Quarantoning is when a nonathlete on lockdown or furlough attempts to use their extended block of time to get fit. As the national obesity rate in the United States is currently at over 40% according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, this should be a welcome endeavor to improve our collective health. Achieving a better level of fitness, however, is not without it’s challenges. In this discussion, I hope to share some of the pitfalls of Quarantoning, based on the personal experiences of Quarantonites, as well as specific tips and suggestions to improve and maintain your fitness levels.
You need new gear
Technology has likely changed for the better since the last time you rode your bike for several hours. According to experienced cyclist Ridge, that gel seat that was the in thing ten years ago may need to be replaced:
“First and foremost is saddle fit. Saddle technology has come a LONG way since you last rode and there are innumerable saddle manufacturers out there that provide a fitting chart or template to measure the width of your sit bones and find the appropriate saddle width/density for your body. SQLab, Ergon, just to name a couple that really dial in their fit.”
The same goes for that pair of running shoes that has been in your closet for six months. I know that my hiking shoes have less than a hundred miles on them and still provide all the support I need for any time spent on hiking trails. However my sneakers needed to be replaced before increasing my pavement miles.
Your private parts can get chafed from exercise. Look for clothing that reduces that friction. Ridge also recommends the use of creams:
“Then there is the addition of chamois cream or powder. This supplement is strictly designed to reduce skin-skin friction in your nether regions. Chamois cream works to add viscosity to your skin surface and allow everything to move as freely as possible. Anytime you put the body into a semi-restricted plane of motion; it's going to create points of friction and all sports have their plethora of balms, creams, powders, etc... to aid in the reduction of friction. ”
Reduce the swelling
I started furlough with a knee injury and being overweight. Losing the weight would reduce the pressure on my knee and allow it to heal quicker, however, walking for an extended time resulted in extended pain afterwards.
One of the things that I did differently was to adjust my walking path. I was walking around a circuit at a brisk pace and making sharp turns repeatedly, which caused stress to the joint. My new path has more gradual turns and I reverse directions more frequently to reduce the repetive stress. I also ice the knee immediately afterwards to reduce any swelling that occurred.
Being mindful that small adjustments can make a huge difference is key.
Not much to say on this front other than your body will appreciate the extra recovery time.
The lockdowns and furloughs are providing many with the time to work on their neglected health and fitness. Quarantoning should be a positive trend to improve our overall wellbeing. In order to achieve that goal without getting sidelined, focus on the right gear, reducing friction, making small but effective adjustments, and providing adequate time for rest and recovery.
More Quarantoning tips for cyclists
Check out more tips from Ridge and other experienced cyclists in the below Cake discussion, from which the above quotes were taken: