Monday, March 27, 2017

Second week --

Today begins the second week of spring and of my renewed commitment to health.
I did manage to walk every day of last week and reached 10,000 steps in each of the first seven days of spring. I even managed a very little amount of running.

I also moved my weight machine into a different room in the basement to make way for furniture in the man cave. I did get a little use out of it, but I still have much work to do to make its new location more functional.

On the diet front --
I have become more aware of everything I am consuming and am doing better at restricting less healthy options and being more careful about when I consume certain types of foods. I did drop a couple of pounds, but nothing to brag about at this point. Although I haven't done it yet, I do plan on taking some body measurements this week and tracking that progression. I think that overall body composition is a better indicator of health than body weight.

There is lots of rain in the forecast for this week, so I'll have to see how the walking goes. I do have a recumbent cycle and a Nordic Track for indoor work if I run into a rainy day with no breaks.
I also need to finish getting my garden in as I will be gone next week.

Here we go!
Week two towards better healthy living!


Saturday, March 25, 2017

A five day streak!

I'm not sure how long it is that they (who are they, anyway?) say it takes to make a habit, but I truly doubt that exercise ever becomes a habit with me. In spite of that, I've managed a walk every day of spring.

Big deal, right?
No it is not, but it is a start.
Even when I was walking every day, it was something I decided to do every day. I think if it was a habit, I'd have to make the decision not to walk.

Yesterday, I moved the weight machine from one room to another. Chris wants to move our old living room furniture into the man cave so I moved the weight machine into the room where I keep all of my magic books and props. Even though I did clear a place for the machine, I'll still need to do plenty of rearranging and organizing to make it functional.

Just like walking ... one step at a time, right?

Diet wise I've been doing pretty well. I had a day of too much junk food, but it was only a day. I've been doing well other than that. I haven't gone back to logging everything, but I might. One article recommended taking pictures of everything you eat and drink for a visual record. I don't think I really want to do that, but it is a much quicker option.
I'll see how this goes. It's only been a week.

Simple steps.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Make it three!

Yesterday wasn't a good diet day -- too much snacking.
I guess that's a hazards of inactivity and readily available goodies.

I did manage healthy meals and a walk, but I'm not willing to call it a good day.
I'll take the positives, acknowledge the negatives, and keep pushing onward.
I was up late pacing the house and walking outside to make 10,000 steps for the day.
Yeah, it's a small thing, but I figured, "Why not?"

Today is the fourth day of spring and I expect to keep up the short streak of walking and be more diligent about dietary intake.

Simple steps.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Two in a row!

I had to get out before the rain this morning -- not a big deal for early risers and morning exercise people. I was up before the sun, but I start the day slowly with my coffee and internet or a cable news show. The rain is supposed to be on and off throughout the day, so I figured to just get my walk in early.

It was just over 2 1/2 miles and it was beginning to sprinkle as I finished.

I hit 10,000 steps yesterday. What was once a daily accomplishment has become a rare thing -- only two previous times this year (although I didn't count steps on our long beach walks).
Hopefully, it will become a daily habit, once again.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring and starting over...

It is the end of the first day of spring and time for a fresh start!
I decided that I need to get back in the good habit of some regular exercise and the first day of spring seems like a great time to re-start.

I walked a couple of miles this morning and will work on getting back up to 3-4 miles on a daily basis.
I've been very irregular on yoga and any resistance training over the past few months and haven't really made the mental decision to get back to something more regular in those areas.

I'm also getting back to a slow carb diet; limiting sugars and starches (fruits and grains) and paying attention to the time of day I eat them and the activities that surround them. The plan is to go heavy on the veggies and lean proteins, and to include plenty of fiber rich legumes.

When I turned 53 years old I set a goal to lose 54 pounds by my 54th birthday.
I did. I actually lost 60 pounds. Now, at three months before my 57th birthday, I am almost back to my starting weight -- not quite, but close enough.
I don't plan on stretching this out over a year this time. I'm not planning on anything crazy, but I do look to lose the weight at a steady rate by keeping track of diet and getting regular morning exercise.
I'm actually not as interested in the weight loss as I am in overall body composition and how I feel. I guess that means that I should take some useful measurements and figure out my body fat percentage.

To help with the summer diet and the healthy eating part, I am planting a garden this year. It won't be anything too big; lettuce, cabbage, onions, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and maybe some zucchini. I also want to plant some sweet potatoes.
For other produce, there are some good Farmer's markets in the area and a small grocery store with a decent produce section that is less than a mile walk if I want to have something fresh for dinner.

That's the plan.
Time to put it into action.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January 4, 2017

I realize that it is only the fourth day of the new year, but keeping up with the goals on a regular basis might help me stay on the right track.

I postponed my 3000 squat/1000 push-up start until January 2nd. I'm not sure if I should skip tomorrow's scheduled rest day so that each day's workout corresponds with the calendar date or just plan on finishing on the 31st. Finishing on the 30th would either allow for a day's rest before beginning the next 30 day challenge or I could begin a 30 day challenge for February on the 31st and then end it on March 1.
I guess I'll decide tomorrow.

I have a couple of physical limitations that are age related. A knee that probably needs to be replaced gives me problems with some exercises and yoga poses and a wrist that may have some arthritis and is difficult to flex with any weight on it. It is making the push up part of this months challenge -- well, challenging. It will also be a hindrance as I begin to work on the hand & arm balances in my yoga work. It will make for slower progress than I was hoping for.
No worries. I have plenty of time.

Diet wise, last weekend proved to be terrible, but I am tracking calories and watching what I'm consuming. I am predicting that this month will be a good start for the coming year.

I occasionally post health articles or my fitness updates on Twitter. Feel free to follow me if you want. I am at @magicianary.

Although it is pretty chilly out, I think I'm going to take a short walk.

Be well,
John <><

Sunday, January 1, 2017

January 1, 2017

So it is a new year and time for new goals!
To be honest, last year was not a very good year on the health and fitness front. This year will be different. I wrote about the struggle a month ago and have already started back on the right track.

The long term goal is to live a healthier lifestyle which includes daily physical activity and a well balanced diet. I am planning on a series of short term goals to make that happen. I really don't want to set an annual goal of walking a set number of miles because I want to be flexible when it comes to daily activity rather than being fixed on having to walk daily. However, my typical walk is about an hour in length so I think that I should occupy that time with something else or a combination of walking and something else.

There are a few areas that I want to focus on for exercise.
The first is yoga.
I've played around at it for a little while but have never been really serious or regular about learning and practicing yoga. I've only been to a few classes and have mostly used books or followed along on You Tube classes. I'd like to work on the body weight strength moves and on some inverted balancing. To date, I've mostly worked on flexibility.

Another area for work is on some short burst high intensity interval training.
I've never done any P90X or Crossfit types of workouts and don't know that I really want to. I do plan on using our weight machine for some low weight/high rep circuits and using some HIIT exercises along the way.

Of course, there are other things. But at this point, the main thing is to keep moving forward.
My January goal will be to complete this 3000 squat/1000 push up challenge.

I will still need to fill my hour and will give myself the occasional day off.
Right now, I'm planning on yoga three or four days per week and will start at home but try to find a class or studio that is suitable for an old beginner like me. 

On the diet front, I'm going for the short term goal of tracking my intake via the My Fitness Pal app for every day in January. Even though I have started using the app again, I have not been very disciplined about my tracking, so for the short term anyway -- 31 days -- I can do this!

That's my January Resolution plan.
I'll let you know about next months plan when next month gets here!

Be well,

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Beating the cold

For the past 19 days I have been walking every day. Twice (when my phone malfunctioned) I only tracked my walk at about two miles. On the other days, I managed at least three miles. I am a day or two ahead of the daily average needed to make my goal of 100 miles in the 33 days that began on Nov. 29th. I've also managed to get 10,000 steps in each of those days and have more than enough extra steps to make up for a missed day.

I say that because I may end up taking today off. It is cold out. It 's noon and the temp is all the way up to 8F (-13.3C). It  is sunny and the wind is light. There is a light dusting of snow on the road.

I have an indoor cycle and an old NordicTrack cross country ski machine that I can use in the warm comfort of the basement. Even though I will probably use them at some point, I have a feeling that I will end up dressing for the cold and taking a short walk today. There is a certain exhilaration from being outside, even in the cold. A part of me believes that we tend to spend too much time in controlled environments. I like being outside, even when it's hot or cold.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the comfort of heating and air conditioning in their season. But I also enjoy spending time outdoors. I'm not much of an outdoorsman. I don't hunt, fish or do much in the way of camping or other outdoor activities. I do like walking and riding my motorcycle or just sitting out on the deck and listening to the sounds of nature. When it turns cold, about the only thing I have in the way of outdoor activity is to walk. We don't have a lot of snow here and it isn't ski country. I don't mind riding on cold days, but that doesn't do much in the way of getting exercise.

I don't know if I'll walk my usual three miles or not, but I am pretty certain that I'll be out for at least a short walk.
Goals can be troublesome things.
Truthfully, the 100 mile goal by the end of the year is only a short term thing. The ultimate goal is better health.

Be well,
John <><

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

End of week 2


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

End of week 1

It has been a week since I wrote of my continuing healthy lifestyle struggles and recommitted to eating better and daily exercise. The good news is I have kept up with both. The bad news is it has only been a week.

But a good start is what is necessary to form the habits of healthy living and so I move on to week 2.

I've already managed to build a free day into my walking goal of 100 miles by the end of the year (a 33 day goal). I've also added a session on the indoor exercise cycle and a couple of light sessions with weights. I really wasn't feeling the walk yesterday and had to bribe myself with a nice Dominican toro gordo smoke that lasted for the one hour walk. Yeah, I know -- a little unhealthy habit to reinforce the healthy habit might not be the best way to go, but I did get the walk in.

I did decide to keep track of calories. It just helps me to make better decisions about eating -- or not eating, as the case may be.
With one week in the books, I'm minus 6 pounds (it's always easy in the beginning) and once again moving in the right direction to better health.

It's Week 2.
Here we go!

John <><