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Last month, Susie at susielindau.com challenged readers to her 90-day Wild Rider Fitness Challenge. It’s easy, really – exercise at least two or three times each week, and make one of these an outdoor adventure.

I’ve talked about my exercise routine before. It’s not always easy, but every morning, I lace up my shoes and head out, rain or shine. Or snow. Or ice. The only thing that stops me is lightning or extreme cold.

Temperature readings tell me what to wear on my walkAnd since it’s July in Wisconsin, you’d think I wouldn’t have to worry about that. Did I say July? In Wisconsin? When it’s normally in the 80s and slightly humid? Not today, happy readers.  (Bottom number was the outside temp this morning…)

According to the chirpy TV weatherman, living near Lake Michigan brought luck, though: inland areas of Wisconsin were close to the freezing mark. I felt really good about that – not!– as I put on my winter hat and headed out.

Over the years, I’ve found that walking itself wasn’t enough. It brings many benefits, and is worth every step. I just needed more. So I added Pilates and really enjoyed that for a few years. Then I heard that a local school offered free use of its workout room to employees and area residents. My half-Hollander genes, the ones that have my radar keenly honed to freebies, kicked in, and I checked it out.

Extreme weight lifting results in crazy muscles

Not me. Really.

At first I thought weights would get me looking like some female Ahnold, which I didn’t want. But the more I learned, I realized that at my advanced age – cough, cough, 50 just around the corner – I really needed to incorporate weights into my routine.

Six days a week, I head to the weight room after my walk. I alternate – upper body one day; lower the next – and have Saturdays off. I’ve noticed a difference in the way my clothes fit, my posture, and my overall strength.

I use www.bodybuilding.com, which posts lots of motivational videos and workout ideas, to keep things fresh and interesting. Any kind of workout routine can become boring after a while, so mixing things up helps.

And thanks to Susie, my goal this summer is to try paddleboarding. I’m looking forward to this – when it warms up. I can’t imagine paddleboarding with a winter suit on, but I may need to. Stay tuned…

Wisconsin summer...

Wisconsin summer…