Tag Archives: Fitness

Walking For Fitness

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I really enjoy walking for exercise.  After a good walk I kind of get a happy buzz and feel really good about myself.   Walking has so many great health benefits and it’s free!

I like to walk with a buddy, we walk our neighbourhood in the evenings after work and we like to hike the local Forest at the weekends.  The dog loves it too!  We strap on our Fitbits and away we go there is no stopping us!

I Am Motivated, Step Out Of My Way!

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Had a very positive meeting with my metabolic doctor this morning.  I have lost a kilo since my last visit.  Not much I know but considering I am on Prednisone I am happy with that.  I’m chipping away at it.  The important thing is I’m not gaining weight and I am exercising most days and eating better. Portion control (or lack of it) is a big deal for me but I think I have nailed it this week.  Finally I am serving my family up proper portion sizes and not over feeding them.

We discussed heart rate and the importance of being in the fat burning zone (60 – 65% of maximum heart rate) with bursts of activity in in the anaerobic zone (85% of maximum heart rate).  It was really interesting as I didn’t know anything about HR before this.

With the scleritis pain I have been wallowing in self-pity a bit, kind of grieving for my eyes, but I can feel myself moving out of that zone and into a more focussed and motivated one.  I feel I can work through the pain and keep going and really make a difference to my body and get healthier.

Today’s stats at 11am
Steps: 4,857 (a good start, well on the way to goal)
Distance: 3.43km
Stairs climbed: 12

I went for a walk this morning before my appointment and it was mostly uphill hence all the stairs climbed.  I want to get up to 25 sets of stairs today to earn another Fitbit badge so I need to find a hilly walk to do tonight.  All the badges and challenges are very motivating for me.

I feel good today, the pain is in check and I feel motivated to carry on my journey, normally I have given up by now (about 2 weeks in).

Have a good day all, happy walking!

A Motivational Tool

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A couple of weeks ago the whole family (partner, daughter and I) got a Fitbit Charge HR each.  It has really helped to get us motivated to move more and get out and go for walks almost every day.  The dog is loving it and getting fitter too.

It’s amazing how a little gadget can spur you on to do more.  So what do I like about my Charge HR?

I love how you can monitor 24 hour heart rate, that’s a really great feature not having to wear a chest strap.

I like how it automatically goes into sleep function without having to press a button.  With my old one I used to forget to take it out of sleep mode when I woke up thus ruining the whole days stats.

It has a proper watch buckle to do it up instead of those awkward pop in things that you can lose so easily.  In fact my daughter had a Charge model for only one day before she lost it, she then upgraded to the Charge HR.

I find the badges, challenges and awards really motivating.  It gives me something to work to.  I really enjoy breaking my own goals and going further that I thought I could.  I love to beat my friends too, I push that little bit harder if it is close in a challenge to try and win.

All in all I am really happy with the Charge HR, the one downside in my opinion is that it is not waterproof so you have to take it off in the shower.  That’s a pain.  I guess Fitbit are trying to get people to regularly take their tracker off after they had to recall the Force due to people getting horrible rashes under the band.  I do think though that in a market where there are so many great trackers and lots of them are waterproof Fitbit should have put this feature in too.  I would have loved the option to wear it in the pool for a swim.

Battery life has been pretty good, I have been getting around 5 days before I need to recharge.  Pretty good I think considering the HR monitor is going constantly.

Last week I achieved my Marathon badge, I walked 42km and I won a couple of challenges so it’s a good start to my fitness campaign. I would recommend the Charge HR if you are in the market for a fitness tracker.

Finally I Have Found My Groove!

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As you all know I am trying desperately to lose weight.  It’s really difficult being on prednisone and psych meds all of which have a tendency to make you gain weight.  Also struggling with chronic eye pain has made it so difficult to be motivated to exercise.  Everything is going against me right now.

I am so pleased to be able to say that I have found my groove.  I have been following a carb detox eating plan for a few days and have been walking every day too.  I feel so much better already, much less bloated and I have more energy.  I am still struggling so much with the pain but I have made a commitment to myself to walk on all or most days even when I am in pain.

Like my post said a couple of days ago I am fed up with being miserable and in pain, I’m going to be happy and in pain.  I can do this; I get up and go to work every day even when I am in pain because I have to.  So if I can do that every day I am sure I can go for a walk!

Another good motivational tool for me is my new Fitbit.  I got the Charge HR and so far I am loving it.    I have always had a Fitbit since the One came out and really like the app, the badges and emails of encouragement etc.  It all helps to motivate me.  My partner and daughter have Fitbits too so we have been walking together and the dogs absolutely love it!

Let’s hope I can keep on track and stay motivated.  It is so easy to fall off of the wagon and slip back into old habits.  I need to consider my feelings before I cave in and go for the bag of chips.  How will I feel after I have eaten them after the enjoyment has worn off, pretty lousy I would say and very disappointed in myself.  Thinking of the consequences might just be enough to keep me on the straight and narrow (I hope!).

I’m going to weigh in once a week so I will let you know how I have gone next Wednesday.  Hopefully a couple of kilos will be gone.

Have a good day all and to all of you who are struggling to find you groove keep going, you will get there!

Water Walking for Fitness

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I was talking with my doctor last week and we were discussing water walking and swimming as good forms of exercise.  I am hopeless at swimming but I have done water walking and water aerobics in the past and have found exercising in the water to be really beneficial.   I recommend that you give it a go; it is a lot of fun and great on the joints if you suffer with pain for example from fibromyalgia or arthritis.

Found this great article on water walking from http://www.arthritis.org

Water Walking 101
Beat joint pain by taking your walking routine to the pool.
By Camille Noe Pagan and Sean Kelley

Looking for a great summer workout? Leave your gym shoes in the closet and turn to water exercises instead. Swimming and walking is becoming increasingly popular, with classes popping up across the country – and for good reason, says Vennie Jones, aquatic coordinator for the Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center in Dallas.

Like all water exercises, water walking is easy on the joints. “The water’s buoyancy supports the body’s weight, which reduces stress on the joints and minimizes pain,” says Jones. “And it’s still a great workout. Water provides 12 times the resistance of air, so as you walk, you’re really strengthening and building muscle.” You do not bear weight while swimming and walking, however, so you’ll still need to add some bone-building workouts to your routine.

“A lot of clients I see tell me a warm pool is heavenly, says Lori Sherlock, an assistant professor in West Virginia University’s department of exercise physiology. Physicians and physiologists have warmed to the idea of water walking as therapy and good exercise for people with joint pain and damage for its many benefits, which include:

Water’s buoyancy reduces the impact on joints.

Working out in water can help improve cardiovascular fitness, balance and range of motion.
Heated pools – typically 82 to 88 degrees – can help soothe pain. Cooler temps might not make your joints feels as good, but you’ll still reap the workout’s benefits.

Water also has greater resistance than air, which means walking in water requires more effort and ultimately burns more calories than walking on land.

Many aquatic centers, YMCAs and community pools have programs designed for people with arthritis. Classes typically fall into three categories: Interval classes combine periods of walking and periods of rest; continuous training classes have participants walk at 70 to 75 percent effort level throughout the workout; and station classes combine flexibility or strength exercises with walking workouts.

Classes take place in water at chest level or in deep water, where participants have no contact with the pool’s floor and are supported by flotation vests. Deep-water classes are usually more intense and can benefit people with severe pain and joint damage, says Sherlock. These classes take away the impact of gravity and allow joints optimal flexing, which can improve range of motion.

If you are new to exercise or can’t swim, don’t worry. Aquatic walking classes are designed for anyone, including non-swimmers. And if you fall in love with swimming and walking, you can keep going in cooler months – just switch to an indoor heated pool, which can be soothing to joints.

What you need: For deep-water walking, a flotation belt keeps you upright and floating at about shoulder height.

How it works: You’ll stand about waist- to chest-deep in water, unless you’re deep-water walking. “You walk through the water the same way you would on the ground,” says Jones. Try walking backward and sideways to tone other muscles.

Try it: Stand upright, with shoulders back, chest lifted and arms bent slightly at your sides. Slowly stride forward, placing your whole foot on the bottom of the pool (instead of just your tiptoes), with your heel coming down first, then the ball of your foot. Avoid straining your back by keeping your core (stomach and back) muscles engaged as you walk.

Add intensity: Lifting your knees higher helps boost your workout. You also can do interval training – pumping arms and legs faster for a brief period, then returning to your normal pace, repeating the process several times.

Find a class: If you’re new to water exercises, an instructor can make sure your form is correct, says Jones. Plus, it can be fun to walk with others. To find a class near you, call your local YMCA, fitness center or Arthritis Foundation office.

Stay safe: By exercising in a pool during the hot months, you’ll avoid problems that can accompany other outdoor summer workouts, such as heat exhaustion and dehydration. But you still need to drink water – even while keeping cool in the pool.

Sounds like fun? It is, and it’s a good workout too!