Thursday, July 02, 2009

Fitness Tuesday Update on Thursday - Exercise

Running late on everything, but better late know!

On Tuesday, my Facebook status report:

I am loving what I eat, am rarely hungry, have boatloads of energy - need to be better about cardio exercise - Lost 1.2 lbs last week, so at the end of Week 6, the total lost is 12.6 lbs


So I seem to be settling in to about a pound a week weight loss, which is what I had originally planned. It was a big boost to me to lose 2+ pounds each of the first couple of weeks, but I'm pleased to have a slow & steady pace.

I thought I'd write about my exercise this time. Exercise is always the hardest part of fitness for me. I truly hate to exercise to exercise. It seems to me that's a very modern problem - once upon a time, human life was filled with moving as part of daily work and life.

I remember reading a study that showed that even the simplest things (like having to roll down car windows manually rather than push buttons) burned calories here and there, adding up to hundreds in a week.

So my goal was to figure out what would get me moving and keep me moving. I needed to find ways to make my exercise be (a) part of my daily work & life and (b) tolerable, if not pleasurable.

So to meet the "a" requirement, I park farther away from where I want to go, I take stairs instead of elevators, I go up and down the stairs in my house more often (it's very nice not to feel chagrined that I've left something upstairs or downstairs, but instead see it as an opportunity.)

Theoretically, I could clean house for fitness, and I am doing a little more. A LOT more would help the decluttering, too. Another thing is to stand rather than sit while doing something.

The cornerstone of my moving for fitness & weight loss is Tai chi.
I love Tai chi. I have been doing it for nearly two years and it is astonishing to me that I've kept with it for so long. That's because I love it. It does things for me physically & on another level entirely - an emotional/spiritual level. Here's a poem I wrote during the National Poetry Writing Month challenge: When i do Tai chi sometimes

I do the Tai chi forms created by Dr. Paul Lam, called Tai Chi for Health, in classes at The Maple Center. Pretty soon, I'm going to expand my range a bit in another class and learn 24.

I do my Tai chi practice every day, along with some stretches. I do it outside early in the morning (it's been glorious) and I do it for 30-40 minutes. Many days, I do a sunset practice as well. Calorie burn tables show 30 minutes of Tai chi is very close to 30 minutes of walking.

In addition to Tai chi, I have my choice of walking or exercising with a small pedal exerciser called the Magneciser. I do my walking at the nearby mall because the air & heat just don't agree with me.

When I walk, I generally do 2 miles. I have an iPod and I listen to lively music or interesting podcasts or audiobooks. I try to do 18-min. miles. I stretch afterwards, a special stretching that I created using one of the benches. Sometimes I even do Tai chi there at the mall. It feels good to do it right after the walking.

The pedal exerciser can be used with the arms on a table or with the feet. Sometimes I do both. I try to do at least 20-30 minutes. I have my online friend fiber artist Diana to thank for sharing her experience with the Magneciser and the link to getting one at the best price I've seen. (About $112 with shipping.) I'd put the link here, but the company site seems to be inaccessible.

Finally, I added some strength training - the very simple program in Marian Nelson's book "Strong Women Stay Slim." That's on my schedule for 3 days a week.

So - I feel like I have created a plan for myself that is very tolerable - and truthfully I feel SO good when I exercise that I have become a tad less averse to exercising to exercise.

I'm not doing the walking and pedaling as often as I should, though, and so my current goal is to step up the efforts in those departments.

Finally, I'm thinking of adding "dancing improvisationally and wildly" to my exercise choices.

Movin' on....

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