The New York Times ran an interesting piece the other day about staying in shape, getting out of shape, and matching your workout with what you do for fun. The story opens with the experience of a competition rower who lost and regained fitness.

It shows, exercise physiologists say, training is exquisitely specific: you can acquire and maintain cardiovascular fitness with many activities, but if you want to keep your ability to row, or run, or swim, you have to do that exact activity.

It also shows, they say, that people who work out sporadically, running on weekends, for instance, will never reach their potential.

I realized this on the first hill Sunday at Mount Diablo (which has lots of hills) … I hadn’t been on a serious hike in nearly a month, and my heart rate was way up there after maybe five uphill minutes.

The story mentions that if you’re pressed for time, it’s better to crank out a short, high-intensity workout.

For hikers, it’s not really practical to hike five days a week — best I’ve been able to come up with is stair laps (we live on the fourth floor) for leg strength and jogging for cardio capacity.

How about the rest of y’all? Any tips on finding time to work out, especially at the holidays, are welcome.

Link via sportsgeezer.