Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

Get Fit Fast

July 21, 2008

I figured out the meaning of life.

Well, ok not the meaning of life, the meaning of becoming fit.

Well ok, not the meaning, one aspect of it.

Well, ok, it’s a little aspect…

I figured out how to jump start getting fit. I have been at this about 5 weeks now and have some pointers for anyone that wants to lose weight and get fit.

It’s all about the workout clothes. That is right, nothing like sporting a polyester “stay-dri” sport shirt, and compression shorts with a sculptured pouch. I am not making this up, I put this stuff on and I feel like I should be moving and shaking. Now I didn’t make the sculptured pouch thing up, although that is the pair of underwear I wear. They actually avertise this on the box. So all I can say is, yes, the sculptured pouch works for me. I would be terribly embarrased to go out like this in public though, so I wear another pair of normal shorts over the compression ones.

So, my tip, is to go out and buy 3-4 pairs of compression shorts and “stay-dri” sport shirts, along with a gym bag and other equipment you may need. Maybe a triathlon watch, a heart rate monitor, a bike computer, a nice pair of goggles. I had some stuff and then bought more as I started working out consistantly and needed more clothes to have clean ones available. (Yeah there were a few tough days in there with the “stinky-dri” clothes.)

If you are the type of person that feels bad about wasting a little money then this may even motivate you to keep it up longer. I remember that NOVA marathon challenge program where they took a group of motivated slackers and made them train and run a marathon. Yes, 5 weeks ago I was a slacker too, so I use the term endearingly. The thing I rememebr most about them is the workouts that got increasing longer fast and their body just sort of adapted. They all measured their VO2Max, which is basically a measure of how much oxygen you can get into your blood per period of time as you breath while working out. It is better to get more as then you can exert yourself more. The VO2Max of the people in the program was all over the board, but after a lot of workouts and another test they all tested vastly improved to the best or second best levels. You force your body to run and it will just improve itself in this aspect.

So I can tell that my VO2Max is improving. I went to the YMCA on friday when we got back from the vacation and did 2 miles on the treadmill and then swam 600 yards. The whole ordeal was a piece of cake and I did not walk out of the gym with “Jello-leg-syndrome”. I swim a pair of laps and have the strong urge to rest before doing 2 more, but on this day I was able to do a few groups of 4 and add a lap or two of the backstroke instead of just stopping between the time when I did two laps fast. I have posted my best times yet, 18:10 on Friday and 15:15 on Saturday for 500 yards, then I rest and do 100 more timed which is now down to a best of 2:01. The thing about the swimming is I still can’t do a slow pace (too long between breaths gets me out of my groove), so I am going all out more than I should which I think is going to help me once I get that darn VO2Max high enough to let me just keep going. I am thinking I will have another improvement when I run my mile this week. I also want to get a time for 3 miles, then I can start with a totalally unrealistic best time for my triathlon as I will be doing each exercise to the full distance of the sprint-distance triathlon, just not all at once and without transition times.

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120 years old

June 25, 2008

I have a few goals and that all center on becoming fit and healthy to give me a shot at living to be 120 years old. Apparently this is called a supercentarian after you reach 110, and only 2% make it to 115, so I got the odds to beat. I don’t know why this number sticks out in my head, I guess it is a number that can be reached yet so high that only a handful, in the entire world, make it there. Check out this woman in Israel that may have done it.

I guess it goes without saying that if I don’t lose weight my chances are slim and none. If I don’t live a healthy lifestyle, I can lower my goal. That is part of what motivates me, probably not a very big part, but enough to say it’s there. I just listened to a podcast about what a heathly lifestyle means and it explains that you can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by 80-90%.

Here is the mp3 of the podcast, the ftiness rocks podcast home page (look for episode 103), and a PDF of the study that they talk about in the podcast.

The study was to look at 4 healthy lifestyle characteristics and see how many people follow it. Here are the four they studied and the percent with which they occured in the study group of 153,805 participants.

  1. non-smoking (76%)
  2. healthy weight as measured by BMI 18.5-25.0 (40.1%)
  3. eat 5 fruits and vegetables per day (23.3%)
  4. regular physical activity as in exercise 30+ minutes 5+ times a week (22.2%)

Only 3.0% of the people in the study had all 4. The most common group to be in is the non-smoker that does nothing else (29.0%), then the healthy weight non-smoker (16.1%), followed next by the person that does nonthing at all on the list (9.4%).

They did not measure how much disease and how little disease the various groups had, but the guy must be studying it now because in the podcast he mentioned how following all 4 of these characteristics can reduce the risk of disease by 80% to 90% or something like that. I think the study was more to show how unhealthy us Americans are.

I am only in the non-smoking group. I guess I can easily get into the 5 fruits and veggies group if I want, and it will only take a little more effort to get to the 5 times a week exercise, I am at 3-4 now. The BMI though, phew I don’t know about that. I am supposed to weight between 125 and 165 to have what is considered a healthy BMI. I don’t know if that will even be possible. I will hit overweight from obese when I get to 199, but that trek to 165 will take a lot of work. And from what little I remember about when I weighed something in the neighborhood of 175 I don’t think I need to lose more than that. Time will tell though.

Hello me, welcome to your blog!

June 17, 2008

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post.

I will attempt to entertain and provide intriguing information on my road to becoming thin again. Here is a list of my goals which should hopefully change over time as I reach them. They are:

  1. Lose weight,
  2. get rid of excess fat,
  3. become fit,
  4. compete in a sprint distance triathlon and finish with a respectable time,
  5. inspire my kids (and anyone that happens to become inspired) by my actions.

A key factor that drives me is competition. I can motivate myself if I am competing against something or someone. Sometimes it will be against my own best time or result or other times it is against others. The key to success, in my opinion, is to measure it. If it cannot be measured it cannot be improved upon. For me precise measurements help me to dig in and spend time focusing on the goal. Putting mental energy into a topic helps to focus on the topic which makes follow through more likely.
So as for measuring the goals here is how I will do it:

Weight loss is obviously with a scale. I weigh in each morning on a scale that does precision of 0.2 pounds. I don’t mind seeing it each day and have come to understand that any one reading does not make a trend. It is easily affected by the smallest things. But with more data it becomes possible to see.
Excess fat is a goal as I want to look better and feel better without having to buy large baggy clothing. I will measure my waist, thigh, and chest. I don’t have any calipers and do not want to try and figure out my fat percentage anyway. These three measurements will work. I am also thinking about doing a weekly or monthly photo that I can morph a string of them together to see the fat melt off. But I am just not sure about that yet.

Becoming fit will be measured with five metrics: Resting heart rate, heart rate during a fixed warm-up routine and best time for a mile running, 100 yards swimming, and 5 miles biking. This way I will have a measurement of my own little mini-triathlon and can measure the progress.
Inspiration will be based on the positive comments for my blog. I will cut it off here and dive into the details of all this over the weeks to come.

My next post will be about a book I read that was very inspirational to me.