Monday, August 18, 2008

Fit by Fifty

I've a new countdown widget to the right--it's to countdown to my 50th birthday. As I undergo this odyssey, I'll make posts here under the "Fit by Fifty" label. Perhaps it may inspire a person or two to improve their own fitness level alongside me. As I mentioned earlier, I'm going to start out slowly. I don't want to injure myself--I'm still recovering from a broken foot and some residual pain/weakness in that area.

I don't get any promotional anything from stuff I'm recommending here, and I'm not a fitness expert. But I've more than a passing knowledge of fitness and diet. And I know that knowledge without the commensurate discipline is not worth squat! Nevertheless, I do want to share with you with you some tools that I've used and had success with--tools that enabled the discipline to stick.

I'm a huge advocate of heart rate monitor (HRM) training. Sally Edwards' book, Heart Zone Training, is one of my stalwarts. I had to poke around a bit, but I found it in a bookcase. As I was re-reading her introduction (I've had this book for about 8 years--and have read it many times) she wrote it at the age of 48 (She would also be about 60 now). of those coincidences! I have a friend who says there is no such thing as coincidences. If you don't know who Sally Edwards is, she's an elite athlete. I'm sure at 60 she is still in fantastic shape.

I'm in the process of setting up my Excel worksheets to record my workout information. I don't wish to "cheat" by impressions about how I'm doing. Rather, I want the cold hard facts--like what my scale and my jiggly body give me! Eight years ago, I had a very sophisticated worksheet--but that died in some hard drive crash, so I must duplicate it. My HRM transmits my workout information via a sonic interface. I spent about 30 minutes yesterday trying to get that to work. I finally got it working. I had my first workout today, and I successfully uploaded it.

If you have any interest in learning about Heart Zone Training, I would recommend your taking a few minutes to read this article. I truly believe in the miracle of effectiveness for this training. It is not one-size fits all, but rather, it is YOUR SIZE. You create your zones based on your physiology; further, you create your fitness program based on your fitness goals. And best of all, you get constant feedback on how well you are doing on your plan AND whether or not you are over or under doing it. Overtraining can be dangerous. It can make you tired and/or sick. If you are really overweight and out of shape, I think that you should not exercise unless you get a heart rate monitor AND get cleared by your doc. The monitor will help you stay in a safe zone as your heart and body get stronger.

My worksheet is to record my time in these zones and insure that I build an exercise base before moving to the next level. (Really, it is not different than stocks. If they advance too quickly without forming a base, they crash. Your body will do the same thing).

In addition to my exercise routine I have to invoke the dreaded "d" word: diet. But when I say diet, I mean diet as in nutrition. I want to eat healthfully (not parsimoniously). I've got another program that will help me monitor that. It is called Crosstrainer. I've been using it (off and on) for years. If you truly want to shock and surprise yourself on how poorly you eat, just write down everything. I mean everthing---every morsel of food that you pop into your mouth. This program allows you to record all of that fairly easily. If you want a little techno help, this is an inexpensive, but powerful program. You can find them on-line here.

No comments: