Sunday, November 24, 2013

Exercise a Little Better

I've lost a lot of weight, and I think improved my health in the process, but I've stalled of late.

Since 2006 I've lost 68 pounds. I was a little lower a month ago, but have bumped around in a five pound range since. My main exercise has been walking. I generally do between 10 and 15 miles a week, with a few weeks getting in as much as 20. As fall weather and busyness came on I reduced my walking some, but I've kept at it.

I knew, in order to resume weight loss, I would have to step up my game. I've been following some simple rules I created to guide my quest to better health which, for the moment, I define as carrying less weight around. The first five of those rules are:

1. Eat a little better.
2. Exercise a little more.
3. Drink a little more water.
4. Eat a little less.
5. Get a little more sleep.

Those I have been following with, I believe, success. The 68 pound have come off slowly, but as I've crossed barriers and gotten past previous sticking points (where the weight loss seemed to have stopped), I've kept it off. Now, to get past this barrier, I knew I needed to get to work on the next rule.

6. Exercise a little better.

I've been dreading this, but was about ready to get started. Then came our company leadership retreat this week. It was a short one, in nearby Branson. Thursday afternoon was scheduled to be include a 90 minute "exercise and nutrition" session. Our spouses were with us (well, for some of us), and they were invited to this session. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't what we got. Two exercise babes from World Gym were there. Rather than start with nutrition they started with exercise. Simple stretching, followed by lunges and dips, followed by enhanced lunges, followed by push-ups, then by "planks".

I thought my legs were in pretty good shape from all the walking I've done, but I quickly found out certain of my leg muscles really haven't been in much use. Less than 30 minutes into this routine I couldn't stand any more. Down on the floor to do some planks, I couldn't get up. When I finally did get up, my knees felt quite unstable, as if one minor misstep and I'd be flat on my keyster.

I'm writing this Saturday evening, two days after the exercising, and after a day of cleaning around the house and garage and just back from the weekly run to Wal-Mart. As expected, my legs hurt worse now than they did after the session. I've taken a few pain pills, which have done no good at all so far as I can tell. Tomorrow I should be feeling better, and by Monday I'll be close to back to normal.

Since this exercise awakened muscles that apparently aren't being used in my walking, I'd have to say that this must fall in the category of "exercise a little better. Maybe I can keep this up. The immediate pain will pass, and then I'll see how it will work. 68 pounds off, 52 still to go.

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