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Is there a level of intensity required to classify movement as ďexerciseĒ?

Saturday, February 02, 2013

I was thinking about this when I recorded my miles for the ďVirtual Walk/Run Across AmericaĒ which Iíve found to be a very motivational challenge. Sometimes I run. Sometimes I walk. Sometimes, when DH is along, itís more of a stroll. Still I record it all. My feet were moving forward, so for me, it counts.

I know Iím in the minority since I like to exercise (cardio anyway). As Iíve written before, exercise was never my problem, excessive food consumption was.

Lately, I've been thinking about the effect of intensity level.
I know that the SP tracker records about twice as many calories burned when I run for 10 minutes (10 min/mile or 6.0 on the treadmill) vs. my standard walking speed of 15 min/mile or 4.0 on the treadmill. I can still burn the same number of calories. I just have to walk longer.

Some people put down those working at lower levels of intensity. At the end of a race of any distance I donít like to hear the question, ďdid you RUN the whole way?Ē whether directed at me or someone else.

Depending on a person's starting fitness level, what's considered exercise to them may differ. Iíve written about my motherís aversion to exercise. When she came to live with us after my fatherís death, I was appalled that her idea of exercise was that she had to get up so often to go to the bathroom. With the support of her doctor I became a ďgeriatric personal trainer.Ē I had her ďdoing lapsĒ that is laps around the house. Our open floor plan made that easy. Exercises with 1 and 2 pound weights were on the schedule too.

We've got to encourage people to start somewhere. As they become more fit, their intensity will increase naturally. At least I hope so.

I don't particularly like strength training, but I know I have to do it. After a break I always start slowly so I don't hurt myself. It may not look like much to a dedicated weight lifter, but it's my starting point and if I keep it up I will improve, with heavier weights and number of reps until I regain or even surpass my previous level.

Of course, we shouldn't deceive ourselves and complain about not seeing results if the level of exercise is low and stays low. Patience is needed. We can improve slowly, but we will improve if we keep at it. Fitness isnít a race. It doesnít matter who gets there first.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MELAYAHM 2/5/2013 1:11PM

    It seems to me that if it warms you up, then it must be burning calories, the hotter you get the more calories, surely? I put down my work as some of my exercise, because 2 hours of hoovering, cleaning and shifting tables, pushing chairs back into place with one leg (balance and inner thigh muscles), bending and lifting and stretching, gets me pretty warmed up. I actually am on my feet all my working day, and I probably go up and down stairs at least 20 - 30 times a day, but I just count the first 2 hours as they are the most intense. Saying that it's not exercise if it's not exercise for exercise sake is just...pedantic and being a fitness snob, IMO.

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STONECOT 2/5/2013 12:30PM

    I think that anything more than you would normally do counts as exercise. It's such a personal thing. The idea surely is that you build it up week by week, it's not a competition, who can burn most calories, it's a challenge with yourself. Besides people are not identical. My swimming half a mile probably burns off less calories, than a poor swimmer doing a couple of lengths, because my body has learned the most efficient way of doing it.

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SENIMMO 2/5/2013 11:23AM

    I think everyone defines exercise differently. I personally define it now as anything I can make myself do within my physical limits to burn calories. that includes my Therapy exercises for my joint replacements, and even the hours I spend knitting (which admittedly don't huge amounts of calories, but at least I am still moving and not eating).

I DID ask a dietician, and she said what I am counting as exercise is fine, because a calorie burned, is a calorie burned.

Judging who's way of burning is "better" just doesn't make sense to me. We should just be supportive of what works for each person. There is no single "right" way.

Do what works for you-just stick to it!

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LOLATURTLE 2/5/2013 11:01AM

    Physical therapy has been a great reminder of this for me! I can do an exercise, and then as I am off on my circuit doing another I see the trainer set the same machine for twice as much weight - for a high school football player rehabilitating an injury. Another week I might see the trainer set the same machine for half the weight I used, or less - for a lady in her 90s who is walking with a cane.

Everybody gets what they need, and progresses when they're ready.

Of course, it's a lot easier when you have someone to choose the weight for you, and know when you should be adding more!

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JESSICABOOTY 2/2/2013 9:45PM

    You have hit the nail on the head with this one. The perceived exertion level is always personal and every thing you do can add up. I don't like strength training but I have to do it anyway. Just keep moving and chipping away.
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MERRYMARY42 2/2/2013 8:58PM

    wow, you got a lot of comments on this one, I walk daily, and actually whether it is on the treadmill or outside (and I do prefer outside, I go at a 2 1/2 to 3 mile pace, for 60 minutes and that is exercise, when I work in the yard, bending pulling and hoing, that is exercise, when I just stroll around the yard or house, slowly with no thought of exercise, I do not call it exercise, I call it getting in my steps emoticon
but I am active and plan on staying that way,
not a runner, hurts my knees and all parts of me, but I can walk with the best of them

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CELIAMINER 2/2/2013 7:02PM

    Gotta disagree with DR. Chopping wood is hard work and a good calorie burner. And it is more "purpose driven" than mindless miles on the dreadmill.

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DEBBY4576 2/2/2013 3:36PM

    Just 10000 steps a day can lower your Blood Pressure. They don't say whether the person walks fast, is on a treadmill, or elliptical. Just that the steps work. Therefore, i say do what you can, but at least get in those steps.

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_RAEVEN_ 2/2/2013 3:00PM

    When I first started walking I could barely make it to the corner and back. I felt like such a failure compared to all the healthy walkers and joggers in my town. But I didn't quit.

Now I can walk with the best of them and enjoy every minute of it. I'm going to the gym, have a personal trainer and I'm doing Power 90 6 days a week.

If I ever see anyone who is trying and feeling rotten because their not as good at it as someone else, I will be there to cheer them on and let them know that every step they take, every weight they lift, every little extra movement will get them where they want to be and eventually they will be doing more and more.

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WILSONWR 2/2/2013 2:00PM

    I agree with you completely - the level of intensity depends on your fitness level. As far as some of the comments differentiating physical activity and exercise, I don't know if it matters that much or not in our efforts to remain healythy. Whether I'm chopping wood or clearing brush, I'm getting a workout! Those type of activities I choose to do, on purpose, for the health benefits I derive from them. I could hire somone on a bulldozer to clear the brush, but I prefer the healthy activity of doing it myself. I'm burning a lot more calories with all of the lifting, dragging, and throwing into piles than simply walking for the same amount of time.

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DR1939 2/2/2013 11:54AM

    The difference between physical activity and exercise is purpose-driven. Physical activity is any movement. Exercise is physical activity performed for the purpose of improving physical fitness. Chopping wood is physical activity as is getting up and turning on the TV. However, neither is exercise as neither is purpose-driven.

The question you asked is really related to "type" of exercise. The type that has been shown to impact health is aerobic exercise and that must be performed at a level that increases your heart rate to 60-80%.

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KANOE10 2/2/2013 11:35AM

    I feel the same way. Let everyone exercise in their own way without judgement. I also call my walks with my husband, strolls. LOL.

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WATERMELLEN 2/2/2013 11:22AM

    So wise. Way too much snottitude about what we "should" be doing, directed at us by others. If we don't approach fitness at a pace that permits enjoyment, we won't keep it up or increase it . . . and that's not optimal, not at all.

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SWEDE_SU 2/2/2013 10:17AM

    if you cover distance, you are exercising. whether it's slowly or quickly, it still counts and it still adds up. one foot in front of the other, whether strolling, walking, jogging or sprinting is still better than the couch - and counts! great blog!

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SUZYMOBILE 2/2/2013 10:07AM

    I used to put myself down terribly for not being able to run, but I have no choice any longer. If I jog, my knee gets worse and worse. I don't want to jeopardize movement completely, so I walk. I figure the calories count, no matter what, and I've stopped beating myself up over it.

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-AMANDA79- 2/2/2013 10:06AM

    My arms used to be sore after folding laundry. Guess I was pumping clothes!

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HOLLYM48 2/2/2013 9:46AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 2/2/2013 9:36AM

    Yes it really is all relative. I started with a 1/2 mile walk around the block with my elderly neighbor every evening.

Now if I don't burn at least 400 calories I really don't feel like I did my part for the day...

Comment edited on: 2/2/2013 9:37:20 AM

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CAKEMAKERMOM 2/2/2013 9:07AM

    As long as one is moving, one is exercising. It's simply easier for some than it is for others.

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LOVESTOWALK49 2/2/2013 8:34AM

    I usually walk. I walk at different speeds depending on mood, destination, companionship, etc. I only jog occasionally. I don't like the feel of jogging. Time isn't an issue for me. It doesn't matter unless I have an appointment if it takes me an hour or an hour and half to get there. Walking is not only great exercise; it reduces tension. A good walk relaxes my stiff muscles.

When I was younger before the media pushed walking as exercise, I didn't see walking as exercise, I saw walking as a way to relax as well as a cheap way to get from here to there. It's not uncommon for me to walk more than two or three hours in a day.

I don't track all of it. I track the parts on a track, the parts that I know the distance and parts that take a very long time. I need to walk even if it's only pacing because it's too cold to go anywhere.

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COCK-ROBIN 2/2/2013 8:12AM

    You're doing great! Keep it up.

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HAYBURNER1969 2/2/2013 7:52AM

    How very true.

This post also reminds me how I've heard people get bent out of shape when they hear a very fast runner bemoaning a disappointing finish... a "slow" time for them. People are like, "Well, geez, if you think THAT'S slow, what must you think of my time? I must really suck."

A fast person is allowed to be disappointed with a time that's slow FOR THEM. We all run our own race.

Whenever I'm asked if I have a goal in a race, my answer is usually, "to run a respectable time for my fitness level." We need to remember that everyone's level is different.

Good job on sticking with the weights! I'm determined to get back my buff arms... definitely in time for the recitals I'm accompanying this spring. I don't want to have the audience distracted by the flabby triceps at the piano!

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ONEKIDSMOM 2/2/2013 7:05AM

    emoticon blog!

I totally agree about starting where one *is*. When I first began to address my issues with weight and inactivity, I started with food, because I wasn't fit enough to even BEGIN an exercise plan. I learned to START with walking, and as a *reward* for walking 30 minutes a day for a month, start more/different forms of activity.

I did this based on reading books written by doctors who were preparing heart patients for surgery. But... it worked for me, too.

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JGRAY76 2/2/2013 6:44AM

    Good point, we all start at a different fitness level and work up from there. Walking is a huge effort for my husband after a knee and hip replacement where I have to jog to get the same workout. The important thing is to keep moving and getting stronger.

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Life is a Mystery to be Lived not a Problem to be Solved

Friday, February 01, 2013

Thatís whatís written on my coffee cup this morning. It was given to me 35 years ago by a friend who followed that philosophy.


I usually donít use this cup anymore. It just sits in the cupboard. Itís just too small. Somehow over the decades the amount of coffee I drink in the morning has increased dramatically. If I used my little old cup, Iíd have to get a lot of refills.

I need a refill this morning. Not caffeine, although it is helping. I need a refill of hope.

The problems seem more difficult than they used to be when the cup was new, not personally for me, but for society in general. I donít feel the problems are larger or more complex than they used to be, but those tasked with solving them are so polarized. Sadly, some seem determined to polarize the rest of us.

On Thanksgiving Day my blog entry was ďThereís room for all of us at this Thanksgiving Table.Ē
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5143219


I hope thatís true and that we donít solve problems by just taking away some chairs and leaving others to fend for themselves. The caffeine is helping, but I canít think about this anymore today. Like Scarlett OíHara, ďIíll think about that tomorrow.Ē Or maybe next week.

For today Iím going to think about both sides of my cup.


You see, when my friend gave it to me, we had 6 little girls between us, all under age 8. It will help me remember, recharge and refill my cup of hope.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COCK-ROBIN 2/1/2013 8:42PM

    Wonderful!

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COCK-ROBIN 2/1/2013 8:42PM

    Wonderful!

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DR1939 2/1/2013 7:36PM

    I like your attitude and believe there are lots more people out there with a similar attitude. However, they tend to be people who do rather than tell others what to do, thus they don't get as much "air time." emoticon

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JESSICABOOTY 2/1/2013 7:24PM

    I really like the philosophy. It's good to know for everyone. That mug is so cute and a great piece to remember with. Thanks.
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DEBBY4576 2/1/2013 4:35PM

    In order not to be immobilized by sorrow over the countries problems, I turn off the TV now. And go watch the birds outside. Sure, I know the problems are there but I like the serenity prayer that tells me to Change what I can, accept what I cannot change, and may I have wisdom to know the difference between the two.

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CELLISTA1 2/1/2013 12:59PM

    A thinking person can't avoid the realities of the world. Each of us has to find a comfort zone where the realities don't immobilize us. Some people fight, some put blinders on, and some find a middle ground that makes life liveable. Fortunately, children and grand-children exist to keep us focused and hopefully happy.

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WILSONWR 2/1/2013 9:56AM

    I couldn't agree more. I don't know what happened to "doing what was best for the people" instead of doing whatever furthered your particular party or interest more. It is very frustrating!

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PDQ1203 2/1/2013 9:36AM

    emoticon

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OHSNAPITZKAT 2/1/2013 9:34AM

    Really needed this!

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BOILHAM 2/1/2013 9:33AM

    The line dividing the oppressed and the fortunate is getting blurry to me. Who is oppressing whom?

Both sides need each other. I'm not sure government enforced harmonization is the answer.On the other hand, we're not doing so well individually either.

I'm going for a cup of coffee now.

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ONMYMEDS 2/1/2013 9:02AM

    The clarity and insight of your blogs sometimes simply stuns me.

If people like yourself were tasked with solving todays issues, I would feel more hopeful myself. As it is, I too follow Scarletts example and try not to think about it today.

I hope you never tire of blogging.

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KANOE10 2/1/2013 8:59AM

    Life does seem complicated and polarized. I like to work with young kids as they are so innocent and give me hope.

Thank goodness for coffee.

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NELLJONES 2/1/2013 8:50AM

    I don't know if the world is more complicated now than it was back then, we just are more aware of all of it.

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SUZYMOBILE 2/1/2013 8:48AM

    Is that every true! Every day we learn more about what life is about.

And don't tell me they've upsized coffee, too??!!

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RIDLEYRIDER 2/1/2013 8:04AM

  That saying reminds me wake up each morning and say, What good choices will I make today to benefit me, not what problems will I encounter today to stand in my way(?). Thanks for sharing.

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Donít make waves. Donít rock the boat

Thursday, January 31, 2013

That was my motherís philosophy, although she did have her subtle, passive ways of attempting to change the tide, at least for Dad and me. Outside the family she was meek and timid.

Dad on the other hand was more proactive. While Mom was satisfied to leave the problem to God, Dad was the type who wanted to get out there and give God a hand.

More than once Mom would tell me ďyouíre just like your father.Ē
More than once I would mutter under my breath ďThank God!Ē

While Iím not as physical as Dad who once beat up a bully at work who had been terrorizing the smaller, weaker guys, I do tend to speak up when warranted.

On the first anniversary of Dadís death in 1998 I found myself at our state capitol addressing a committee about needs in educational technology.

Today Iím on my way to the capitol again. Iíve got something to say and I want my representatives to listen.

However, once again Iíll be doing this with a heavy heart. Ironically, today is the second anniversary of my motherís death.

However, if I donít make my own waves, Iím going to be swamped by someone elseís.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJREIMERS 2/1/2013 7:22AM

    Amen! Your Mom was a strong woman, in her own way, and it looks like you got a little of your Mom along with your Dad! They raised a great person!

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DAPHNE_RUNS 2/1/2013 12:00AM

    Wishing you luck on making waves.



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MERRYMARY42 1/31/2013 5:15PM

    emoticon I love a wave maker, me, I like to instigate, stand back and tap my foot,

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MNNICE 1/31/2013 4:58PM

    The world needs both types, I guess. We all need to pick our battles! Go fight yours proudly and loudly!

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BOILHAM 1/31/2013 4:39PM

    So, your Dad beat up a bully, and now, you are proceeding to do likewise! Great, and yes, you are "just like Dad".


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JESSICABOOTY 1/31/2013 4:12PM

    There is an old story of a young woman who was in a boat going through heavy waves. She told the captain that she feared falling overboard and drowning. His advice to her was not to struggle with the waves which would tire her out. He told her to lay on her back and raise her legs. The water would carry her along until she was rescued. So make some waves but in the event you are thrown overboard just lay back and let the water support you.
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SOUTH_FORK 1/31/2013 2:06PM

    ... if you never fall in, you'll never learn to swim!
You're a born swimmer! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/31/2013 2:06:40 PM

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SLENDERELLA61 1/31/2013 12:53PM

    Best wishes for the capitol experience you want! I admire that you know what is needed and are going after it! Great that you recognize the strengths of both parents in you. I feel confident that you will do a super job!!!

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CELLISTA1 1/31/2013 12:10PM

    Standing up to power is brilliant. I'm sure you will state your case well and affect some hearts and minds. Good luck!

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/31/2013 11:58AM

    If no one ever rocked the boat, then the waves would never reach the shore to change it.

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PRINCESSAMY 1/31/2013 11:28AM

    emoticon

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WILSONWR 1/31/2013 9:28AM

    Good for you! How will things change we don't voice our opinions?!

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DR1939 1/31/2013 8:52AM

    emoticon

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GINIEMIE 1/31/2013 8:32AM

    Go and speak up, I admire you. Actually I'm more like your mother-trying not to make waves, but at times one can drown in those waves. emoticon
Sorry about your mom, I know from experience it can hurt for some time. emoticon emoticon

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CELIAMINER 1/31/2013 8:25AM

    May the words you need be there when you need them. Best wishes for a successful talk!

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SUZYMOBILE 1/31/2013 8:23AM

    You go! I'd love to know what it is you've got to say to them, too.

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NUOVAELLE 1/31/2013 8:23AM

    The world needs people like you and your father.
Go rock this boat and make the people who are aboard feel it.
Your parents would both be proud of you.
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DAISYBELL6 1/31/2013 8:20AM

    Go for it!

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NANNABLACK 1/31/2013 7:25AM

    emoticon

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KANOE10 1/31/2013 7:24AM

    Go for the waves and I hope the representatives listen to you.

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TORTISE110 1/31/2013 6:50AM

    Oh, what a beautiful reflection and tribute to your parents. Like you, I carry both of them in my heart and mind. I love what you wrote here!

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WATERMELLEN 1/31/2013 6:37AM

    Make waves: the world needs it!!

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MAGGIE101857 1/31/2013 6:08AM

    They would both be so proud of you; they'll be watching over you from heaven!! Speaking your mind in a positive, constructive way is a great trait - emoticon

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COCK-ROBIN 1/31/2013 6:04AM

    Go for it!

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JSTETSER 1/31/2013 5:48AM

    Great philosophy to live by.
http://www.sparkpeople.com/m
ypage_public_journal.asp?id=JST
ETSER

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ANNIEONLI 1/31/2013 5:42AM

    emoticon

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KELLIEBEAN 1/31/2013 5:41AM

    You are great! Go get em!

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SWEDE_SU 1/31/2013 5:40AM

    you go, girl!

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WHISPERINGPINE9 1/31/2013 4:46AM

    emoticon

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WILSON1926 1/31/2013 4:44AM

    emoticon

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What are you training for?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Itís a simple question I was asked while on the treadmill.

Iíve been increasing my time and distance lately so it was a reasonable assumption that I had some race on the horizon. Only I donít, not yet anyway. Come spring Iíll probably register for one or more 5Ks and if Iím able to build more endurance, maybe even a 10K or a half marathon.

However, thereís a more complex answer to the question. If the schedule of races doesnít suit me, I wonít enter, but I will keep on ďtraining.Ē

I like gathering at the starting line and taking off with the group. I enjoy trying to improve, to be better than I was the last time. I love to win hardware, but if I donít, I applaud the excellence of whatever ďold ladyĒ runs faster than me.

So what am I training for?
I want to be ready and able to run a race if the opportunity arises.
I want to be able to run for a bus thatís about to leave.
I want to be able to run for shelter in a sudden downpour.

I think Iím just training for life, a quality of life that I want to maintain as long as I can.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOILHAM 1/31/2013 4:32PM

    I'm training so my grandkids can tell their friends that their G-Pa is a marathon runner. Shallow, you could say that, yeah.
Hey I've been doing ST my whole life for fitness, and I've succeeded. I'm pretty sure the running has been for praise from my G-kids.

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WATERMELLEN 1/31/2013 6:41AM

    Functional fitness . . . . yeah! I want to be able to zoom up and down the stairs and lift heavy bags of groceries and shovel snow and dig in my garden and go for long walks with Charlie and ski and golf and lots more not just now but for a couple more decades at least!!

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SWEDE_SU 1/31/2013 5:42AM

    add me to the list of those training for life - i want the strength to walk the beach, climb the hills, and if a race comes along where the schedule fits, fine, that's fun, i'll be ready...

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JESSICABOOTY 1/30/2013 8:24PM

    You are so right. There is more to life than running races. It's where we get the term "run for your life..or as your life depended on it" I want to grow older and yet get the drop on the old lady with the walker.
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CELIAMINER 1/30/2013 11:58AM

    "Life." What a great answer!

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DR1939 1/30/2013 11:16AM

    I'm training for life.

Don't forget to wear red on Friday

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PMRUNNER 1/30/2013 10:34AM

    Yay! I train to be able to do a 10 miler or a HM when ever I want to! I train to be fit enough to keep up with my kids! I may do a 10 miler in Feb (why not, it goes right past my house and is along one of my favorite routes) and may do a HM in Mar. But if I don't, that's OK too.

Keep up the great training!

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KANDOLAKER 1/30/2013 10:29AM

    The best reason to be training, for a healthy life! Great that you are all trained up and ready to go when you see the right race. For me, I really need the motivation to have a registered race on the horizon. I'm impressed that you do it anyway!! Awesome.

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GINIEMIE 1/30/2013 10:12AM

    Love it, I agree. We are training for life.
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SUZYMOBILE 1/30/2013 9:24AM

    Another great blog! I agree with Fitfoodie--I'm training for the long, slow distance of life!

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FITFOODIE806 1/30/2013 8:01AM

    I love answering, "life" when people ask that question. Sure, I have a race on the horizon, but day to day health & enjoyment is my main focus. Training for life!

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WEARINGTHIN 1/30/2013 7:55AM

    Training for health is a great thing. But if you end up in a downpour, try walking at your own regular pace. It's more fun that way. Then you will be wondering why all of the people around you are running. And who cares what they think of you. Good luck to you. Glenn

Comment edited on: 1/30/2013 7:56:34 AM

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WILSONWR 1/30/2013 7:46AM

    There is nothing wrong with training for "quality of life." Too many folks just complain about how they can't do anthing any more now that they are older. I may not be as fast as I was when I was younger, but I still can work circles around the younger folks. You're only as old as you let yourself be!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/30/2013 7:37AM

    And life is a great thing to train for.

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ONMYMEDS 1/30/2013 7:03AM

    Very well said. As always.

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KELLIEBEAN 1/30/2013 7:02AM

    Excellent blog! I am with you! I am working on the St. Patrick's day 5K in my area but like you said, I just want to be strong and have stamina for life!

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CLUMBOY 1/30/2013 6:48AM

    excellent. i am in a similar place with my training. trying to work up the nerve to enter some events next year. doing podrunner right now, working through the 10 K program.

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Appointment with my ďparole officerĒ

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

For reasons not related to this blog I have been researching crime and prisons.
First let me assure you that neither I nor any member of my family has ever been in prison.

However, dieters have some things in common with those people attempting to leave behind the behavior that landed them in prison.

Recidivism Ė ďthe tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behaviorĒ (Webster)

Approximately 68% of prisoners released were rearrested within 3 years (varies by state and type of crime)
Once at goal weight, 70 to 95% of dieters will be back to their old selves within 3 years. (research data varies here also)

So what characteristics do ďcareer criminalsĒ share with career (yo-yo) dieters other than recidivism - the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or have been treated or trained to extinguish that behavior (Wikipedia)

The process of losing the weight at times may seem equivalent to time in prison, bound by shackels of our own making. As a person in maintenance, Iím currently more interested in what happens once goal weight is reached (sentence served or released on parole).

I was reading about programs to help career criminals change their lives.
Many of the successful tactics mirror the lifestyle changes needed to make healthy weight permanent.

These include:
Meaningful work, education and training
We know that higher income levels correlate with lower obesity rates.
Nutrition information and education helps people make better food choices also.

Mental health treatment
Recognition and counseling for any unhealthy relationship with food helps to maintain a healthy weight.

Attitude and Associates
Believe positive change is possible.
Avoid people and places likely to lead you back to old destructive habits.
Associate with people who support your goals (like Sparkpeople)

Report in-person with a parole officer regularly.
I realize that I do this every morning when I step on the scale. Sometimes my parole officer (scale) approves of me and sometimes not, but this is how I get an honest, no-nonsense assessment of the direction Iím headed before Iíve gone too far down the wrong path and end up back in prison.

I want to avoid being a negative statistic and intend to do all I can to avoid it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYJEANSL 7/6/2013 3:35PM

  Excellent analogy - it is helpful.

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ROCKINMOM776 1/31/2013 11:38AM

    I think this is a wonderful analogy. I'd never considered it before, but the stats are correct and the behaviors are so similar! My family has never had any issues with the law but we've all had issues with weight. My ex-husband's family has had run-ins with the law, and one was an addict and in prison twice. After the second release he decided to make a change, which included leaving his family and friends and hometown and start all over in another city where he knew no one. This radical change has kept him clean and sober and out of trouble for over 5 years. Perhaps I need to be as radical, in leaving behind all my comfort foods, the aisles in the store where they are located, and even friends who are sabotaging my efforts.

Great blog!

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SADWHITEWOLF 1/30/2013 1:06PM

    "Once at goal weight, 70 to 95% of dieters will be back to their old selves within 3 years. (research data varies here also)"

It is that statistic and my own experience that terrifies me.
I want to be an exception.

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CLUMBOY 1/30/2013 6:51AM

    very well put!

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SWEDE_SU 1/30/2013 5:47AM

    great analogy - checking in right now!

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STRIVER57 1/30/2013 2:09AM

    interesting concept -- valid i think, and useful as well. need to buy batteries for my scale today!

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MNNICE 1/29/2013 7:21PM

    I like the way you think :)

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JESSICABOOTY 1/29/2013 6:34PM

    The scale as the parole officer is pretty funny. What a great way of comparing crime with dieting and I'm reading this about 10 times over to get the full effect. You're a great blogger. I keep following you to see what you'll find next.
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CELIAMINER 1/29/2013 12:10PM

    Insightful as always...great blog! I am very much looking forward to joining the 5%, and SP is helping me toward that end. I see that Ree mentioned Weight Watchers, and I've noticed the new WW commercials for a program "that lets me be me," i.e., not a rigid diet but a plan that allows for times when you slip or choose to step away for a day. The new program sounds a lot like SP.

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MPLSKEN 1/29/2013 11:49AM

    Very interesting analogy. I'm taken back by the recidivism rates (both in regards to prisoners and dieters). But, this post reminds me that this is a life long process.
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CELLISTA1 1/29/2013 11:26AM

    Fascinating.

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KANDOLAKER 1/29/2013 10:13AM

    Yes, great analogy! Awesome blog and a good way to look at our behavior when we are released "on parole".

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/29/2013 9:58AM

    Love the comparison. Perhaps I need to get a job that fulfills my healthy new way of life. I've been wanting to go back to school for nutrition and counseling so I can help people lose weight the right way.

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DR1939 1/29/2013 9:27AM

    Interesting analogy.

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SUZYMOBILE 1/29/2013 8:02AM

    Interesting! Maintenance is hard, and we really should have a "sponsor" at SparkPeople, like in AA--a wise PERSON to check in with regularly, a parole officer if you will. Our team leaders are kind of like that, but not quite. Stepping on the scale is good, but it still involves a dialogue with yourself, which can head down the wrong path easily.

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WATERMELLEN 1/29/2013 7:38AM

    Great analogy: being overweight DOES feel like a prison, and yet there is the constant danger of recidivism!! I "liked" it . . . and thanks also for the virtual feast goodie!

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YMWONG22 1/29/2013 7:28AM

  Great comparison. It makes perfect sense.
Thank you for sharing them.
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KANOE10 1/29/2013 7:19AM

    That comparison works well. The scale is a great parole officer. I know you will be in the successful percentage of maintainers..and I plan on being there with you!

Great blog.

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STITCHINGNAN 1/29/2013 7:15AM

    I saw a good tv documentary on Weight Watchers as a company. It's money making of course , but to go along with your comparisons figures do indicate most dieters hadn't learnt much while attending the clubs. They leave and put all the pounds back on. Rather like the prisoners , straight back to bad habits wrong influences. Food for thought there and that kind of food has no calories
Ree

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GINIEMIE 1/29/2013 7:07AM

    I love your analogy. I'm experiencing ricidivism, before making my goal. I have been off track since my sisters death, and while I was temporarily on track, lost the rails again with my illness last week. Now I have to re apply myself.
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KELLIEBEAN 1/29/2013 6:51AM

    Excellent comparisons!

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WILSONWR 1/29/2013 6:51AM

    That was a great analogy. You've done great!

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MAGGIE101857 1/29/2013 6:49AM

    Interesting perspective! I wonder if the higher income level comparison is becoming less and less true - fast food, home delivery options, and gadgets galore...leading to more an more inactivity....leading to more and more overweight children and adults.

We need to add developing a healthy relationship with our best friend GET MOVING to the list!

Thanks for the great thoughts this morning!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/29/2013 6:47AM

    very good

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COCK-ROBIN 1/29/2013 6:47AM

    very good

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PHOENIX1949 1/29/2013 6:44AM

    Great analogy.

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