Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 16D--Catch Up

Thanksgiving set me back a bit, but not too far. Even with the football game causing the meal to be delayed for three hours of snacking, I didn't go overboard too far. Now that most of the leftovers are gone or frozen, I can get back to eating healthful food without guilt about the food that could go bad.

I weighed the same this morning as I did last Tuesday morning. I am trying to catch back up on the missed workouts in the EA Active 6-week Challenge and should be able to do that tomorrow. My core continues to strengthen and I think my legs are, too. It's harder to tell about my legs from the charts because I'm doing squats and lunges on the Wii, so they're not fresh when I do the wall sit. My quantity of lunges has also gone down, but the quality has improved. My back leg is going all the way to the ground. I can't do a larger lunge than I did today. I am trying to hold off on measurements until the middle of the month so it will be a full month since the last time I measured. If I measure too often, the lack of change is a little depressing and counters the feeling that I have that everything seems more toned and muscular.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 15D--Slow and Steady

I have been continuing to work out every day. I am doing the EA Active 6 week challenge, but adding hand weights, instead of the fairly wimpy resistance band that came with the game. It feels like my muscles are getting stronger, but I'm not sure. I am sure that I am slowly losing some of my extra weight. I currently weigh the lowest I have in about a year. This only encourages me to do more workouts. As of right now, I haven't done any of my 9 exercises I was charting before I started the 6 week challenge. I will be doing those tonight while I watch television. I'm trying to feel better about myself and my body, not completely alter my life, so I don't want to give up watching TV. However, I can make my TV viewing less couch potato-y and use the commercial breaks to continue my fitness journey. I should have the charts updated by 9pm or so. I am a bit worried that some of my figures will drop because I already worked out today, doing some sit-ups, squats and lunges.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 14D--EA Active

I did the next workout in the EA Active 6 week challenge today. It was all lower body, so I didn't do any of the lower body exercises I've been doing in addition to the EA Active. I did do the workout twice, though. It really was designed to get my heart rate up. It had me sprinting and jumping a lot. It's amazing to me how challenging it is to jump rope. If you're not convinced, try jumping rope for more than two minutes at a stretch. Unless you're in great shape, I guarantee you'll be winded and sweaty. Many of the activities that little kids participate in without thinking about it are really physically demanding. The Hula Hoop works all of the ab muscles. Hop Scotch works leg muscles and core muscles. Tag is a ton of sprinting, as is Red Rover or Kick the Can. In fact, I think an exercise program based entirely on children's games would make a fairly well-rounded program. It also sounds like it would be a ton more fun than most standard workouts.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 13D--Measurements

I realized that I'm about a month into my workouts and that seemed a good time to get some body measurements to see where I stand, so I have a comparison for down the road. I have taken measurements many times in the past on this blog. They are from 4/30/11, 8/1/10, 4/15/10, 3/14/10, 2/21/10, 1/17/10, 12/26/09, and 12/20/09. What can I say, except that I like numbers. I like being able to see concrete progress.

My weight is currently 138.5, which means a BMI of 24.53. This is less than I weighed in April, but higher than it's been for most of the last two years. I would like to get it down to 120, but anything close to 130 would make me feel better.

My waist is 31 inches. Again, better than in April, but not the lowest it's been.
My hips are 40 inches. Same as April and the highest they've been.

My waist to hip ratio is .77, which is under .80 and the range that shows an increase in risk for heart disease.

According to one site that calculates body fat percentage based on these measurements, I have is estimated to be 31.13% using the U.S. Army body fat algorithm, or 21.42% using the U.S. Marine body fat algorithm, or 33.44% using the U.S. Navy body fat algorithm, or 29.13% using the formula developed by the YMCA. or 28.78% if I average those four together. The average body fat percentage for U.S. females is around 32%, with the ideal at 22%. Athletic females should be around 15-20%. I will continue to strive to lower my body fat percentage. I know that will help me with running and avoiding injury.

Upper chest: 34
Under bust: 31
Thigh: 22
Calf: 14
Wrist: 6
Bicep: 11
Neck: 13
Forearm: 10

Although I really like seeing hard numbers and using them to gauge my progress, I prefer to see fitness as a journey with no real end point. Every day that I exercise makes my body stronger and more able to do things. I am more able to run for the train or lift heavy groceries. I know that losing some more fat will help me do even more things, and that is the ultimate goal.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 12D--Tired

I did the EA Active workout yesterday and today. Yesterday's was a whole body workout, so I did it twice. The 30 minutes didn't seem to be enough for me. Today's workout focused on the lower body and it was really hard. I think it was because it was targeting the same thigh muscles that I've been targeting with my wall sits, squats and lunges. My legs were on fire and I was very happy the workout was only 30 minutes. Both days also added crunches, so my abs are really feeling it. Today also had two sets of push-ups and I had already done one set to exhaustion earlier, so I can still feel the pain in my pecs right now.

The main thing that EA Active does that I have a hard time doing to myself, except when I run, is getting my heart rate up and making me sweat. Even though I was able to do the workout twice yesterday, I was sweating after the first time through. It's been months since I've exercised hard enough to sweat and I forgot how good it feels. It doesn't just feel good physically, which despite the pain, it does. It feels good emotionally. That's not just the endorphins, but the sense of accomplishment. I set a goal to workout, and I reached that goal. That always feels good.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 11D--Adding Upper Body

Runner's World had an article about upper body strength this month, and it made me realize I should add some strength training for my upper body to my regimen. I decided to start with the push-up. It is a very straight-forward exercise that works all of the muscles in red in the image. Because I don't have great upper body strength, I did modified push-ups. Instead of balancing on my toes, I balanced on my knees. The exercise remains the same, I'm just lifting less weight. Even then, I was only able to do 10. I hope that I can increase that number, right along with the increases I've seen in the other exercises I've taken on.

I will also be adding the jack-knife sit-up to my exercises. I can tell how much stronger my core is getting from doing the plank, but that isn't working the more superficial abdominal muscles. I won't be abandoning the plank, just adding this to work the rectus Abdominus, the "six-pack" muscles.

Now that I've been exercising for a bit, I am starting to want to lose some of the extra fat, not just increase the muscle. To that end, I will be starting the EA Active 6-week challenge again. I would love to get to a better, more comfortable weight before 2012. Right now, my weight is in the healthy range, but I'm not comfortable with it. I feel that everyone should weigh what makes them comfortable and happy, as long as that weight isn't horribly unhealthy (too high or too low.) I may also hit the streets for some running on occasion. Even though my first time out running again wasn't a success, it just made me want to get out there more and get healthier so I can enjoy the runs more.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 10D--running

I attempted to run 3 miles on Saturday. I quit and took the train after 2. My muscles were fine and the thigh injury from this summer seemed fully healed. Cardio wise, I was huffing and puffing too much. I could not catch my breath, even though I was walking a lot. I will try running again, but will also continue working on my strength to make the physical part of running easier.

I bought a new fitness game this week. Realized why all the online reviews of it were so bad. It was unresponsive to my movements, the game took too long to load and it was unclear how my physical motions were affecting the on-screen action. If you're looking for a fitness game for the Wii, please avoid Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2009. I will be using the games I already have and checking out new games that have better online reviews. Jillian's game will be returned to the Gamestop.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 9D--Off week

Well, I missed an entire week of working out. It was my birthday and then I got a cold that knocked me on my butt and standing up was too hard. I thought about the exercise I was missing, but was too out of it to actually do anything.

I went back at it today, and will probably be sore tomorrow. Even with the week off, I didn't really lose much progress on any of my exercises. I was going to add one today, but don't want to overdo it anymore. Instead, I will be doing a ton of cardio today. I plan on breaking out the Wii games that I know will burn some calories and fat. I haven't used the Cardio Workout in a while, so I think I'll try that out again. It's mostly boxing, but it works the abs, too. Plus, it's fun to punch.