Getting fit

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pberinstein
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Post by pberinstein » February 24th, 2006, 11:19 am

Hurray, Gesine! Glad to hear you're progressing so fast. (Lucky!)
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Gesine
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Post by Gesine » February 24th, 2006, 11:29 am

Hehe - yes, until the run (soon to come) that is _really awful_ again... :) Still, one gets used to the ups and downs.
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RobertG
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Post by RobertG » February 24th, 2006, 2:21 pm

Gesine wrote:Reminded me again, though, that really it doesn't matter if it rains, once one is out.
You got that right, Gesine!

I didn't go out for a couple of days as I was simply too time-constrained making work deadlines. Around sunset, I did a four mile brisk walk along Alki Beach. There was a convergence of a cold front from the north and wet low-pressure moving in from the southwest. The net result is that I was getting pelted at first with some hard snow that then turned to rain (and then snow again later in the evening).

It was cold and blustery and I had to keep on the move! Having Crystal Method pounding into my brain through my new portable audio device helped keep the tempo going, too!

(Don't ask why a 52 year old is listening to Crystal Method!) Image

Much better feeling to get out into the elements and work the body than to sit at home, looking out the window at the falling rain and getting fatter and fatter and fatter! Image
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pberinstein
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Post by pberinstein » February 24th, 2006, 2:25 pm

Wow, you're really admirable, Robert. I feel like a real pansy next to you.
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RobertG
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Post by RobertG » February 24th, 2006, 5:22 pm

No need to feel that way, Paula! I have ulterior motives for staying in shape. You see, I'm chair of the Everett Mountaineers climbing program which has over one hundred active climbers involved currently. Most of those climbers are in their 30's and some even younger.

If I don't get my butt in shape by this summer, they will take great delight in trashing my old hide on the approaches to Cascade climbs. It's very humiliating when that happens.Image

They always try to challenge the top dog and it is getting harder and harder each year to fend off those challenges! It's a matter of pride, though-- so I have no choice but to drag myself down to the park (like I just did) or somewhere else and make myself run up those trails!

It's a tough job but someone from my generation has to keep those youngsters from pushing us around!

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Gesine
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Post by Gesine » February 24th, 2006, 5:50 pm

Great. Now I feel like a pansy, too ;) Hey, this thread is supposed to be motivating for us mere mortals! Go on Robert, tell us how you were so out of breath when you got home that you could barely crawl over the threshold. :D
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein

pberinstein
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Post by pberinstein » February 24th, 2006, 5:59 pm

As much as I wish I had younger fit people to shame me into pushing myself harder, I know that if I did, I'd end up in physical therapy. I may anyway. :) So, I just have to go at it slowly and know that I'm making progress. I'm not much older than you are, Robert, but I feel a lot more fragile and I know what happens to me if I push too hard. Just call me pansy.
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heatherausten
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Post by heatherausten » February 24th, 2006, 9:23 pm

Thanks for all the advise on foot gear, everybody.

Gesine: Way to keep to your schedule! I'm not doing so well at the moment, but I'll get back on the bandwagon this week. After my first day out, I'm enthusiastic about getting back into shape, even if I don't end up being quite as ambitious as the schedule. :)

Robert: Wow!
~Heather~

Gesine
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Post by Gesine » February 25th, 2006, 2:17 am

Great, Heather! Every little bit helps, of course. Though I find it best to get into a routine - eventually the mind accepts the inevitable ('have to get out there') and it gets easier to overcome that inner slouch that would just love to stay in... For myself, the vast majority of my excuses for not going out are just that - excuses. Half an hour every other day is really not a huge amount of time (ok an hour with getting the Shuffle ready, finding sports gear, cooling down/stretching, having a shower) in the grand scheme of things, and needs just a modicum of organisation to pull it off.

That's why I like running before breakfast - nothing at all to stop me from going (need to get up earlier, that's all), and nothing to interfere with my resolve - nothing to finish up last minute, no unexpected visitors, no need to digest food before going etc etc. And all day I can take delight in already having done it. :)

Anyway - not saying I'm right - everyone needs to find their own ways.

If you want to be less ambitious than the schedule, that's fine - no need to push so hard and good to find one's own tempo. Rather than skipping too many workout days, though, I'd recommend repeating weeks - only increasing to a higher run/walk ratio when you feel reasonably comfortable with the current one. If you skip too many runs, it just stays hard all the time because your body doesn't get used to it. Sorry, I'm sure I'm stating the obvious but I'm saying it anyway because I've tried it all! :)
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pberinstein
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Post by pberinstein » February 25th, 2006, 8:26 am

Here's one way I trick myself into doing it: I tell myself that I'd rather spend time on the treadmill than sick in bed. I do find that when I'm fit, I don't get colds very much. I also tell myself that I'll save money and angst in the long run because I'll be healthier. Would I rather spend time on the treadmill or in the doctor's office? (The fact that I end up pulling things and having to go to the doctor about them is notwithstanding.) 8)
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RobertG
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Post by RobertG » February 25th, 2006, 10:31 am

Gesine wrote:Great. Now I feel like a pansy, too ;) Hey, this thread is supposed to be motivating for us mere mortals!
Oh, Gesine... with your martial arts training, I have no doubt that you could flip me through the air and laugh mightily while doing it! We all have our talents. I take to the mountains so that I won't get the hell knocked out of me because of the things that sometimes come out of my mouth down here in the flatlands! Image

Pauline:

One of my co-workers participates in Ironman triathalons and his training makes mine pale by comparison. But I don't let that deter me from doing my own thing. I've been talking about my training here because it's helping me get (and stay) motivated after a long winter of doing nothing. I'm certainly not trying to lord it over anyone here!

Earlier in this thread, I mentioned heart rate monitoring. Many people exert themselves far more than is really necessary in order to get into (and stay) in shape. If you were doing 30-60 minutes of excercise (regularly, as Gesine mentioned) in which your heart rate were in the 130-140 bpm (beats per minute) range, then you would be in the fat-burning zone that has the most benefit in getting you trimmed down for more aerobic feats later on. I suspect that (like most people) you wouldn't feel like you were particularly exerting yourself while staying in this heart range.

Because most people don't feel like they're exerting themselves, they push a little harder. This takes them out of fat-burning and into aerobic. If you are not in good shape already, I don't recommend pushing that transition too quickly.

As Gesine mentioned, stretching is also important. My mother (at 76) can lift her leg off the floor and touch her knee to her face while straight-legged. She can do this because she has been religious about stretching all of her life. I, on the other hand, am terrible about stretching and I've suffered injuries because of it.

So stretch and keep your exercising regular. Even three days a week, week after blessed week, can cause remarkable improvement. And with improvement, you will find yourself pushing further... because you want to, not because you are forcing yourself to do it.

-----------

ps: The figure I used above for heart rate to be in the fat burning zone happens to be my own. The cardio machines you see in gyms have a chart that describes these zones but approach those charts with a great deal of skepticism. Those charts are based on age. The heart zone rates are more accurate when based on your maximum heart rate. Maximum heart rate can vary widely even among people who are the same age.
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pberinstein
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Post by pberinstein » February 25th, 2006, 3:34 pm

Yes, Robert, stretching is very important. I used to do yoga and would like to again. Of course, that means finding even more time. But I think after all these months of building up my fitness, I feel more motivated and may actually find the time.

Any other yoga practitioners here?
Paula B
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RobertG
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Post by RobertG » February 25th, 2006, 3:41 pm

Oops! I wrote Pauline when I meant Paula! Image

I guess I was thinking Gesine when I was writing Pauline! My body may still be strong but this shows how weak my mind is!

Well, off to the park for my daily punishment! Image
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Gesine
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Post by Gesine » February 25th, 2006, 4:03 pm

(The fact that I end up pulling things and having to go to the doctor about them is notwithstanding.)
Yes, but one can feel so incredibly *smug* about going to the doctor with a *sports* injury, can't one... ;)

I know some people who never stretch and have no ill effects. When I don't stretch, my muscles ache more the next day. Other than that, I'm terribly inflexible and always have been - can't go much further than touch my knees when trying to bend down to feet. Always have wanted to improve that. Yoga would be great. For a while did yoga from a DVD - not ideal I think, but I liked it. Should start again.
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heatherausten
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Post by heatherausten » February 25th, 2006, 4:54 pm

Gesine, yes, I agree with you about the schedule-- it's absolutely important to stay as on schedule as you can. It's more the intensity of the workout that I was thinking about. I'm not sure if I'll get up to the high intensity of a run or if I'll stick with a very brisk walk. I think I'll give the running a try, but if I don't like it, I'll just stay with walking.
~Heather~

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