Thursday, October 27, 2011
A pool workout was offered today, but I opted to warm up on the bike and then do upper body and core strength training.
Dinner wasn't my favorite - quinoa, a ton of string beans (with mushrooms), and a portion of meat that I THINK was beef. LOL Fruit for dessert.
The lecture topic tonight was stress eating. I think everyone is familiar with how the body produces adrenal hormones that can affect the body's ability to lose weight, and that many of us eat in response to stress. So we talked about ways to avoid thinking in these areas: diaster thinking, pleasing, urgency, perfectionism, all or nothing, black or white, and rationalizing. It's important to give yourself a moment of pause between a stimulus and your response. Instead of eating "emotionally", stop and ask yoursself "What do I need?"
It's a good idea to create a "first aid kit." This would include things you can do or focus on when you have an urge or craving instead of eating. It could include things like music, pictures, poetry or short inspirational writings, puzzles, a stress ball, or your dog's leash (to remind you to go for a walk). Anything you enjoy, that you can use to occupy you until the craving goes away.
To reduce stress, regular exercise is a huge benefit. Add deep breathing, meditation or guided imagery, and loving kindness meditations and you have powerful tools to reduce your stress and improve your health.
Next week we will cover eating out and label reading.
The last week will be a graduation of sorts into the "Staying on Track" program for those who have taken the "Getting on Track" program.
I am finally doing more regular strength training and getting back into a regular exercise schedule despite having foot pain. I thought it was a heel spur, but it looks more and more like plantar fasciitis. I'm using the roller to help alleviate that pain with some success. Everything takes time.
I hope you have enjoyed these summaries of the weekly programs. To take it cost several hundred dollars, so you're getting a value for free. Use the information well!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
...spent most of the day at Duke Integrative Medicine. The Legacy Writing class was interesting. Mindfulness session felt good - one day I'm going to wear my heart rate monitor and see how low my resting heart rate goes during meditation. Lunch was terrific and I found out another member is also a SP member! Then we had a nutrition lecture, focusing on raw food samples and stocking the pantry so we can reduce eating out. Last was tai chi, and we were able to practice the long form tonight.
Looking forward to Getting On Track tomorrow - we are getting into the pool and then the lecture will be on behaviors. Progress, slow but steady...
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
New habits are forming, old habits are changing.
It typically takes me about 5 hours at the hair dresser to get my hair done. So on days I have an appointment, it's usually a wash for that complete day - before and afterward. (As the Surgeon General noted, what woman really wants to spoil her "do" after spending all that money?)
But this morning I got up (another change for this night owl), went to the gym, warmed up on the recumbent bike, then did the rookie running workout on the elliptical. One minute "walking" alternating with four minutes "running" repeated for 8 intervals. It felt good to know I had burned some calories instead of chalking the day up to no exercise.
I'm also doing better about performing strength training. Rather than doing full body workouts twice a week, I'm trying to alternate upper and lower body (and core) workouts for three to five days a week. It's a process.
I'm trying to visualize myself a year from now - at goal, fit and able to do my half marathons with good recovery afterwards. My body is signalling its age since last year's half marathon, with either a heel spur or plantar fasciitis slowing my progress.
I'll stay aware of my body's signals, adapt my training, and never quit. This is a lifestyle, not a diet.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Continuing the series of blogs sharing what we covered Thursday night at Getting On Track at Duke Center For Living.
Each person was given an "exercise prescription." The 3 main components are aerobic, strength, and flexibility. Aerobic exercise is planned according to the FITT principal. FITT stands for
Frequency ("How often?"), Intensity ("How hard?"), Time ("How long?"), and Type ("What activity?") Based on age and medical status (such as use of medicines that affect heart rate), a training heart rate range was calculated. This is usually 60% to 85% of one's maximum heart rate.
The RPE - Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale - is another guide tailored to each person.
Other factors include activities of daily living (encouraged to be as active as you can) and to reduce sedentary activities.
Since all of these areas are covered in SP articles, I'll move on to the goal setting portion of the lecture.
The first thing is to think about how many days per week you are willing to commit for structured exercise. Next, estimate how many minutes you are willing to commit.
These two numbers can be your DESIRABLE goal. This is the goal you can realistically achieve most of the time under current circumstances and abilities.
Now set a MINIMAL GOAL This would be for a really difficult day or week. It would only last for a limited time - if you found it was the amount you "fall back to" for two straight weeks, that would serve as a red flag to re-evaluate your schedule and any barriers to achieving your desirable goal. Make an action plan - a "PLAN B" in case you are only hitting your minimal goal, so that you can reach the desirable level again.
Now set an OPTIMAL GOAL. This could be short term - a bonus day or bonus week. And it can be a "some day" goal - something you hope to accomplish In your lifetime.
Once you have outlined a minimal, desirable and optimal goal, you have the basis to plan your days and week. Put exercise into your schedule - make yourself a priority and make an appointment on your calendar.
Include the 3 components of fitness - aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility.
Remember the importance of warming up and cooling down.
Flexibility goals are daily.
Strength training is for 2 to 3 days a week.
Aerobic exercise should be a minimum of 3 days a week, and preferably include at least one rest day in the week.
Remember too - exercise can be in short segments that add up during the day!
Ten minutes at a time may be easier to fit into your day and still allow you to reach your health goals!
I found this most helpful because I tend to have a desired weekly goal, and if I don't meet it I have considered the week a failure. Setting a minimal goal reminds me that there is always SOMETHING I can do to make progress toward the ultimate goal. It's like chiseling away toward that masterpiece. One step at a time on the journey.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Yesterday I talked about the Barriers to Being Active Quiz available on the CDC website and used in the Getting on Track Program at Duke Center For Living.
Today I will go over the IDEA model to overcome fitness barriers.
It you filled out the Barriers to Being Active Quiz, you will remember that any of the areas with a five or higher rating has significant barriers. However, even though I didn't have any area that rated 5, I was still able to see the issues where I could improve or make plans to do better.
I * Identify your barrier(s)
D* Develop a long list of all possible solutions for overcoming your specific barrier
E* Evaluate the list of possible solutions; then choose one solution and develop a specific plan to implement it
A* Analyze how well your plan is going. Set up review dates to assess your plan.
Example: The first review date is ______. Or "I will review my plan every ___ weeks."
So my three areas were fear of injury, social influence, and a little lack of willpower.
My plan of action is
- to exercise in shorter segments
(this will reduce injury and improve my willpower, knowing I'm not committing to a huge chunk of time),
- choose exercises/options that are "safer"
(walk more than run, elliptical more than treadmill, pool walking if land exercises cause pain, and so forth),
- either exercise alone (if I am self conscious about my appearance) or join supportive classes (for the fun of a group and to learn to do the exercises better)
- follow a training plan (to improve willpower and consistency)
- schedule exercise into the day until it is a habit
- make it FUN!
- reward myself
- get a buddy to exercise with
I will work out four days this upcoming week for at least 30 minutes and review how well I was able to stick with my goals at the end of the week.
So if you have taken the Barriers to Being Active Quiz, you too can now map out your plans to overcome those barriers and decide how often to review your progress.
Tomorrow's blog - we'll go over the guidelines for fitness and begin to touch on setting minimal, desirable and optimal goals.
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