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Good exercise, good sleep. Simple!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Yesterday, I had a great day full of exercise, biking, walking, swimming.

And in the morning, I woke up refreshed, after a full night of sleep.

I noticed this already - when I exercise consistently, and am sufficiently "tired", I sleep much better.

Also, the movement helps to "refresh" my mind, and reduced my stress level.

Except, I should go for a run before sleep - that energizes me so much that I won't fall asleep for another two hours.

Did you notice any relationship between exercise and sleep?
Does movement help you sleep better?
What type of exercise is best to "prepare" for a good night's sleep?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VEG954 11/4/2014 10:49AM

  Being active revs up the endorphins and really feels great.
I sleep quite well when I combine exercise, good nutrition, a warm shower and creating a good sleep schedule.

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KRISZTA11 11/4/2014 6:57AM

    For me the connection is not so direct, as I always do my workouts first thing in the morning. But still, I think I sleep well on most nights thanks to my daily exercise, at leat partly: exercise = good mood = good sleep.
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GETSTRONGRRR 11/3/2014 7:20PM

    always! That's why I love strength training....I sleep like a baby on days that I lift!

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PJMX18 11/3/2014 5:51PM

    Yes, I sleep like a baby on days that I exercise intensely. Yoga especially puts me to sleep in the evening.

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How was you attitude towards exercise today?

Sunday, November 02, 2014

After having a pleasant rest and a decent walk yesterday (Saturday), we had plenty of energy with my wife to get moving. She suggested to explore the swimming pool close to her workplace, which added some extra fun to our exercise.

I consistently like to explore a unknown gym, an unexplored running track, or swimming pool, and of course naturally with the bike, I'm often on new terrains. During the weekly rush, after a hard day, usually I just want to stick to my trusted tracks, but when I'm rested, discovering something new, both expand my options and make it more interesting.

So, my wife took the train, but I biked to Feldbach (28 km). We had a swim (30 min) and explored the swimming pool together, and we had a fitness walk to skip one station of the train (3km). Then I rode back to Gleisdorf (22 km, a shorter path).

Altogether, I burned 2300 kcal with exercise today, which is really impressive for me! This is more than I usually burn without exercise (2000-2200 kcal).

Verus was happy for the swim, and to discover the pool, which will be an excellent place for her to swim during lunch brakes to freshen up, or in the evening after work to relax.

What stands out for me, that all these felt good, easy, and totally fun to do. If you don't do exercise regularly, or you only got started, you might think that this was a "workout", that it was hard, and I had to stretch myself to do it, and so on. However, few years ago I changed my goal from "losing weight" to "living healthy", and I focused on implementing habits for thing that I enjoy. Now, this strategy pays back.

Now, after such a good exercise session, my brain is fresh for creative work, and I will sleep like a log at night.

How was your attitude towards exercise today?
Low or high motivation?
Easy or hard? Fun or boring?
What would you do differently?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURIE9404 11/3/2014 2:47PM

    You had a great day! Very exciting to explore new healthy environments. Sunday, I had no motivation! It was cold and the weather was a light rain/light snow mix and made it feel like a great day to cuddle in the jammies. BUT - we had some plans for lunch and I knew when we got home I'd be sitting in front of the computer all evening doing homework. So I threw in a 60 minute low impact DVD and felt good about accomplishing something. Nothing quite like your calorie burn but I talked myself into a good feeling workout. Whew.

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SWEDE_SU 11/3/2014 3:56AM

    it was beautiful here, and we went for a walk by the river - surprised that most of the leaves had already fallen. walking is the mainstay of our exercise, and it was a pleasure being outdoors

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VEG954 11/2/2014 5:47PM

  You put me to shame!
Just walked for 1/2 an hour.

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ZELLAZM 11/2/2014 2:53PM

    The beautiful weather really motivated me to get out in it today. Went pole-walking for the first time in several weeks and really enjoyed the fall colors. Not so easy to get motivated when it's gray and rainy (I don't mind the cold so much), but just have to think of the benefits.

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DIANNEMT 11/2/2014 2:42PM

    I am going to get out for a walk--after church, I have done nothing but SIT and I need to move. I have low-ish motivation but will find fun in the walk once I get going!! I wish my bike tires were fixed--I need to take care of that myself since hubby has not helped with it. It is sunny so I do not want to go to the gym so--out for a walk!!

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WIFE49 11/2/2014 1:21PM

    Sunday is my day off too.

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DONNABRIGHT 11/2/2014 1:12PM

    Sunday is usually my "day off" from exercise. We go to church and usually have breakfast with family or friends or both and then we may have an errand or two while we are on that side of town. This afternoon will be a bike ride as it is a beautiful day. Even though it is my day off I still find I need/want to do something to be active. A few years ago I would have slouched on the couch and watched an old movie! So nice to be where we are now.

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A walk can go a long way...

Saturday, November 01, 2014

I always do ten minutes exercise a day, no matter what. My fallback exercise is a brisk power walking for 10 minutes, which I do for the sake of exercise, not just walking around. Although, it doesn't burn a great deal of calories, it keeps me on track on those days when I'm totally tired, traveling a lot, or only have a hectic day.

Last week, I was on a business trip in Belfast, Ireland, and due to the weight restrictions, I couldn't take any extra exercise clothing with me. Therefore, I took with my most comfortable shoes, and pants that allow for long walks.



My strategy worked; I could do a half an hour's walk before and after the official program every day, and when I had time, I could walk for 2-3h easily.

It's not like when I ride the bike, go for a run, or train in the gym, but keeps me on track. And long walks still add to my calorie balance, about 300 kcal per hour. A 4-5 hour hiking can add a significant 1200-1400 kcal a day.


When I compare it to my life before, when I didn't to exercise regularly, the difference I think is intent. I liked to walk all my life, but now, I do it on purpose, and it does feel different.



Do you like walking?
How often do you walk?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 11/2/2014 8:19AM

    I walk frequently. I also get walks in when I go to conferences. Like you I walk before the meetings or during lunch or later. You are doing a great job of making exercise part of your life!

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SWEDE_SU 11/2/2014 7:07AM

    every day - we walk, or run, it's absolutely the mainstay of our lives! of course the border collie has a lot to do with it...

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KRISZTA11 11/2/2014 4:42AM

    Thank you for sharing the story and the lovely pictures! : )
I love walking too.
I walk on my 3 non-running days of the week.
Looking back to my pre-Spark inactive days, I see that walking was always my choice o do in my free hours of business trips.
When I was in Cambridge for a 1-day training, I walked almost as much as you did.
I know it burns less calories than running or biking, but otherwise it has the same physical and mental benefits.
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VEG954 11/1/2014 9:18PM

  Yes, love to walk!

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ROCKYCPA 11/1/2014 7:05PM

    I love to walk and try to walk every day - walking is really good for you!

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COOP9002 11/1/2014 5:41PM

    great photos. walking is a great way to unwind and get some exercise.

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INGMARIE 11/1/2014 4:02PM

    Nice photos, Yes I like to walk too, I do at least 3 walks in the neighborhood with my dog. And I go to gym as well and I walk there and back. emoticon

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Follow these tips to succeed in the Fall 5% challenge

Monday, October 13, 2014

In my last blog post I asked about suggestions for the 5% challenge.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5782962

Thanks a lot for the answers!

Here are the key ideas from you:

1. Keep a copy of your goals where you can see them every day.
2. Change your start page to reflect your daily mini goals. Check it every day and be accountable.
3. Make a note when you are tempted, and when you failed, and when you overcame it. What worked?

4.Follow simple strategies: Keep moving, eat healthy, drink water.
5. Simply participate in the challenge to be hold accountable. A leadership role is especially helpful!
6. Be consistent - team participation helps with that!

7. Stay present in the challenge. Do it on purpose vs. just coast through it.
8. Do something every day that relaxes you. (Even things like Sudoku!)
9. Put your all into each LTGL challenge.

10. Post every single day.
11. Use the nutrition tracker consistently.
12. Encourage others, checking their blogs, and pages to keep it fun.

13. Learn those who have succeeded in their pursuits.



My own advice, after many years in the 5% challenges:
Chose ONE small goal that you focus on throughout the two months, no matter what.

Make it public, put it on your front page, blog about it, ask feedback about it.

Make a wall calendar where you can make a big green tick for every successful day.

Why's this?
My experience was that when I focused on one single thing, it worked, and I managed to do it. When I had a long list of goals, I didn't finish them. Less is more. BE BRAVE to focus on something small. Others might think it's stupid to focus on just one thing, especially if it is a small action. But in the end, your takeaway can be that finally you managed to focus on this thing for two month, no matter what. And then they won't say that you are stupid. They will be amazed how disciplined you are, how consistent you are, and wish they could do the same.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEDE_SU 11/2/2014 7:08AM

    excellent tips!

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ZELLAZM 11/1/2014 5:43AM

    Good tips...am going to use them for these last couple of weeks so that I can end on an up note. So far, I've pretty much maintained as life has been so busy that I haven't been able to focus on the challenge goals as much as I'd like. Hope the 5% continues to go well for you!

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BEATLETOT 10/16/2014 1:25AM

    I just love you, Oliver! Of all the tips you posted, my favorite was YOURS!!!

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INGMARIE 10/14/2014 9:15AM

    emoticon Thanks for all the tips. they are great

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DEBSZOO74 10/14/2014 12:27AM

    Great blog with some great tips! emoticon

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BLUEJAY1969 10/13/2014 9:01PM

    You are so right in your advice to focus on just one thing at a time to change! If I try to change too many at once, I get all discombobulated and end up going back to my old habits! This challenge I decided to increase my water intake to beyond the 8 recommended daily glasses. I didn't blog about it or put it on my main page but perhaps that is what I will do tomorrow!
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Jeanne

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SAPHRAEL 10/13/2014 4:27PM

    Great tips! Awesome pic!

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DDOORN 10/13/2014 3:20PM

    Wonderful tips! Thx for sharing your wisdom from experience...the best kind! 😃

Don

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KRISZTA11 10/13/2014 2:39PM

    Great tips, thank you for sharing!
This is a very nice picture of you and this little river.

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TERI-RIFIC 10/13/2014 1:38PM

    emoticon Thanks for the tips!

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COOP9002 10/13/2014 1:06PM

    good advice

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MISSLORI5 10/13/2014 12:48PM

    It's great to see you on your bike, Oliver!! Thanks for this post! It was fun reading! I appreciate, too, your tip as it is something I need to work on. I tend to spread my goals a bit too thin sometimes!! Take care, have a beautiful fall, or whatever season you are in!! Most of all, have a great day!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Fall 5% - how to make the best of it? TIPS NEEDED!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hi 5% challengers, Daisy team, and all,

So on Saturday we start again the 5% challenge, for two months.

Now I'm in maintenance mode, but still I like to be part of it, as it helps me stay on track.

I would like this time to make the best of the challenge.

I have my own strategies, but I thought to try something new this time.

This is a castle I have seen in France this summer, during one of our fitness walks:



Any tips, suggestions on how to use the challenge to the fullest potential?
I'll make a summary post from the responses!

Thanks!
Oliver

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOLAHORSERIDER 9/26/2014 9:34AM

    Hello Oliver! emoticon
This 5% challenge is my first challenge on here.. I am down in weight since starting SP in July! What has been working for me is using the nutrition tracker, to keep moving, eating healthy and drinking water, oh and getting enough sheep! I love a good challenge and will ALWAYS give 100% to that challenge. Keep a copy of all your goals where you can see them every day! Strive for those goals. When you are tempted, make note of it! What you were tempted with, how you were able to not be tempted.
I have lost weight before, but it all came back on. I know that losing the weight is a walk in the park compared to KEEPING IT OFF! You are a Spark inspiration to all of us.

Good Luck... Keep Sparkin!

Nola

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KMICHA 9/26/2014 6:51AM

    Hey Oliver! Great to see you! For me, just being in the challenge help hold me accountable, especially filling in a leadership spot! I look forward to your blog!

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ZELLAZM 9/23/2014 4:24AM

    Nice to see a post from you -- it's been awhile! I'm doing the 5% challenge, too, as a Firecracker again. Even though I have a lot of the good habits in place, I still need to develop consistence and the team participation helps with that. Nothing like the mutual support of a bunch of motivated Sparkers! Have a great challenge round!

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KALISWALKER 9/21/2014 1:06AM

    Learn those who have succeeded in their pursuits. (you)

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KANOE10 9/20/2014 7:17AM

    Change your start page to reflect your daily mini goals of the challenge. Check in every day and be accountable. I know you are exercising and cycling. You will be a success. I love that castle.

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MISSLORI5 9/19/2014 11:00PM

    Hey, Oliver, oh that's a beautiful castle!! You know all the steps regarding calories, exercise, water and sleep. I also try to take into account some me time everyday-a time when I can do something I want to do that relaxes me. Right now I spend my down time doing suduko or crocheting. Just an activity that lowers my blood pressure! It helps me have a better outlook on so many things! I wish you good times on your maintenance, and a terrific challenge ahead!! Thanks for your inspiration along the way!!! emoticon

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INGMARIE 9/19/2014 7:39PM

    Nice castle.
Have a great weekend. emoticon

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BEATLETOT 9/19/2014 1:21PM

    Oliver! Happy to see you! I look forward to the suggestions your blog inspires!

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OHANAMAMA 9/19/2014 12:57PM

    btw... that castle is beautiful!

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OHANAMAMA 9/19/2014 12:56PM

    Hi Oliver!
I've been in several of these challenges and by far the best results I got were when I stayed present in the challenge... meaning, to really do it "on purpose" and not try to just coast through it... which I did on some and yielded not so great results. Put your all into each LTGL challenge and post every single day... also encouraging others, checking out their blogs and pages keep it fun.

Good luck! You have done really well, yourself!
~Renee'

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