Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Health Update Part 2 -- The Jock Stuff

The first time I tried an individualized morning exercise program was in college 25 years ago. In order to help me get up and get to the gym, I turned on Mississippi Public Radio and promptly discovered Morning Edition. That scuttled the exercising, but I've been a fan of the show ever since. These days I keep the radio and the exercise equipment in the same room. It works a lot better that way. :)

Anytime you're doing a solo fitness routine the first question is, "How do you measure your progress?" I'm fit enough that I can't tell any immediate benefit from exercising. My body type doesn't lose weight easily, if at all. There's no spasms from muscles that have never been asked to do "that" before which clear up in a few weeks.

I'm not yet lifting heavy enough weights to feel it the next day. I buy another set when I can, but that's usually monthly. So far the best indicator I have that I'm actually making progress is that I can do certain exercises, like pushups, and certain dance moves, like "walks" and "layers", for twice as long without straining as I could six months ago.

As far as the cardio goes, I doubt my ability to reliably self-monitor. This month's fitness purchase is a heart rate monitor watch which should arrive tomorrow. I needed a new watch anyway.

Following the recommendation in Coopersmith's book, I've folded the yoga into the daily warm-ups and cool downs to make more room for cardio and strength training. This means longer sessions. Unfortunately the day isn't getting longer to compensate. I'm just doing the most basic yoga poses. I might well be ready to try some more advanced ones, but I'd like to have a trained spotter around the first few times. Living in the middle of nowhere stinks sometimes.

Brighteyes (12) loves getting me up in the mornings to exercise, which helps keep me motivated. She prefers jumping rope to dance. Sunshine (11) prefers to sleep in.

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