Tuesday, January 06, 2009
I am doing really well right now, following both Spark People's recommendations and using the video game trainer for my cardio. I like that it switches between:
Upper Body Strength
Core Body Strength
Lower Body Strength
I have never switched up my routine so much before, except maybe when I was in college and I took yoga classes in addition to strength training and running on a treadmill. I can really feel a bunch of new muscle groups growing stronger.
Another observation is that fresh produce is freaking expensive. No wonder I eat quite poorly without planning ahead! We live in a neighborhood that is a mix of upscale and lowerclass; what one would consider "in transition" to gentrification.
The most available type of grocer is a bodega-style, crowded little family owned shop. Usually our options are limited to what they have on the shelf. Thankfully they are starting to offer more frozen vegetarian options.
About 3/4 of a mile away we have a C-town, a super cheap grocery store that only sometimes has fresh-looking produce. I definitely have to bring a granny cart when I go there.
And then, at least a mile away, we have a Shop Rite. It has everything I would need to stick to my diet but we don't have a car here in the city and I have to drag my cart that entire mile, or take the Light Rail, which I like to think of as a Disney World monorail system.
I really miss having a car and being free to load up on groceries, park in front of my house, and load everything in. I guess I'm just complaining. I did really well this week at one of the bodegas, so I'll be back there to keep loading up on fresh produce, low sodium soup, yogurt, soy milk, etcetera.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
What an unlikely revelation from a video game console! Let me explain.
I have never worked out with someone who measured my heart rate. I've been told how to do this lots of times but never know how to apply it. I occassionally grab the heart rate monitor while working out on the treadmill and its sometimes around 140 but I have no idea what that meant!
Today's 45-minute workout was my first time trying my new Fitness Trainer on our Xbox. I had to tell the woman to slow down, and I think this deducted my calories. Oh well, its just further motivation. The nice thing is that I learned from doing the fitness evaluation that I have a low resting heartrate (around 66 beats per minute) and that when I perceive that I am working hard, the game told me it was a low impact exercise since my heart was only elevated to 130-something.
According the American Heart Association "The heart beats about 60 to 80 times a minute when we're at rest. Resting heart rate usually rises with age, and it's generally lower in physically fit people. Resting heart rate is used to determine one's training target heart rate. Athletes sometimes measure their resting heart rate as one way to find out if they're overtrained. The heart rate adapts to changes in the body's need for oxygen, such as during exercise or sleep."
The problem is that with my asthma, even though my heart rate is only 130-something, I perceive it to be much higher. I might be in pain, with restricted breathing, and feel like screaming, "I am dying!!" I literally thought I was just really fat and out of shape. I watch more obese people than me on TV and totally relate to their struggles. I shared that thought with my boyfriend and he started laughing, "Emily, you are not like those people," but in a way I really feel that way when I work out! I thought it was my weak mind, my poor fitness level, my fault.
I am thinking that I should visit a doctor to ask how to manage my asthma better. Right now it really affects how often and how long I am able to work out. I only have an inhaler for emergencies, and use cough medicine as an expectorant if I feel like there is "stuff" in my lungs. Once a year I usually get VERY VERY sick, with bronchitis that a doctor usually says (and I quote) "Well, at least its not pneumonia"... and I lose time at work and from socializing because I fear going out in the winter especially. In the past, I worked on mental health issues, and major dental issues, and this just sort of went to the back burner. If I am perceiving it now to be a barrier to weight loss, maybe its a good idea to explore some options.
I wonder if there is something I can do to relieve the pressure and chest pain during workouts or during the day. The bright side of all this is that I bet I am in better shape than I actually think I am! That would be really cool to find out.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
I've decided that 2008 was the year I took care of my finances and decided on a plan for grad school. Now that those problems are on their way to being solved, this year needs to be about me, my person: my health, my skin, taking vitamins, getting sleep. Now that I have a job I like, and I've sent applications to grad school, I can only wait for things to happen in my favor... but that is not what I can do regarding losing weight! My boyfriend finished his Masters and he's working as a researcher and teacher, very likely he'll be pursuing teaching and freelancing as a career. So, in 2008 we squared that stuff away. Now its time to work actively toward more basic goals. I've met some people this year who really have it together. They are just as smart as me and they've done some amazing things in their life: and not the typical life that's expected, which is something I seem to have an aversion to. The thing that seems different between me and them (in my mind) is that they take care of themselves in a way where they have energy and support because of their lifestyles. Granted, many of these women are way older and make a lot of money, but its also good to see how they do it. I need better habits that will get me closer to being that kind of a woman, and I need to work actively toward that goal because it is not something that simply falls into your lap.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
* Cardiovascular fitness—your ability to use oxygen during continuous activities like running, swimming, biking or walking.
* Muscular strength and endurance—the ability of your muscles to exert a maximal force, and the ability of your muscles to perform repeatedly without fatigue.
* Flexibility—the range of motion around the joints.
* Body composition—the relative amounts of lean muscle mass and body fat.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Just placed an order for this previews.teamxbox.com/xbox/894/Yours
elfFitness/p1/ . Should come in the mail sometime in the next week.
Its been a year of gym membership and I know I didn't get out of it what I paid into it and that is my own fault. I do not want to feel guilty about this so I am not going to. I need to find out if the membership is up and then make a decision about the next year: do I continue it or not?
EDIT: I looked up my contract from the gym and my membership expires 2/1/2008.
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