Dot to Trot

My world is expanding as my butt is shrinking!

Archive for the category “Workout”

Ankle Still A Hot Mess; Skipping The 10K

I’m not a happy camper this morning. It’s already mid August and I’m still not running yet. Heck, I’m not even doing my daily walks. For a month I’ve diligently stretched my calf and foot in an effort to deal with the Achilles tendonitis.

The pain in the morning is just as bad as ever.

Now I’m finding that the comfort my sneakers provided in decline. Great.

That means I’ll miss the George Washington 10k in September. I can’t run it if I’m not training. And I certainly can’t run on this ankle anytime soon.

With the pain not going away, I’ve decided a little more aggressive action is needed. First up is an ankle splint. I’m picking one up this morning.

Next is massage therapy that focuses on the tendon and the main culprit, an overly tight calf muscle. I found this video online showing the massage technique.

Next up are more stretching and strengthening exercises. This physical therapy video demonstrates techniques that I can try using my stairs and resistance bands. The video also demonstrates how I can massage my tendon myself.

Hopefully I’ll feel a difference over the next few weeks.

Q: Who Are You To Trust With Your Health? A: Yourself

badgovt

After 50 years, the government, medical, fitness and food industries are still peddling the same bad advice that is making us sick and fat. Time for a change.

I keep harping on the experts in the field of diet and nutrition not being all that expert. Why? Because they are so boneheaded dogmatic about their own beliefs they can’t see the mountains of evidence that those beliefs are wrong. The article  Health Authorities Continue To Fail Us poses a great question: Who are we to trust when it comes to dietary advice?

The article is a great read that sums up that our “experts” have gotten so much wrong, much to our detriment. From calories in/calories out to saturated fat is bad — it’s all bunk.

Yet the American Heart Association, American Medical Association, nutritionist, dietitians, doctors, fitness industry, Big Pharma, the food industry…hell the whole lot continue to push the same bad advice for more than 50 years.

The results? Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and a host of other chronic diseases have skyrocketed.  That isn’t evolution. It’s environmental.

The food chain, built on this advice, is slowly killing us.

Since the medical, fitness and food industry has no interest in changing, the writer of the article has a very simple solution for you — not easy — but simple:

“So who are we to trust then? The list would appear to be getting smaller every day.

Now more than ever the message is clear: if you want to truly be healthy, it’s up to the individual to do their own research and come to their own conclusions. There is a mountain of information out there to go through, and you’ll need to sift through the bias of people selling you diets, fringe groups promoting their social agenda, and the media misinterpreting real research findings.

While it may sound like too much trouble, is your health really of that little importance that you’d trust it to anyone else but yourself?”

Amen!

 

 

 

Am I Getting Stronger? Getting A Handle On My Progress

Dot Workout Log

My new workout log. Time to start tracking my goal of building strength.

While I track what I eat, my exercise tracking is lacking to say the least. It’s a good habit I never tried to reinforce. But without tracking my progress it’s hard to know if I’m actually building strength.

To get stronger I need to constantly challenge myself physically. That means increasing the difficulty of my workouts. But if I can’t remember what or how well I did my last workout, then how do I know I’m doing better? Read more…

Still Healthy!

HEALTH

The results are in for my 5th annual physical. Pretty much what I expected. Image courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net and Kromkrathog.

I got the results back from my annual physical. I’m still healthy. The news from my physical came about two weeks after my oncologist’s office let me know my test came back negative for cancer. So while I was happy with the results, my oncology report stole my physical’s thunder.

Other than my menopausal weight gain, I expected results similar to last year’s physical. Read more…

10K Training Detour: Achilles Tendonitis

crossing finish line 2015

The big action shot of me crossing the finishing line of my first 5K where I ran the entire 3.1 miles. I am awesome! I’m determined to do the same in a 10K race.

Well this is a fine how-do-you-do. My ankle problem is back which means my 10k training is taking a slight detour. I’m not running for a few weeks. I’m having issues with my ankle once again. My doctor suspects its Achilles tendonitis.

So I’m trying to minimize the impact on my foot. That means no running for a couple of weeks. Instead I’ll go to more spin classes during the week.

Per my doctor’s advice I’m giving up wearing high heals, flats and flip-flops for the time being. My ankle prefers walking shoes. The pain goes away quickly once I put those magic shoes on (provided I don’t stay on my feet for more than a couple of hours).

Since the pain is the greatest in the morning my doctor recommended some stretching to help loosen up my calf muscle (the main culprit) and some light foot stretches. I may pick up an ankle splint too, but I’m waiting to see if the stretching and training modifications help.

Fingers crossed I’ll be back hitting the pavement in August.

11 Weeks Of Training

crossing finish line 2015

The big action shot of me crossing the finishing line of my first 5K where I ran the entire 3.1 miles. Can’t wait to do the same for my first 10K…and yes, I am still awesome!

Over the last year I’ve tried training for a 10k with no luck. It’s just hard for me to train without an actual deadline. Well now I have one – September 10. That’s when I run 6.2 miles along the Potomac River to Mount Vernon for the George Washington Patriot Run.

While I don’t want to injure myself, I am going to push myself a little with my training schedule.  My thinking is my body can handle it since I’m not asking it to do something it hasn’t done before (just more distance and time).

Which means rain or shine, I have to run 3 times a week. It also means adding some non-impact cardio twice a week. My gym is testing a 30-minute speed cycling class this quarter. I might as well give it a go.

My current strength training, walking and yoga sessions provide a nice cross training.

But first thing up? Replacing gear. I’m heading out this morning to replace my running shoes.

I think I’ll also re-watch From Fat to Finish Line this weekend.  My training kicks off on Sunday and I’d like to go into it as excited as possible.

10K vs. 15K Steps? Does It Matter?

Saucony Hurricane ISO

Caution — Shoes are much, much more neon yellow than they appear! More steps a day just wear these puppies out sooner.

Here’s an interesting morning read about mail carriers in Glasgow, Scotland and heart health. Those who deliver the mail are far more heart healthy than their counter parts working a desk job. Why?  Glaswegian mail carriers deliver the mail by foot!  While The New York Times article is focused on whether we should target 15,000 steps a day vs. the current 10,000 step recommendation, I think they are missing another piece: strength.

If the Scots deliver the mail on foot, that means they are also doing a lot of weight training too. A mail bag loaded with bills, letters, flyers and Amazon boxes adds up in pounds/kilograms.

Yes walking is good for you. However, if most Americans can’t even get 10,000 steps in a day, what’s the point of upping the number of 15,000. Also the mail carriers in Scotland deliver by foot. That means they walk for nearly 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and get paid to do so. In the US, somewhere around 100 million employees are sitting at a desk.

Does your manager encourage you to get in a chunk of your 10,000 steps while you’re on the clock?

I’m curious if the study actually looked at their diet. If you had to walk every day for your paycheck wouldn’t you eat better too?  Again walking is healthy, but you can’t out walk a bad diet.

 

 

10k Training Commencing, Weather Be Damned!

exercise goals

From outdoor to indoor cycling, daily walks and long hikes, I’m focused on running a 10k this year and re-establishing my habit of exercising daily.

I want to run a 10k this summer. Unfortunately the weather isn’t cooperating. Old Man Winter doesn’t want to let go just yet. Between last week’s snowstorm that left mostly ice and the rain, I’m stuck indoors wishing I invested in all-weather running gear.

But all is not lost. Since rejoining the gym I’m toying to using it as much as possible before the weather takes a turn for the better.

Now I’m not a treadmill runner. I’ve tried that before and I’m just too clumsy for that contraption. Spin is where it is at, baby! Yep, my cycling classes not only helped my legs get into shape, but improved my endurance too.

Monday was my first class in nearly 2 years. It was pretty much as I remember: playing with the resistance setting to get the most of the workout and a bike seat that only Satan could have created.

Ugh! Even with biker shorts (they are padded), my butt is still sore from that class. A few more classes should end the soreness.

Of course I loved every minute of it…the class not the soreness! Of all the things I did at my old gym I really missed spin the most. It was a great way to burn off all that excess energy I build up during the week. But I really loved was my yoga class immediately after spin. It’s a perfect block of time to burn off and refocus your energy.

Unfortunately there currently isn’t any yoga following cycling at the moment. That just means I’ll stick to following Yoga with Adriene.

Between spin class, weight training, daily walks, running intervals (weather permitting), and upcoming bike rides and hikes along local trails (can’t wait), I need to carve out time in my schedule. I really lost the habit of exercising daily. A schedule is the first step in rebuilding that habit. I also need to create specific goals and milestones to hit. I’ve set goals for weight training, but now I need targets for cycling, walking, hiking and running (tracking distances, daily steps, speed, etc.).

Hmmmm…I have to noodle on that a bit more.

What are your fitness goals this year?

Changing The Workout Routine

sleeping peekabu

Peekabu demonstrating how I physically felt after being back with a personal trainer after just two sessions.

This weekend I was sore from head to toe — shoulders, arms, chest, back, hips, gluts (oh, man!) legs — and it felt awesome! At my husband’s urging, I’m working with a personal trainer again. I wasn’t happy with my last trainer. Her aversion to both sticking to our scheduled appointments and using free weights soured me on personal trainers. I loved my first two trainers, but her attitude left an indelible impression with me.

Plus the hubby and I carved out a little area in our basement for workouts. Why should we spend the money on a trainer?

The hubby made some strong arguments for going back to the gym.

  1. Despite my 3 muscle workouts a week, the husband noticed no difference in my, strength, attitude or stamina. He didn’t see how I could meet my fitness goals for the year.
  2. While diet has more to do with my menopause symptoms, what I was doing in the home gym (yoga and weight training) wasn’t having an impact.
  3. Soreness…or lack of it. In his view, I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as I could.
  4. Most importantly, I was happier when I was going to the gym than I have been working out at home with all the distractions.

He’s right, of course. I’m not pushing myself. I certainly feel good after I workout, but the overall boost in energy just isn’t there. While I agreed with his arguments, No. 4 really hit me.

When I’m at home I find there is so much to do and so little time. So everything becomes a choice. Go for a walk in the cold or clean the kitchen? Do yoga or get a jump on laundry?  Get 20 minutes with the dumbbells or try to fix the dishwasher?

Yet those 18 months I when I belonged to a gym, I never chose chores over working out. Back then working out was a habit, like brushing my teeth. It was never an “either/or” decision.

Finding The Right Fit
After I agreed to go back to a trainer, I thought the challenge was going to find the right person. The Gold’s Gym near our home wasn’t the one I quit more than a year ago. I was leery of going back to Gold’s. But my husband assured me we’d ask a lot of questions to  find the right trainer.

Turns out, not all Gold’s are equal. Some are franchises (my not so great experience) and corporate (my new gym). The corporate Gold’s are all about free weights. Yes they have weight machines, yoga, spin and HIIT classes, but free weights are their focus.

My new trainer had no problem starting me with barbells.  During our first session he evaluated what I could do: planks, push ups, crunches, dead lifts, presses, squats, rows.  Immediately he spotted that my hips and lower back are problem areas (something my physical therapist told me to work on).

Actually my whole core is weak. I haven’t really focused on them post-surgery. Right now I’m about 75% healed, so I’ve been nervous about pushing myself. The problem is I’m not pushing myself at all. So my schedule is upper body on Tuesday, lower body on Thursdays, and rebuilding my core for 20 minutes on both days.

Setting 3 Month Goals
Afterwards we talked goals. I’ve signed up for 3 months (two 1-hour sessions a week). We discussed target goals by the end of that time.

  • 60-second plank
  • Standard push ups (no knees!)
  • Strengthen my core (includes back and hips) which is pathetically weak after surgery
  • 10-15 pound increase in bench press
  • Recapturing some of the definition and tone I lost post surgery

All are very doable if I’m willing to put in the work…and I am.

For the first time in more than a year I’m really excited about working out. Yes, I was sore over the last week. But I’m asking my body to do things I haven’t done in a while.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Some Mudlove!

I just got a little note in my inbox about a Valentine’s Day special on the CW tonight about one of my obsessions  (it’s at the top of my bucket list!!!) — The Tough Mudder. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than curled up on the couch with my husband learning about the folks doing the world’s ultimate muddy obstacle race.

Mudlove is in the air tonight!

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