Welcome to my Blogger page, thank you for visiting. This is where I will share my reviews of books, movies and other things I enjoy. If you would like to see my ramblings, fanfiction and other general posts, please visit my Livejournal: beren_writes. Visit my pages to learn about me and my books.
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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Get Healthy Blog Hop - cycling in the mornings.

Welcome to everyone surfing around the Get Healthy Blog Hop, I hope you are finding many interesting pieces of advice.

Now I'm a writer so I have a very sedentary profession and about a year and a half ago I realised this was very bad for me. I hate to think what shape my heart was in and I knew I needed to exercise more.

Hence my husband and I bought an exercise bike. Now this is nothing special, but I thought I'd share some things I have found over time.

Now I know such things can be very boring and I thought to myself, I'm a writer, I'll write while I pedal. My husband even made me a little stand to attach to the bike so I could use my laptop. I soon realised this didn't work at all.

When I first started I was in terrible shape, I couldn't even do 15 mins at the lowest setting without quietly dying in the corner. I really needed something to distract me so that I wouldn't hit that wall.

As I said, I tried the writing. It didn't work because I had to sit there and just think from time to time, which gave my brain a chance to notice I was doing exercise and my legs hurt.

I also tried music. This worked for some songs, but not for others and I still kept noticing I was pedalling.

I tried watching vids on my laptop. Still not enough to keep me distracted.

Then finally I tried reading. This I have found is the perfect solution. Reading takes all of my brain and occupies it while I am pedalling away and usually I find that at the end of my program I am hot, sweaty and have not remotely noticed how much time has past.

Of course I have to be careful in my choice of book. It has to be one that I am totally engaged in, so there has been the odd time I have climbed off the bike, picked a new book and started again :).

I never get enough time to read, so reading while pedalling has the advantage that I get my reading time and I get my exercise in one go. When I am reading a really good book I actually look forward to climbing on the bike, rather than it being a chore. If I am strict with myself and only let myself read that book while I am on the bike, I don't  have any trouble dragging myself out of bed in the morning and into the study where the bike is situated. Reading is an incentive :).

Now, after about a year and a half, I am up to level 10 on the bike and I am reading lots of lovely books, so it's win/win.

At the moment I am reading The Vampire Legacy, a series of book by Karen E. Taylor and I am enjoying them very much. I have read Blood Secrets and am now on Bitter Blood. I have #3 to look forward to.

Now for a little bit of shameless self-promotion :).

I have a new title out this week called The Trade.

Title: The Trade
Summary: Earth no longer belongs exclusively to humans. After the hoard came demons roam the wreckage of old Earth just as humans do. Karon spans the divide, both human and demon, and, yet, neither at the same time. At the mercy of his vampire heritage he seeks a trade with a powerful demon prince and can only hope that his price will be accepted.

The Trade is a male/male, erotic, paranormal fantasy short story. It was previously published as part of the Vampire Bite Blog Hop as a giveaway and has now been edited into eBook form.

If you are interested in any of my other books, they are all listed on My Books page which is part of this blog. They span everything from YA to erotica so there is something for every one and there is nothing explicit in the book descriptions.

Some of my other favourite titles that I have enjoyed while cycling in the mornings are (all these are Amazon UK links, but just change the .co.uk to .com to see them on the US site):
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore.
Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Dawn (Xenogenesis) by Octavia E. Butler
Nightseer by Laurell K. Hamilton

If you have any fav books you would like to share in comments, please do, I would love some suggestions.

32 comments:

  1. Excellent to read and some tips I can try,

    Yvonne.

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  2. That is a win/win. I need a win/win like yours. I wonder if I can run and read ;p

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    1. Might be tricky :) ... you'd need some of those Google glasses and then the amazing concentration to be able to not run into things while reading. I see a few possible issues ;P

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  3. This is just what I did - got a bike, got some exercise, and did some reading. I lost almost 5 stone through diet and exercise in less than a year and last year I managed to average a book a week reading, which is more than I have managed in a long time. Thoroughly recommended.

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    1. It is so great catching up on missed reading isn't it :). Wow - 5 stone, that's amazing.

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  4. I run now, but when I used to ride the stationary bike, I would read. And yes, when you can't put the book down, all the better.

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    1. I like my whole brain to be occupied - it's helped me discover what books I really like too :).

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  5. Great post! Reading while doing the cardio is a great way to enjoy the workout. And you can build up the time as you go along.

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    1. I love getting to the end of my time and not having noticed it at all. I've been building the levels lately, I think I shall up the time next.

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  6. It's convenient to have an exercise bike in your house. I've seen them used for storage, to hang laundry on, etc. I'm glad you're using it for its intended purpose and getting reading done all the while.

    Congratulations on your book launch, Natasha!

    xoRobyn

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    1. I'm actually really pleased with this bike; it's the first exercise equipment that hasn't turned into a clothes hanger ever in our ownership of it :).

      Thank you - it's only a short story this time, but I'm hoping people will like it.

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  7. I vary my workouts with jogging, hiking and the elliptical, most days. I love the elliptical because I can read, watch something on Netflix or listen to a TED talks-- it's my bribery and treat. :)

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    1. I would love to be able to jog or hike, but no can do, my ankles just won't take it. My husband and I go on some gentle walks at the weekend when we can, but that's about it for me and I have to use my stick. That's why I love my bike - lots of exercise for the legs, but easy on the ankles :).

      Bribery is always good when it comes to exercise :D.

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  8. Great you can read while riding your bike. I like the elliptical at the gym but don't think I can read and run on it at the same time. The machines have small TVs as part of the apparatus, so it works to watch the evening news!

    Mary Montague Sikes

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    1. Running is kind of hard with the bouncing up and down I guess :). Glad the TVs work for you, I could never get into something enough for it to distract me and, boy, in those early days did I need distraction ;).

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  9. Another good way to pass the time is intervals - 30 secs fast, 30 secs slow... you're so busy looking at the time, you don't notice how far you're going. Also, because it's so high intensity, you don't need to do it for so long. Just once/twice a week will make a huge difference to your fitness!

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    1. I've never tried that - there are programs on the bike which I use which seem to suit me, but I haven't tried them all yet :).

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  10. One of my favorite things about your post was that you mentioned you felt some concern for the health of your heart and it helped you make a change.
    I think people in general, unless they have struggled a serious health issue, tend to feel invincible. If everything works fine - there's no reason for it to stop working fine- but with the heart for example - often the first sign of a heart attack is... well a heart attack. We need to be conscious that our body needs to be taken care of in many aspects. Its not just about pain, or looks - its about staying alive AND healthy. Thanks for mentioning it.

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    1. When I was getting puffed going upstairs I knew it was time to get my arse in gear and do something about it :). The heart is a wonderful muscle and it needs exercise just like the rest of us. We have a multi-gym as well, which is great for muscle tone, but doesn't do much for cardio, hence the bike.

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  11. Hi Natasha, nice to meet you. New follower here. I too had an exercise bike and I would read while pedaling away furiously. Now, I go for long walks.

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    1. Hello and welcome :). I wish I could go for long walks - I used to when I was in my teens and twenties, but I can't get that far these days. I have an ankle condition which means walking is a pain in the literal sense and I miss just being able to wander in the country. When I was a teenager we used to holiday in the West Country and go for walks over the moor for hours.

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  12. I used to enjoy reading while riding an exercise bike. I would get so wrapped up in the story that the miles would just add up. Now I do what I can exercise wise.

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  13. Congratulations on your book release!
    I run on a treadmill, so reading would be impossible. But a preselected batch of tunes on my iPod and a movie playing is the perfect combination for me. We each have to find what works best.
    Thanks for participating in our bloghop.

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  14. I can read on the bike, but I hate riding the bike, I prefer treadmill and elliptical which is to jarring for reading. It would give me a headache.

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  15. I've read other posts where people can read and exercise today too. Not me. I need to sit and really focus, completely absorbed by what I'm reading. Nice for those who can though.

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  16. I haven't tried this. I love my real bike and the real outdoors. However, The Engineer does have an old excercise bike hooked up to a storage battery...maybe I'll try it for more reading time. Something I'm always looking for..
    Tina @ Life is Good

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  17. Now you have encouraged me to stick to the exercise bike. I have an Air Dyne. No pressure on knees, you just go faster to make your heart work more. I am so inconsistent, but there is a cooking show I could watch for 30 minutes. Hard for me to read when biking though.

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  18. Hi, Tasha,

    Nice to meet you! Congrats on you success with exercise and finding a way that WORKS for you. So many people give up exercise because they are bored and they get distracted in a bad way and chose not to work out.

    Also, CONGRATS on you new book! Very EERIE cover/s.

    All the best, and thanks for joining the HOP!

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  19. i love reading on the treadmill, blogging too. its a great way to accomplish two things, now if i would just go down to it and do it!

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  20. Level 10 on the bike is very good exercise. We have a treadmill and I get on it when I can ... usually with my ipod, listening to music ... and reading from time to time. Great entry for this blog hop.

    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

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