Weekly Rundown

Another excellent week. The trees are losing their leaves and the temperature is dropping, but it is still nice to get out and enjoy.

Monday: off. My weekends have been so busy, it seems like a good day to take off 🙂

Tuesday: I did some yoga to start my week.  After the accident I had to focus on yoga and I felt that I was more flexible than I had been in years. What I didn’t realize is that I was more flexible since I wasn’t running! Since I started running again, my muscles have tightened up immensely. I am trying to make sure that I do some yoga stretching after each exercise to keep my flexibility.

Wednesday: I pulled out the weights, but instead of my usual Wts and PT, I added some new exercises from a Self issue I found in 2015. I hadn’t done these in a long time, so I did 1×10 reps, while doing 3×15 reps of my usual moves. The Self exercises incorporated multiple moves targeting multiple muscles, and it felt great that I could do them–mostly–easily. When I first attempted them in 2015, they were harder than heck!!

Thursday: a treadmill day. I did a 5 minute walk warm up, then a 17 minute run and a 2 minute cool down. I find that I go slower on the treadmill, my outside walks and runs seem to be at a faster pace. Maybe it is because of the moving ground? I am worried that I will fall and hurt my knee. I also find that I need to hold on to the treadmill arms while running. Again, I think it is the moving ground, it makes me worried about stability.

Friday: off again 🙂

Saturday: Daisy and I went out for our walk. I wasn’t sure how far we were going to go, and I wasn’t overly concerned about our time. Daisy moved right along, so I guess she was thinking we needed to have good mile times. We did actually do 18 minute miles, and walked 4.80 miles. It’s a good thing I have a Daisy to push me along 🙂 Keeping in mind the decrease in flexibility recently, I did 16 minutes of stretchy yoga when we got back.

Sunday: I thought Daisy might be tired, as she was only getting one walk a week and Saturday’s had been long.  But I thought we could try anyway. That little dog tugged me right out the driveway and down the road.

She was so enthusiastic that I thought that we could walk out and run back. So we walked 1.7 miles out at a leisurely pace, and I snapped a few pictures:





Even on a rather cloudy day, it was  beautiful out in our area. The end of the road has a gravel pit, and I have always loved those trees left up on the hill.
Daisy and I returned at a light jog. I am definitely a long distance runner, and the first part of a run really isn’t that much fun til  I hit my stride.  After about a third of a mile, I heard a rhythmic pace on the road, and felt better as we went along. I was pretty excited that I knocked 45 seconds off our last run down the road–which brought me to a 12+ minute mile! Not all that wonderful, but it was a run 🙂
Gotta admit, the 1.67 mile might have been too much for me, as my leg did NOT like to bear my weight going up the stairs while doing laundry, and some Tylenol was involved during the afternoon. But it was worth it, as it was a good start.

The hard part about exercise is figuring out how to track it. Shall we be old fashioned and keep a journal? Or get a snazzy new gadget? I suppose we all have our favorites. Some of us put in our blog, keeping ourselves honest!

I still need to track it so I know what I did, when, and for how long; so I can write about it.  I definitely don’t remember for more than a day. I have two methods: I have an app on my phone that tracks each session, and I do keep an old-fashioned  journal too.

But how does one decide? My journal is great because not only does it show in a weekly format what I did, but gives me a place to write down how I felt about it and whether I tried anything new in the session. My app is wonderful because I get a digital readout of how long and what I did.  It also sends me a monthly reckoning of calories burned, minutes exercised and miles run–if its not what I wanted to achieve, I can always strive harder the next month.

That works for me. What will work for you? There are literally thousands of apps, and many gadgets that hook up to a computer program to track your health; not only your exercise but sleep and eating patterns.

I admit, I lucked out with my app. I use Endomondo, which I love because  A) it’s simplicity and B) the amount of exercises it lists. It actually has riding  (a horse) in it. It has all my exercises, plus many more. All I could find that it is missing is that it has no gardening activity (yes, trust me, cleaning out leaves is a workout).  It has a lot of training programs and challenges too, and makes a great way to connect with others.

And the Bands! I do have a simple pedometer/watch that the hospital gives all its employees, and it connects to a website where I can track o’ so much, and connect with other hospital employees. I have become addicted to counting my steps and seeing how many I can get in a day. But does not even compare to a Fitbit, or Apple Watch or Jawbone, or one of the many more. For a great comparison of wearable trackers, check out this Self article. Your head will spin with all the choices out there.

But there is one important thing to keep in mind with an app, journal, or band: you must utilize it. Getting the coolest tech with the neatest website doesn’t mean you will get up and use it. There are four prime things to look for when you are picking out a band:
1. The wearer must have the desire and motivation to want the wearable and able to afford it.
2. The wearer must be able to wear it and recharge it easily.
3. The device must be accurate at tracking the data it’s targeting.
4. Data needs to be presented in a meaningful, user-friendly way that also motivates further action.*

What do those mean? Well, you probably need to plug it in every night when you plug your phone in.  Pick out a reasonable band, taking into account not only the up-front cost but also whether there is a monthly cost to have it connected. Same thing with an app, my Endomondo is free. However, there is a $5 monthly upgrade, but I decided that I didn’t use enough of those features to make it worth it. I did try it, which I suggest everyone try. But don’t be afraid to get rid of it if you are not utilizing all the features.

You also need to be able to understand what it says and how to set it up. Small buttons and tiny readouts are not for everyone.  Plus what it tells you must be usable to you. I don’t track food, so I could care less about calories burned. But to some people that would be a must.  I do care about time and distance, so it is important that my tracker have accurate clock and GPS.

In the end, take your time and  think about what is important to you when you exercise. Think about what kind of information you want to track–time, sleep, weight–and pick out a program/band that will do that for you. And then USE it 😛







Quarterly Check In

So it’s the end of March and we all know my resolutions have been derailed. But how are you guys doing? Did you make a lot of New Year Resolutions? Are you sticking to them or have they already gone by the wayside?  I ran down some tips on keeping your momentum–or rebuilding it  🙂

Focus only improving performance, strength, speed and consistency this year. Take the emphasis off the aesthetic results, and put it in becoming the best athlete you can become.* Once you concentrate on how you feel instead of how you look, you may recognize improvements much quicker.  And that will help you keep going.

Do what you love! If you’re not a runner or a cyclist, don’t force yourself. If you feel unstoppable on the dance floor, dance! If you feel like a kid when you’re in the pool, swim more! The exercise that burns the most calories is the workout that you can see yourself doing daily.*  Many fitness experts will tell you that the key to getting fit is finding exercises that you like and find enjoyable. Thankfully, there are so many ways to exercise that you are bound to find ones that you like.** I believe I have mention this before, so I will let those quotes stand alone.

Resolutions, like goals, should be SMART (specific, measureable, attainable, realistic/relevant, time-bound). Secondly, and equally as important, is to make sure you actually care about the fitness resolutions you are setting. Don’t set them simply because someone else is setting it. Create goals that mean something to you.*  One helpful way to stick with it could be not overdoing or wearing yourself out. Pick manageable times and workout schedules that you can stick to without getting overwhelmed.** Scheduling your workouts is very important. If you miss more than a few, you will feel like you might as well quit. So finding a time to do them when you can actually do them is important. Start small and work up–one to two times a week in the beginning. Soon you will be looking forward to those times of working on yourself and you will want to do them more often.

“Healthy” can mean different things to different people, but generally, feeling good, looking good and taking care of yourself fits the bill.** Trying to focus on these things can make one’s life much happier.  There are ways to work around stress as well: visualization to deep breathing, to simply zoning out to calming tunes. Being prepared with an effective stress relief tool in your mental toolkit can be very useful when you need a breather.**  Once you integrate stress control and exercise into your life, you will be amazed at how much happier you will be. I know I was.