Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekend Indulgence

Yep. It's going to be a weekend of indulgence. While I'll try not to over do it, I'm not going to obsess about it either.

I love getting to see my kids and that will be the focus.

On the other hand, my daughter-in-law has invited me to join her in her weekend workouts.

it couldn't hurt, right?
Actually, it could kill me! She's young (mid 20s), fit and works out daily (P90X).
I'm mid 50s and walk.

Maybe I'll just go for a walk.

Be well,
John <><

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Making Adjustments

Okay, so my brother suggested that I might be a little ambitious with stepping up my running as much as I planned on this week, He might be right.

The daily 10,000 steps won't be a problem (except for the stormy day in the forecast). I've kept up with the squats and push ups, but not the ab work. I still haven't worked into a workout pattern other than getting out to walk (and now sometimes, walk/run) every day.

After yesterday's walk/run (alternating half miles, beginning and ending with walks), I am feeling the effects of being old(er) and out of shape. Actually, it didn't feel too bad during the runs, and I felt pretty good yesterday night (you know, that good kind of tired), but the legs and feet are sore today. So it will be an easy slow walk today and maybe I'll rethink the total running distance for this week and work my up more slowly. I was really expecting more difficulty from cardio conditioning than from muscle/joint soreness.

Yeah, this aging thing has its drawbacks.

Enough moaning! Back to it (with some small adjustments due to not being as young as I used to be)!

Be well,

John <><

Saturday, March 21, 2015

From the Last Week of Winter to the First week of Spring!

Today I am looking forward to wrapping up my week of 80,000 steps. I start the day at a little over 74K, so today will be a breeze. I'll go ahead and make sure that I get in 10K steps just to keep that streak going, but I am starting to look at fitness goals for next week.

Yesterday I did a little running to go with my walking and think that I will include a small amount of running in my goal for next week. I also want to include some simple bodyweight stuff into my routine for next week.

Here's what I'm thinking:

* Continue with at least 10,000 steps per day
* Run 7 miles (I don't plan on running everyday. I'm thinking 1.5 every other day, + a mile somewhere during the week)
* 400 push ups (75, 50, 75, 0, 75, 50, 75)
* 20 walking lunges (10 each leg) every half mile while walking on non-running days.
* 700 squats (I haven't decided how I'll do that yet, maybe 100 X 7 or maybe work a rest day or maybe go heavier on walk days, lighter on run days. We'll see)
* 600 crunches (100/day with a 0 day in the middle)
* 12 1 minute planks

For a 50+ yr old, out of shape guy that hasn't been doing much of anything it looks like a lot when you read it all together. For anyone that is in even modest shape or works our regularly, it's pretty light.

For me, it's more than I have been doing and yet it is still pretty doable. The running still gets counted in with the daily step count as do the walking lunges. Those add a little variety to the steps and work the cardio and legs differently. The push ups, squats and abs are not a big deal, just a way to make sure I'm doing something for a little strength along with the walking.

At some point, I'll probably take a short bicycle ride.

That's the fitness plan for the week.
I know that if I don't spell it out, it won't happen.
Do you have a plan?

Be well,
John <><

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Weekly Goals (update)

It's a good thing that I took advantage of the nice days early in the week to get a great start on my 80,000 step goal. Tomorrow is supposed to be another rainy day and I think it may be more than the light rain we've had all day today.

I did manage to get in a three mile walk today, in spite of the light rain and cool temperature. I should end the day with more than 10K steps but will need to work at it a little bit. With nice days in the forecast for Friday and Saturday, the 80K step goal shouldn't be a problem, but I would also like to be at 10K steps for every day this week. I might be walking in a heavier rain tomorrow or hitting the mall and joining the other mall walkers. I'm going to try to make that a last option kind of thing.

By the way, I use an app on my phone as my pedometer. It's a Samsung app called S Health. It has other features but the only ones I use are the pedometer and heart-rate features. I'm too cheap to buy a fitbit or other wearable device. While health has become more important to me, spending money to keep track of what I'm doing hasn't. The free apps are more my style!

Be well,

John <><

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Weekly Goals for the Last Week of Winter!

It is supposed to be a beautiful week in the Ozarks!

There is a little rain in the forecast, but that is to be expected for this time of year in the Ozarks of Southwest Missouri. However, it appears that most days will very nice for the last week of winter.

I am going to set a one week goal of 80,000 steps. That pushes my daily count up a little bit from the current 10,000 steps and will require me to be after it every day this week. I have yet to decide if that will include any running. The biggest benefit I see from running is the amount of time it saves! Of course, I know that there are other, more healthful benefits associated with running, but the biggie for me is the time.  

I doubt that I'll be able to enjoy a cigar on a three mile run like I do on my daily walks!
I doubt if I'll enjoy much of anything (except maybe finishing) on a three mile run!

Honestly, if there is any running this week, it will most likely be run a little, walk a little.

Well I'd better get going for today. It's early afternoon and I've fewer than 2,000 steps on the counter.

Be well,
John <><

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Losing Weight

There are some really crazy ways to lose weight!

...And I'm not even talking about the fad diets and body cleanse kind of crazy.
I'm just talking about real ways to lose weight that seem counter intuitive to our way of thinking about weight loss.

For example:

Eat a good breakfast.
One might think that skipping breakfast and starting the day with fewer calories would be the way to lose a little more weight, but that's wrong. Getting the metabolism started with a good breakfast is far better than no breakfast.

Eat good fat.
One of the myths of dieting is that fat in turns to fat on. We need good fats in order to function properly and the lie of previous century was that cutting out all fats will make you healthier. There is no doubt that fats pack in the calories; so be careful. Get good fats from nuts, avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, etc. You need fat for energy and to lose weight!

Eat more often.
That's right! Instead of skipping the mid-morning or late afternoon snack; go ahead and eat something. Skip the sugary, insulin producing crap and have a hand full of nuts (good fat) or piece of fruit. Protein bars (read ingredients) can be a good choice but many are filled with sugar, too. Spreading your daily calories out to three smaller meals and two or three snacks can  help you to lose weight faster than packing your calories into just three meals and no snacks.

Get some sleep!
This was the biggest for me. It seems that you would be better off to be active more and sleep less for weight loss. I spent most of my life on far less than six hours of sleep per night. But your body needs that time to produce the necessary chemicals and hormones to function properly and to metabolize fuel (calories) properly. I now feel very good at about 7 1/2 hours per night and wake up (without an alarm) feeling very well rested.

If I was to give you my top four tips for weight loss, these would be the ones I'd give:
Start the day eating.
Eat some good fat.
Eat more often.

I'll add a freebie... drink plenty of water!
Your body needs it and we often eat when we are thirsty, not hungry.

Be well!
John <><

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Making Adjustments

I hate it when minor injuries get in the way of your regular exercise routine.

Now in my sixth decade of life (54), I've found that working through an injury or toughing it out is no way for me to be. However, I don't want a minor thing to derail my steady progress so I'll have to adapt and come up with something else for a few days.

It seems that I've managed to develop a heel bruise on my right foot. I'm not sure when that happened but will assume that it has something to do with my new shoes. I may have to switch over to bicycling for the next few days instead of walking. Fortunately, the weather is supposed to be very nice. I may try walking on softer ground (the park or nature center) instead of road walking. We'll see.

The main thing is to keep moving.

I recently spoke with a weight lifter whose friend is having shoulder surgery and is not looking forward to the idle time necessary for recovery. While working with that arm might be off limits for a few months, it doesn't mean that he has to remain idle. He'll just have to adapt his workouts to account for his shoulder.

Keep moving.
Do something.
If that doesn't work, do something else.
Keep moving.

Be well,
John <><

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Great Outdoors!

I am really looking forward to spring!

One of the things that I have allowed to get in the way of fitness this winter has been the weather. You would think that the time off work would have given me a significant advantage when it comes to getting exercise...and it has. I just have failed to take advantage of it.

No More!

This past week, in spite of the cold, I managed to get out and walk. I am going to keep that up. A new pair of shoes is on my list of things to purchase. I am also going to start taking advantage of the nicer weather and a backyard patio to get some of my exercise outside. Since I've been primarily doing body weight exercises, this should work out well.

And I have a garden to put in this year.

This will provide for some outdoor activity as well as some good, healthy food for the table! We still haven't decided what to plant (or how much), but I am looking forward to it.

Maybe I'll take up a little fishing this year. It has been a long time since I've been fishing. It might be a fun way to spend a day and a cool thing to provide everything on the dinner table some night.

In any case, I am looking forward to the mental benefits and physical benefits of being out in the sun. Even sitting outside (in the sun or in the shade) to read a book is better than being inside reading. Obviously, this sunny day (even with snow still on the ground) has me longing for summer!

Get outside.
Be well,

John <><

Monday, March 2, 2015

Bonus day!

Looks like we get a nice weather break today!
Forecast in the Ozarks is for a sunny day with temps around 40F  (4.5C). The earlier forecast for rain gets pushed back until tomorrow and then we're back to snow on Wednesday! March in the Ozarks!

In any case, I'm going to get in a little workout this morning and then plan on a long walk this afternoon. My foot has still been bothering me a bit so I'll stick to walking vs running, although I would like to eventually do a little running. Oddly enough, yoga (which I haven't been doing) seems to help the bones in my foot feel better! I'm not sure how that works, but it does.

March is going to have to be a much more focused month when it comes to diet and exercise. Back to eating less and exercising more. Being home is terrible for the diet. Even eating good snacks too often is a bad deal! Maybe I need to make the kitchen a NO GO ZONE during the day.

Time to get moving and amp up the metabolism for the day.

Be well,
John <><

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Something new for dinner!

Last week I posted a link to a breakfast recipe that was pretty good.

Tonight I used that same recipe to go with our dinner.

I started with sliced turkey kielbasa that I fried in a cast iron skillet with a little coconut oil. While that was cooking I diced the apples and measured out the quinoa (I mixed red and white). I placed the sausage on a plate and rinsed the skillet. Then I added the apples, cinnamon, water and quinoa and cooked it covered on low for about 20 minutes. I decided to prepare it on the stove instead of in the oven. As an afterthought, I chopped up a couple of jalapeno peppers and added them to the apple mix.

While that was cooking, I prepared the walnuts (instead of pecans) with cinnamon and honey (instead of maple syrup).

When the apple/quinoa mix was done, I added the sausage and turned the heat up. I stirred it and added the walnut mixture.

It turned out very well!

I think the apple quinoa bake would make a good side dish for smoked pork or grilled pork chops, too.

Let me know if you try this.

John <><

In Like a Lion...

It is March!
The sun is making its way back towards the northern hemisphere.
Spring is just around the corner.
Life is good.

In February, I managed to stop the slow weight climb and am back on a downward trend. I am looking forward to being outside more as the weather warms up. Today is supposed to be above freezing but I'm guessing that the snow cover and clouds will keep the temps below the forecasts.

I'll probably get out and shovel the driveway today, although it seems a little silly. Warmer temps and rain in the coming days will take care of it naturally if I decide to wait. It will be a decent little workout and I want to get out and get a walk anyway, will probably happen.

I'm thinking about March health/fitness goals and haven't really set any yet. I completed the 30 Day Squat/Push-up Challenge last week and have started to prepare for the Burpee Challenge. I am starting to get my exercise time in earlier in the day. I think that is important for revving up the metabolism for the day ahead. It's a little unnatural for me (exercise is unnatural, much less doing it early), so that is a bit of a challenge. I'm looking forward to morning walks as soon as it warms up.

As a loner, it is more difficult to keep after it on a daily basis. A fitness partner would be nice, but finding one that has similar goals and temperament is difficult. In the end, since better health is for me, I have to be the one to keep motivated. The same goes for you.

I do find motivation from many of the Twitter feeds I follow.
Where do you find your motivation?

It's March!
Roar like a lion!
Be fit!
Be healthy!
Be well,

John <><