Saturday, May 09, 2009
Tonight I leave Alaska for the other corner of the continent--Orlando, Florida, to be exact. I'm going to attend the annual international conference of the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) and I'll be blogging it here: ptarmiganptracks.blogspot.com/ for the benefit of my water colleagues. Wander over and take a look if you like.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
My local paper this past weekend had a really interesting article on Kai Hibbard, a local woman who was a Biggest Loser finalist in 2006. She's married now and battling the weight she gained having a baby. Here's a link: www.adn.com/life/health/story/740127
.html There's video, too, both of her as she is today and a couple of video diary entries from when she was at home working toward the final. The diaries were considered too negative for inclusion in the show.
This all reinforces for me that though the program makes exciting entertainment and inspires people to take up healthful ways, it can be really destructive to the people it uses. It makes them more conscious than ever of their weight, even though it is no longer in the upper ranges. And it reduces their whole being, their whole sense of self to a number on the scale. Do Biggest Losers sacrifice their mental health to their physical perfection?
As an exercise instructor, I have always had reservations about the show. Healthful body size and condition are achieved by improvement in both diet and exercise, but the show is almost entirely about the exercise, as that struggle can be shown visually, whereas the mental struggle about having too many brownies can not. Exercisers are driven to the extreme of their strength and endurance, again because the struggle is visual and film-able. But I wonder if the viewer on the couch is taking a bad message away from this--that exercise must be a painful, gruelling ordeal. I wish they could also see the people in my classes, especially on the great days when they're into the groove, singing along with the music and enjoying themselves to the hilt. THAT's the kind of exercise that can become a lifelong habit.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Having completed my first month on the site, just for grins I looked up my position on the fitness minute charts for my teams. On 50+ with 50-99 lbs to lose, I am #327 of 125,729 members. On SP class of Feb 8-14 I'm #46 of 17,116. On the Anchorage team #8 of 1516. On Ravelry Knitters I'm # 13 of 500. On Zumba Lovers #19 of 454. Water aerobics #12 of 126. That puts me in the top 1% of Anchorage, 50+ 50-99, and my SP class, top 9% of Water Aerobics, top 2% of Ravelry Knitters, top 4% of Zumba Lovers. Interesting. What this says is that it's comparatively easy to get to the top of large teams. Chances are better of people who don't even post any minutes. It gives me a big boost to be in the top 10% of exercise-focused teams, not surprising that I exercise more than most knitters, and not surprising at all that I do more than most Anchorageites--it's the depth of a long winter and outdoor activity is pretty much limited to skiing and walking gingerly on ice and snow. Otherwise you're indoors with an exercise video or pay for a health club.
Just for a few more grins, I played with the numbers of the top person on my biggest team. 3360 minutes total for February. That is exactly 2 hours a day, seven days a week. For a month. That's what you have to do to be at the top of the chart. Frighteningly, this same person posted 960 minutes for today. That's 16 hours, and it's still morning. I can only guess that somebody so busy exercising puts in an estimate if their week's time. I can relate to that, as it is a bit of a bother to track a lot of stuff and put it in every day.
So the question du jour is--with all this exercise, how come you aren't getting skinny? Because I'm not tracking my food yet is the answer. Sigh.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Whew! The whole day has been spent in an instructor workshop learning new stuff for Continuing Education Credits to maintain my certification. The major part--4 hours all together-- was practical application in the pool, which was exhausting, but fine with me since the only way I can learn movement is to move myself. Actually, one remark from an instructor really registered with me. There are no new moves. There are only so many ways the human body can move, and they have all been discovered by now. What IS new is how different moves are put together, and there are almost infinite combinations. The other big aha! that I took away was that it's OK to face away from the class especially when showing footwork, as it's easier to learn from behind. For the rest of it--I'm glad they handed out notes!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I am surprised at the effects of the first big Zumba class yesterday. I had thought that muscle soreness would be my biggest problem--my quads were screaming during class and the usual effect of a new activity on my body is sore muscles that I forgot I had. The muscles are OK, though feeling well used, the sign of a good and balanced workout. Hip and knee joints not so happy, excess weight and gravity taking their toll. I think I will do things a little bit differently next time. No need to plunge in and run myself into the ground like a 20-year-old. I'll do 45 minutes of class and then retire for a long and thorough stretch. As time goes by (and weight stress gets less?) I will increase class length. And today I will do a deep water class to do my movin' and groovin' without gravity!
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