Countdown to 48

It occurred to me the other day–I have about 5 weeks until I turn 48. Not so old really, but I am using it a motivational goal–to consistently eat better and exercise to enter that year as my healthiest yet.

So starting tomorrow I will be posting daily thoughts and actions on the blog as a “Countdown to 48″….join me by sharing your thoughts on the blog—keep me motivated/ hold me accountable to do this awesome thing: give myself the Gift of Health!

 

I actually started yesterday so I will count it toward my goals……

This week:

Tuesday/ Thursday / Saturday–minimum 30 mintes fast pace walking plus minimum 100 ab repetitions ( combination of 4 @25 rep each)…this should work out to about 100 minutes of exercise this week.

Tuesday–DONE!

I took a pre-work nap and then got up and hit the treadmill:

30 minutes of active time  with a warm up at 3.5 mph/1% incline and then worked at 3.8-4.0 mph/ 0-1% incline.

1.94 miles / 216 caloric burn per machine

Podrunner “Easy Does it” at 139 bpm

 

Abs–with Bender Ball:

crunches with ball under / at base of spine–1 set 25 reps

reverse curls -squeeze ball between knees with ankles crossed–1 set 25 reps

“rope climbs” (Does anyone know the real name?)–lay on back, legs up/feet flat and reach up to outer edge of feet with opposite arm while squeezing ball between feet–1 set 25 reps

obliques–ball under side of ab and do oblique crunches–1 set 25 reps

 

I have to confess–my outer glutes are sore today!!  I also walked a lot at work last night and use  Reebok Easytones as a RN to keep my feet comfortable–double workout!

 

So–motivation and accountability are welcome. Feel free to offer advice, suggestions and thoughts!! I’ll try to get some pictures done so you can see the progress and results!! ~Janice

I exercised …but I didn’t like it

There are just times you know you are not going to have a great work out but you talk yourself into it anyways…..yesterday was one of those days!

My daughter and her boyfriend wanted to go tot he gym after school and I said I would take them, even though I didn’t feel like going. Well it makes no sense to go to the gym and not do anything, right? SO I got dressed and hopped on the treadmill–the kicker? I left my ipod at home on the charger but I had the headphones …into the TV it was (I watched House). Not even 5 minutes into the walk my foot started to kill me–I have this issue with my ‘big toe joint’ on my left foot (it isn’t gout, or a fracture or anything we/I can figure out) and I toughed it out for 22 minutes and decided it was enough. I switched over to the recumbent bike for another 15 minutes (my daughter was done).

Am I glad I went? Yes. Would I do it again that way–I am really not sure. I do believe in pushing your body a bit but to exercise in pain? Yea I don’t think so– on those days I think I would stick to the bike and weights.

Thoughts? Do you exercise in pain or push yourself when you mentally are not in the mood for exercise?

What are your ‘talk yourself into it’  conversations like?

Yardwork kicks butt!

Well it does! Just ask anyone who works outside, whether a job or ‘hobby’–yard work IS exercise!

Yesterday I just couldn’t figure out what video I wanted to do and then it dawned on me: why am I exercising inside when it was nice outside? (Plus then the dog gets exercise too) I need to clear an area in my yard big enough to transplant a whole flower bed or two and had decided earlier in the year to move it to the area by my bird feeder. At that point I moved all the flat stones I had used for a bed I had torn apart last fall to get a perimeter to work on.

OK–so this was the Spring–its grown alot since then–I mean really alot–some of the wild flowers and weeds are over 3 feet tall. So this has been my project to remove it all and add soil to raise the bed up higher. I don’t have a working rototiller so this has all been done with either hand tools (like a ‘Garden Claw”) or just pulling them by hand and carting it away in a wheelbarrow.

                                                                                   It is hard, sweaty work!

But I digress–so for 45 minutes in the heat and humidity I pulled weeds, tilled and carted. It is about halfway done, thankfully!  I have to say when I plugged it into MapMy Run I was pleasantly surprised–I had burned approximately 279 calories! I can verify I was sweating and my heart rate was up (I had on my monitor) in the 130s so I know I was working hard–but just knowing I had burned off that much will make me more apt to do it again.

Just for a quick comparison–these calorie burns are based on a 30 minute time frame for someone weighing about 150 lbs–kinda cool, huh?

So tell me again, still think “yard work” doesn’t burn enough calories? My loose shorts beg to differ.

9/5/12– Cardio and Core

Today was definitely a sweaty day! There is just something satisfying about getting sweaty; knowing you are making enough energy within that it shows up on the outside!

I was on my own (unless you count the animals) since school started back up here today and the hubby was at work. What to do with myself? Aside from cleaning that is. Treadmill, bike, or video?

I chose the bike. I really do like our recumbent bike. It is very comfortable and sturdy. It is totally non-electric meaning you can’t cheat–if you don’t pedal it does not stay powered up and record your workout…I like feedback so I keep pedaling.

Today’s Stats:

Cardio

Time–45 minutes

Program–started with the “interval 2” setting but decided to try the “plateau” one–definitely not ready for that one yet–RL escalates quickly to a level 7! Returned to interval 2 after about 5 minutes .

Music–Podrunner BPM 132 “Everybody  skips”

Avg speed-15.5-16.5 mph

RL–3-4

Distance 12.0 miles

Caloric burn–190 cals

THR (training heart rate) range=112-138

AHR (average heart rate)  130s

RPE (rate percieved exertion)-5-6/10

Let me tell you I wanted to stop several times but you know what stopped me? Sweating!

Just the fact that there was a fine sheen of sweat on my arms and legs kept me going. Yea, I know its weird but you had to be there I guess.

Core:

I used a “Bender ball”.  It adds to your ROM (range of motion) and allows a crunch to include a back extension.  You can use a kids play ball but I’ve had this one for a while.

Crunches/ extensions–1 set 25 reps (the last 10 were hard!) (ball is behind your lower back)

Reverse curl –1 st 25 reps (ball goes between raised knees and you squeeze the ball while doing the curl)

“Toe reaches” 1 set 25 reps (legs raised and straight with ball between feet and squeezed while using opposite arm/hand to reach to outside of foot)

Needless to say, my abs are a little out of shape but once I get back into my routine….they won’t be!

SO–critique, comments, advice?

8/27/12–Recumbent Bike

Ok– so this is actually from a few days ago but…

I was short on time but wanted to do something before I took a nap for work (I work 12 hour nights) and wanted to make the most of my efforts….

Stats:

Time–20 minutes

Distance– 5.5 miles

Cals-92

Program– Interval 2 (short rest and longer work plateaus)

Resistance Level (RL) -3 for recovery and 5 for work

Avg speed–17.2-17.5 mph

Music– Podrunner @ 139 BPM “Easy does it”

BTW– my pedometer for work showed 3.7 miles for my shift as well !

Critique? Comments? Suggestions?

SportsArt C53r Recumbent Bike

I have to say I am very fortunate to have gotten this recumbent bike a few years ago. If you are considering a stationary bike this one is solid and very functional. SportsArt makes a good product!! This one is totally powered by you but I believe you can buy an adapter to keep the monitor lit if you need to pause during a ride. Part of why we purchased this one is because it is not powered by electric, so it is very quiet to use and you can use it anytime, regardless of if someone is sleeping.

One of the really nice things about it? It can hold 4 “identities” so each of us can recall our settings without the full start up process and we can also switch programs “mid-stride” if we decide to change paths.  The seat position and back are easily adjusted and the heart rate feature is just a hand grip away.

No, this is not a ‘paid advertisement’ just my appreciation for a great product. ~Janice

Keeping Track of it all: Accountability

Accountability is a huge thing in being motivated to continue something you may not really want to do. I’ve tried writing food and workout specifics down in notebooks, printed journals  and different online sites. I think that sometimes I get too technical for my own good in recoding things so that it becomes a burden rather than just a journal of achievement.

But ‘writing’ it down does work so I will be starting to keep track of things here. Please feel free to comment and critique as well as offer advice–I know a lot about food and nutrition, and I think about the basics of exercise but by no means am I an expert. Research constantly changes what we know about food and nutrition so it is an ongoing process of learning.  I am not a trainer, although it may be a path I choose down the road, but there is much to learn before that time.

How do you keep track of eating and activity?

Keep making Smart Choices–Janice

Yes, I CAN eat that…but is it worth “the price”?

Its really amazing what can happen when you think about things differently! Living a Healthy Lifestyle is not about restrictions but about balance. You can eat anything but it all has a price.

Granted there are some foods that are better for you than others. The thing I’m learning though is its all a matter of balance. Sometimes it IS worth the Price to have that piece of cake or candy instead of the ‘healthy’ stuff. Sometimes it is what allows you to stay on track the other 80% of the time. Deprivation is not required for healthy living.

So what is “the Price” I speak of? Something that recently occurred to me is that all our actions–eating choices, activity choices and our ‘mental game’ all give us credits or debits in our Healthy Living bank accounts. I’m sure you’ve heard that to lose 1 pound of weight you need to eliminate 3500 calories either by cutting back on food eaten or through increasing exercise/ activity. To maintain your weight you need to balance calories in with calories out. Simple enough. SO–that Price is determined by what you have in your account–do you have ‘extra’ credits to have that piece of cake? Can you balance your account if you have it? Exercise should not really be used to counter a bad balance but to help create a positive one. To build the credits needed to splurge on the high calorie (high cost) items you can be more active on a regular basis, thus adding to your account for special times, or choose to really eat well to account for the high spending. Either way, to maintain or lose you need to keep your account balanced. Healthy Living does not have “charge accounts” to offer.

Sometimes the best way to keep your Healthy Living bank account in the ‘black’ is to plan ahead. If you know you have a special event or social activity where you may be tempted to splurge you can eat “cheap” for several days ahead or bump up the activity you do normally to create a surplus in your accounts. One great way to do this–prep your food, especially fruits and vegetables, so it is ready to grab when you may otherwise choose something quicker and easier. Lately I have been cutting up and storing carrots, red and green peppers and celery to grab with single serving containers of humus. While my hubby munches on chips or other snacks I am able to get my veges just as quickly and suffer no “overdraft” fees for choosing to go the easy (but more expensive) route. And you know what? I don’t feel deprived because I like veges and humus. If its not your thing, find something that works. My daughter opts for Greek yogurt, nuts or fruit.

Choosing to live healthy is making the most of what you enjoy, not what you think you ‘should’ have–its about versatility and balance and just having fun being healthy.

Best wishes for Smart Choices, Healthy Living! ~Jancie

Disclaimer: Images are from Google Images–my thanks to their creators!

Smart Choices, Healthy Living–an idea to grow on

This past year,  starting seriously  in February, I have been working on my Health. My goal was–and remains- one of feeling better rather than that of losing weight. I  am now actually in a healthy BMI range but my bloodwork said otherwise. I was tired ALOT, many times I was so tired that I could literally cry. My endurance at exercise was ok, just not great. My cholesterol and lipid panel were not horrible but far from the ideal.

So how to improve it? Really, it was the small SMARTer choices that are making a difference. I researched and read about better nutrition and being active. Are all my choices healthy ones? Not even close, but it is becoming a Lifestyle of Healthy Living that grows stronger all the time. I don’t adhere to anyone one ‘diet plan’ doctrines but choose the ones that make the most sense to our lives and health–I eat cleaner; more fresh foods and less frozen or processed ones. I try to choose the most nutrient dense foods to get more nutrition for my “calorie buck”.  I don’t use shakes or supplements but choose real food whenever possible.  I am trying new grains and seeds, different veges and fruits to keep from falling in a rut.

My older daughter became a Vegetarian in December which helped alot in providing motivation for needing to learn and research ways to make sure she was still being healthy. We discussed nutrition and recipes and found a good base of knowledge to start our journeys. I am finding that often times I can do with out the meat based proteins and actually enjoy many of the vegetarian recipes we choose. “Meat” has become a side dish on my plate, almost an afterthought. Most of the time.

I am trying to be more physically active–not just ‘classic exercise’ but just getting up and moving more–and it makes a difference in how I feel and look. Being active does not have to be an all or nothing choice–the body only sees you using energy, it does care how you do it. Becoming more toned and fit does depend on your choices but improving your health does not require a specific plan except to move more.

So why the blog? I guess because I think many people are like me: they would like to be more healthy and energetic but just don’t know where to start. As I research things I will share them so you can make your own informed choices. There is so much research that shows a group effort or shared energies can lead to dramatic changes.  I believe that. We are not alone in our desires for optimal Healthy Living.  Please join me and share your own experiences and victories, we can all gain from shared knowledge!

Best wishes for a Healthy Life~Janice