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21 July 2014

Went rowing last night. I was originally going to row for a half hour but wound up rowing commando for 58 minutes on lowest resistance while watching an action-packed episode of "Longmire" and the late local news. No problems with soreness or blisters. My running shorts are in limbo in the carrier zone.

Got my sleep on while waking several times during the night. Nine hours with dreaming. My calves are mildly sore. Body fat 30.8 (mildly dehydrated).

Fifteen minutes of stretching in bed. Twenty minutes of leg exercises with ankle weights on the mat, 20 minutes of leg exercises with ankle weights on the chair, 30 minutes of wall slides (planks for your legs), gas pedals, and various other leg exercises. Used the yoga block for the first time. Forty-five minutes with the whole body dumbbell program: used the eight pounders on the Romanian dead lift and they were too light so I have moved up to ten-pounders. My form on the overhead triceps extension was pretty poor.

I continue to be taken aback by how much sodium prepared foods have. Amy's Soups Thai Coconut has 1180 mg, 50 percent of your recommended intake. I hope I sweat it out. Tried to nap while listening to a podcast but apparently all that sleep last night sufficed.

After years of procrastinating, finally ordered a carbon monoxide monitor on sale for $16. I have a gas water heater, oven, and stove so it seemed the thing to do. Bagged my semi-working DVD writer and netbook and left it in the hall for pickup tonight by someone on FreeCycle. The war on clutter continues. Next step is to get rid of my ancient Dell Latitude laptop.

20 July 2014

Did 32 minutes of rowing last night during "The Blacklist," which raised my heart rate by 10 points according to my cheapo heart monitor/pedometer/watch, the Smart Health Walking FIT (paid $40 for it at Walgreen's when it sells for $26 on Amazon - sob). One reviewer compared it favorably to a Nike Fuel Band.

Kept raising the resistance on the rower until I hit level 4 but stopped there. Didn't want to overdo it. I'm waiting for a fitness tracker that can track all types of physical activity, from walking and cycling to rowing. I only did 32 minutes because I didn't want to aggravate my blisters. I rowed commando, which seemed to work because I didn't feel any discomfort. Rowing produces a fair amount of heat with the piston, which would be OK in the winter. I don't know whether it helps the piston but I take a break during commercials - that's what passes for my interval training. Too bad I can't power a lamp or tv.

In contrast, I did 40 minutes on the stationary cycle while watching "Father Brown" and it didn't raise my heart rate at all, which seems to me makes it useless for cardio. I looked at buying a stationary bike that's a step up. However, for $20 more, I could get an accessory which would convert my folding bike into a stationary bike with magnetic resistance (the faster you pedal, the more the resistance). Between the stationary bike, the rowing, the ThunderBell (see below) and the occasional bike trip, that should give me enough cardio. I decided to burn my bridges and put the stationary cycle on FreeCycle. If it doesn't force me to get a backup cardio method, at least it will reduce the clutter. It may be useful for someone with limited mobility who wants to work out their arms and legs.

Got my sleep on - about seven hours of regular sleep and two hours of drifting in and out. Cool last night but it's starting to inch back up - 88 and in the high eighties for a while, then back into the low nineties. Twenty minutes of stretching in bed, 25 minutes of Harvard Medical gentle core exercises, 10 minutes of stretches. Thirty minutes of posture, neck and trunk, and flexibility exercises from "Age Defying Fitness."

FatSecret member classicrocker recommends kettlebells. When I saw the ThunderBell on Woot, I decided to give it a shot. It's $60 less than Amazon and has two more DVDs. I like the grips which look easier than holding a dumbbell when doing the overhead crunch in my whole body dumbbell program. Aimed at all levels of fitness (hey, that's me.) I watched a video of a 74-year-old guy doing the program so it looks like something I could swing (pun intended). I like the fact that it combines strength training and cardio. I'm looking for cardio that will get my heart rate up since the stationary bike hasn't been cutting the mustard.

I bought a book, "Cardio Core 4x4: The 20-Minute, No-Gym Workout That Will Transform Your Body!" in the bargain bin at Amazon for $8.80 back in February. It combines cardio and body weight resistance but it was too strenuous for me. Maybe I will try it again when I get further down the fitness road. Also, another workout program means variety, which is the spice of life and keeps you interested. I may try this program after I finish the third months of the whole body dumbbell conditioning (third month starts in August). As you can see, I'm throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks. I'm taking small steps rather than making radical, big changes.

I'm trying to take better care of my neck and back in hopes of easing the tension. I ordered a memory foam pillow as recommended by "Age Defying Fitness." I will use the pillow I already have under my knees. I'm putting my feet on the Rubbermaid step stool as per "Age Defying Fitness" which is supposed to help with your back but the stool isn't the recommended six-to-eight inch height - more like 12. I decided to order a six inch fitness step which I can also use with dumbbells - neither the footstool or a phone book were that satisfactory with the dumbbells. Unfortunately, the yoga block is only four inches tall so it can't do double duty. The 12-inch stool goes back into the kitchen.

I jumped the gun on weighing in. I will wait until the next FatSecret weigh-in reminder to arrive by email before weighing in again.

19 July 2014

Had a setback, or more correctly, a sit back last night. Finished 50 minutes of rowing and noticed that my butt was really sore, more so than the session the day before. Woke up in the middle of the night and discovered I had a blister on my rear which had popped. Sorry for that image, but if saves one person from this rowing machine affliction, it will have been worth it. A Google search reveals this isn't uncommon. The rowing machine seat is fine. I'm now think maybe it's not a good idea to row in street clothes which can constrict and chafe. If it were winter, I might have been wearing sweat pants.

I had an intuition about this because I ordered
a pair of minimal running shorts which may arrive Monday.Today I ordered [url=http://smile.amazon.com/Baleaf-Coolmax-Bicycle-Cycling-Underwear/dp/B00CWVP9YC/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1405781710&sr=8-4&keywords=bike+shorts]a pair of Baleaf Men's 3D Padded Coolmax Bicycle Cycling Underwear Shorts[/url. In all my hours riding bikes, I've never gotten blisters, and I've ridden some uncomfortable and worn-out saddles. This leads to suspect the board shorts I was wearing were the culprit. (I call them board shorts because they're almost mid-calf). We'll see how the running and bike shorts work out. I suppose if worse comes to worst, I can always row in the nude (once again, sorry for the image). From my reading, cotton isn't a good idea while doing this kind of exercise.

In the mean time, the stationary cycle comes back out of the closet. I can put in two hours tonight watching "Father Brown" and "The Blacklist." I will say this: the stationary cycle doesn't offer much resistance but it does wear me out enough at the end of a couple of hours that all I'm pretty much good for is lying down and sleeping. The stationary cycle only cost me $26. I'm thinking about moving on up a notch. The next step has mixed reviews but it is maneuverable and you can adjust the resistance. I may keep the $26 stamina by the balcony so I can go for a spin outside while watching a show on my tablet with bluetooth headphones.

Possibly because of the blister, I woke up around 5:30 in the morning which meant I only got five hours of sleep which caught up with me in the afternoon. Lay down and did a 23-minute guided meditation (stress=cortisol=fat). Listened to a podcast and briefly dozed off. Later this afternoon, I really felt worn out and rather than fight it, lay down and listened to a podcast and was out like a light for about 45 minutes.

Those Morning Star California Turkey Burgers are loaded with sodium. Googled Morning Star and sodium and that seems to be the case with their entire line of meat substitutes. I'm going stop hitting the Morning Star case at Kroger and find a healthier alternative. At least I'm clearing out the freezer. After I do, no more Morning Star. The Tyson's Grilled & Ready chicken pieces are even worse.

The Omron body fat monitor arrived. My next door neighbor, who never locks the front door to our steps, did so this morning after we got visited by Jehovah's Witnesses. Fortunately, I saw the FedEx Ground guy arrive and managed to retrieve the package from my other neighbor's doorstep.

Body fat clocked in at 30.7 which confirmed my suspicion that wiggling mass on my abdomen isn't Jello, not to mention the love handles. I'm going to try to get into the 13 to 24 percent range. According to the calipers I tried, I was at 12.5, which didn't seem realistic. I'm thinking about taking photos to map my progress. Unfortunately, doesn't look as if my running shorts will arrive until Monday - checked the mail when I retrieved my package - no joy.

I'm now thinking about upgrading my scale to one that measures body fat, muscle and bone mass, and hydration, partly as a backup, partly because I don't want to just track body fat - I want to track muscle gain. I like the Withings scale but it's expensive at $149. I will probably start out with the EatSmart at $35. This whole fitness tracker thing is getting a big push but I don't think they're ready for primetime. Maybe one day smart phones will eat this category the way they ate point-and-shoot cameras and GPS. Once I get to 130 and stay there, I'm going to focus on gaining muscle mass. I'm also going to clean up my food intake and switch to the Mediterranean diet.

Today I played cleanup/catch-up with a strength exercise I didn't get around to yesterday. Bumped the sumo squat weight up from 20 pounds to 23 after a week at 20. Did two sets of 20 squats. I'll wait and see before increasing it to 25. Didn't do anything else except stationary cycling - either I was tired from yesterday's strength and cardio or from lack of sleep or both.

I'm researching heart rate monitors to use with the rowing machine. Right now, I'm leaning towards the Polar RT60. I got the Runtastic Heart Monitor app which measures your heart rate with your smart phone's flash and camera and uploads it to the Runtastic web site. Hey, it was only $2 and I already have the Runtastic Pro Pedometer.

I went on Free Cycle to see if I could get rid of some of my computer junk.

19 July 2014

Weigh-in: 154.0 lb lost so far: 2.0 lb still to go: 24.0 lb Diet followed reasonably well
   (4 comments) on diet Intermittent Fasting (4:3 basically)    losing 2.0 lb a week

18 July 2014

Did two sessions of calf stretching with the North American Healthcare foot rocker yesterday and two today. Seems to be more effective than the Gaiam roller I've been using. Spent an hour on the rowing machine last night while listening to music, watching part of "Justified," and "Last Comic Standing." Fourteen hundred strokes at the lowest resistance. I can do this whereas the stepper just wasn't my cup of tea. Live and learn.

I'm thinking of disposing of the stepper because I already have hoarder/clutterer tendencies and there's only so much junk I can contain. Maybe I'll list it on FreeCycle. One day you'll be able to strap on your Oculus Rift and row down the Amazon and up a Norwegian fjord. I was going to do a half hour on the rowing machine and the rest on the stationary cycle but decided to stay with the rower because it has more resistance. "Age Defying Fitness" recommends starting with a half hour and working up to an hour a day but I figure I had a head start with using the stationary cycle every day. I think I'm going to stick with an hour a day on the rowing machine as my cardio. No point in over training or overdoing it. Right now, I'm leaning the rowing machine against the front door. I want to find a better way to store it. I did put the stationary cycle in the closet.

Eight hours of sleep and less waking up last night. We're still in the middle of a cooldown. No back tension so far, thank goodness. Watched the evening news with my feet on a foot stool raising my knees above my hips as recommended by "Age-Defying Fitness." It's supposed to help your back relax.

Misplaced the strength training for 50+ book and don't have a clue where I put it. Damn my clutter. Forty-five minutes of great exercises for your legs from "Age Defying Fitness" using ankle weights and resistance bands on the mat and the chair. Forty-five minutes of the whole body dumbbell conditioning program.The novelty of rowing is wearing off. I may start rowing earlier. Rowing and stationary cycling at night may be keeping me up. Fifty minutes of rowing while watching PBS New Hour, Washington Week in Review, and "Justified." My butt was sore. I knew there was a reason I looked up rowing cushions yesterday. Back tension is back.

Today was a strength training day and a down day (shooting for 500 calories). I ordered the Omron body fat monitor. Should arrive tomorrow along with the running shorts.

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