How to pedal and surf in comfort?
April 13, 2007 4:20 PM   Subscribe

To get over my problem with exercise boring me senseless, I'd like to combine a really comfortable (as in comfy seat with back support) way of pedalling to keep fit at home, with using a laptop computer to access the web, How can I best do this? Has anyone else tried this and did it work?

Additional info - I am hopeless at self-assembly or DIY. I'm in the UK, so am looking for solutions which are practicable here. Bonus points if there's a product which generates power to run the computer.
posted by Flitcraft to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
How about a portable pedal exerciser like this one? I have no experience with them, and frankly it looks a bit worthless to me, but maybe someone else will know better.
posted by amro at 4:33 PM on April 13, 2007

You might want to poke around this Warbiking blog.. combining WoW and a exercise bike.. (photo) might give you some good ideas.
posted by mattdini at 4:33 PM on April 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

A month or so ago I joined a gym near my house. Usually start with 25 mins on an exercise bike for cardio before the weights. I bring along books to read while doing so but I would recomend against a laptop. If you are getting a good workout you will sweat. A lot. It would get really hard to operate a mouse and the keyboard / mouse would get pretty manky pretty fast.
posted by Riemann at 5:12 PM on April 13, 2007

Best answer: This? Also for walking, this.
posted by anaelith at 5:13 PM on April 13, 2007

I agree with Riemann's sum-up of why this might be a bad idea (math dork alert). If you are actually getting a good workout on your bike, you're not going to be able to use a laptop. Note that the person in the Geek-a-Cycle photo linked to above by anaelith is not wearing attire that's conducive to a great workout (khakis and a white blouse).

My recommendation, if you must be entertained by a colorful screen, is to get some DVD sets of a TV show you really enjoy (I started on "Rome" when I was in my elliptical phase). They can really make the time fly by.

However, maybe I'm a complete freak, but I've found that running, by itself, is enough entertainment for me. Especially if you go out somewhere you can breathe fresh air and admire our natural surroundings, it can be a lot of fun. I live in Florida (USA) and have had some really cool experiences with animals on my runs. If that's not good enough for you, I also supplement my quiet runs with runs where I listen to podcasts. Go find some podcasts that you enjoy (my favorites are This Week in Tech, Macbreak Weekly, NPR: Environment, and Sierra Club Radio), and just go run to them. Very mellow, and gets your mind off the right-foot-left-foot rut some runners who, like you, find themselves bored with the exercise.

PS: If you don't like running, give it a try. I used to hate it, but I took the growth choice and committed myself to the cross country program at my high school. I found that it can be really rewarding to step out of your comfort zone. Once you get that first "runner's high" there's no going back. I know it's hard, but try to appreciate it.
posted by dondiego87 at 6:43 PM on April 13, 2007

Best answer: I've got a recumbent exercise bike, and I use my computer while I'm exercising. It's tough to type very much if you're actually working out...

I got a cheap wireless keyboard/mouse setup -- no problem if you sweat all over it. I hook an LCD TV up to my computer (For a bigger screen).

I'm pretty happy with the setup. It's best for surfing or taking in information, not typing/writing. I've thought about setting up something to hold the keyboard/mouse handy, such as this, but haven't gotten around to it.

You could also listen to your favorite podcasts...
posted by powpow at 7:26 PM on April 13, 2007

BTW: I used to try running outside and it left me dead after 5 minutes because of allergies. Inside, without forcing tons of pollen through my lungs, I don't have any problems. But it does mean sitting on a boring bike or stairmaster. Normal sized paperback novels are quite manageable. Been working through Poul Anderson the last few weeks.
posted by Riemann at 8:21 PM on April 13, 2007

Do you have an iPod (or similar portable audio device)? I put audio books on mine (stuff like lectures or trashy books I wouldn't be caught dead buying in person) and it actually makes it a little more tolerable.

Depends on what you're listening to though.
posted by purephase at 8:35 PM on April 13, 2007

Response by poster: Anaelith that's exactly what I want - but I can't find anything like that in the UK, so that would suggest that I'd need to go with something like powpow's set up. Has anyone else tried that sort of set-up?

(Thanks, but I'm not looking for intense workout stuff, just a way of adding some additional movement into my day which I can combine with something I know I enjoy.)
posted by Flitcraft at 9:47 PM on April 13, 2007

I have a laptop and wireless mouse set up next to my recumbent bike and I cycle for a couple of hours at a time a couple of nights a week while playing World of Warcraft. It's not high-intensity exercise, but it's a huge improvement over just sitting on the couch and I've already lost a couple of pounds in the last few weeks!
posted by platinum at 3:25 PM on April 16, 2007

« Older TMNT T?   |   With a dash dash dash and a dot dot dot Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.