a healthier option. Hiring an exercycle, or stationary bike, has many benefits and should enable me to make the positive change I require without too much stress.
Having decided to take stock of my life, especially some of the bad habits I’ve fallen into, I looked at what needed changing. Then I thought about what I could put in place of some of my old bad habits. Following my own advice in Replacing Bad Habits with New Habits to Improve Your Health I thought about why these bad habits had crept into my life.
Early evening is a bad time for me, feeling tired after a day at work. In the summer I am more likely to go out for a walk or ride my real bike, but it’s winter here in New Zealand, getting dark and cold at this time of the day. During these winter months I’m more likely to pour a glass of wine and flop down in a chair in front of TV to watch one of my favourite programmes. I’ve noticed lately that both the inactive time and the size of the glass of wine is increasing, so decided that was my first thing to change.
Because my husband has knee problems and has been advised to get on an exercycle, I decided this could be a good solution for us both. It didn’t take too long to locate a local outlet that hired exercycles. All it took was a quick phone call and I received the news I wanted to hear, the bike would be delivered later in the day.
When the machine arrived, I couldn’t help laughing. The last time I’d owned an exercycle was more than twenty years ago. That one was small, and not very sophisticated. This one is huge, and has all the mod cons, just like the stationary bikes at the gym. I’d be able to monitor my exercise in a far better way than I thought. It has a display showing revs per minute, time spent cycling, distance covered, calories used and pulse rate. I’m a competitive person so, once I’ve mastered it, will delight in trying to better myself.
My sister laughed at me, saying they had an exercycle and, after the initial burst of enthusiasm, it was rarely used. That is exactly why we decided to hire one. It will get me through the cold winter months, enabling me to get some exercise.
Even better, having established my vulnerable bad habit time is early evening, instead of pouring a glass of wine I can now sit and pedal my way through the thirty minute V programme, getting some exercise at the same time. Well, that’s what I thought anyway!
I was a little misguided. Forgetting that I hadn’t had any serious exercise for over a year, I wasn’t prepared to discover how unfit I was. After the first minute of pedalling my upper legs were already aching. After two minutes my heart rate was starting to rise a little more than I expected. But, I kept pedalling, until I’d achieved five minutes. Then, it was definitely time for a break. I took a short rest, well, perhaps a bit longer than short, then made another start. A little easier during the next five minutes, I came to the conclusion it may be a few days before I can pedal my way through the thirty minutes of the programme, maybe even a week or so. But, because the exercycle sits right in the middle of our very small lounge, it can’t be avoided.
So, I have made a start on replacing my bad habits. Because I was honestly feeling rather knackered by the time I’d finished, there was no desire whatsoever for my evening glass of wine. I’m not suggesting this habit is in place, not after one day. But I can report my enthusiasm is running high. By making my intention to change public as I have, I will have more chance of succeeding in making changes. In about a week’s time I’ll report back on what my second habit change is going to be. Watch this space.
Other articles by Val Mills: