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So How Did It Go - That Mindful Cardio?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Truth? Though this didn't have the controls of a scientific experiment I think I really DID get more out of my cardio by paying attention to my body. I wear a monitor and it showed me that 50-100 more calories were burned yesterday than I expected.

Is it true? did really paying attention to how my thighs, my back, my abs and upper arms felt as I worked my 35 minutes on the elliptical really burn more calories than just flopping my way through? Or did I subconsciously spend more time exercising and moving than I realized.

Let's examine the day. I did get in a 1 mile walk with my funny little white dog. Here she is, checking things out in the bean field.

But that had been planned all along. It's a short walk, worth some 50 calories, but I'd like to add it to my daily routine.

At work I was at my desk only slightly less than usual. I had a program to prepare for and enough staff that I only worked the front desk for 30 minutes. No walk at lunch time since I had a WW meeting - where I was glad to find out that I'm still within my goal range - even after 2 weeks of rather profligate eating. and still below 150 - which was more than satisfying.


Hmm. I sat during the program in the afternoon - though there was a good bit of walking back and forth as I brought paraphernalia into the meeting room. Altogether, if I really want to push things I burned 50 calories more than I would have on a library day with no kiddie program in it. I guess. Pushing it a bit. Maybe.

Okay - then it was off to the gym - 35 minutes on the elliptical. Normally I'd expect to burn 150 +/- calories doing that while watching HGTV (my 5 o'clock TV poison). I use a programable elliptical that has the hand poles for working the upper body. emoticon

I decided to really pay attention to the body and what do you know - I found that to be impossibly boring to do for 35 minutes and MUCH harder too. It's true. I worked harder while I was paying attention. But I just didn't have the mental control to stay at it for 35 minutes. Within the first 5 minutes (maybe even instantly) I realized I had to take baby steps into this mindful body cardio, so I decided that I would concentrate for 2 minutes and then I could buzz off on the television for 8. I set the elliptical so that after 8 minutes it would tell you to start pedaling in the opposite direction. Those were the Pay Attention Minutes. So I did 3 sets of 2 minutes when I paid close attention - abs tucked? glutes taut? back straight? Thighs engaged? Arms pumping? Check.
Ordinarily - at this point I would have racked up about 150 calories burned and to make sure of it I did just a few strength exercises - 3 sets of 10 presses, 3 sets of tri exercises and 3 sets of the rowing lift ... or whatever it's called. 10 minutes in all? Honestly I'd be overestimating if I could claim 50 calories for that.

So at the very best I could claim 300 calories burned for yesterday. But when I plugged the monitor in it showed a 350 burn.

As I said - this was no scientifically controlled experiment but hey - I'll take a 350 calorie burn any day! In fact - I think I'll go take it today. I know my little dog wants me to take her out. I hear her scratching at the door.
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