Saturday, February 02, 2013
I was thinking about this when I recorded my miles for the “Virtual Walk/Run Across America” which I’ve found to be a very motivational challenge. Sometimes I run. Sometimes I walk. Sometimes, when DH is along, it’s more of a stroll. Still I record it all. My feet were moving forward, so for me, it counts.
I know I’m in the minority since I like to exercise (cardio anyway). As I’ve 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 don’t like to hear the question, “did you RUN the whole way?” whether directed at me or someone else.
Depending on a person's starting fitness level, what's considered exercise to them may differ. I’ve written about my mother’s aversion to exercise. When she came to live with us after my father’s 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 “geriatric personal trainer.” I had her “doing laps” 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 isn’t a race. It doesn’t matter who gets there first.