Tag Archives: walking

A few things…

21 Oct

I got a Twitters. Add me at MsFitGeek!

I’m not very good at the Twitter thing. At least, not with a public one. I actually have another private one where I am completely and utterly inappropriate, but that one is going to stay under wraps. I don’t want to give away all my potentially offensive and off-putting idiosyncrasies just yet…

Exercise Set Point?

In other news, I found this article over at the NY Times blog to be rather interesting. It poses the question of whether or not we have an exercise set point. In other words, if we exercise during the day, does that mean we will move less later on? If we don’t exercise, does that mean we will move more (walking, fidgeting, etc.) to make up for it? Certain researchers argue that we aim to reach our own unique exercise set point to maintain our weight. A study was conducted on several groups of children who all had very different P.E. requirements. One group was required to have 9.2 hours/week of physical activity at school, while another group was only required to have 1.6 hours of P.E. Yet all the children had very similar levels of activity. Obviously, read the article for the details.

So if it is true that each of us has a daily cap of activity that we unconsciously meet, it could offer some insight into why overweight and obese people have trouble losing weight. Even if they exercise, they may compensate by moving less the rest of the day. BUT, I’m not making conclusions either way. The study group was comprised of only 70 children, so who knows how much gravity the study has in the adult world. Regardless of whether or not we do have an exercise set point, it’s clear that NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis, the energy we expend doing daily activities that don’t include exercise) plays an important role in our body composition. So what does that mean? Invest an a pedometer and keep walking! If you want some more creative ways to up your NEAT, try high-fiving people, giving them lots of hugs, brushing your teeth an extra minute, flossing (you know you’ve been slipping on that), tapping your foot to a song or picking your nose in the car. At the very least it provides me with entertainment on my drive home.

Veggies!

I kind of a had fail with a curry soup I made. Just tastes weird. But it will not go to waste! It’s actually pretty decent when I put alfalfa sprouts and hummus in it. Hummus is seriously the savior of all my culinary screw ups.

Today I had more luck with sauteed chard. Had it with garlic, onions and tomatoes and it was gooood. Surprisingly good. I would have taken a picture but I was too busy wolfing it down.

Remember that thing I said about off-putting idiosyncrasies?

Here’s one of ‘em: TMI!

Let's see how many readers I lose after this.

No, that is not a dog penis. It’s what was under a crucial blister I got in my self defense class. And those ridges on the top of my feet were from my socks. Hey, I needed some kind of picture to include here, and that’s about as interesting as it’s been lately.

Anyway, it’s late and I’m supposed to wake up at 6 a.m. for my daily dosage of masochism at the gym. Byeeeeee!

Step it up!

5 Oct

Stuff to Think About:

Remember the post I wrote about walking? I’d like to expound on it a bit.

So, it’s been established that walking is awesome, but just how much of it are you doing? Enter the pedometer–one of the best pieces of “fitness” equipment you can invest in. Knowing how many steps you take a day is obviously quite revealing of just how active your lifestyle is.

According to this site:

1) Under 5000 steps/day may be used as a “sedentary lifestyle index”
2) 5,000-7,499 steps/day is typical of daily activity excluding sports/exercise and might be considered “low active.”
3) 7,500-9,999 likely includes some exercise or walking (and/or a job that requires more walking) and might be considered “somewhat active.”
4) 10,000 steps/day indicates the point that should be used to classify individuals as “active”.
5) Individuals who take more than 12,500 steps/day are likely to be classified as “highly active”.

If you work a desk job and don’t engage in any other kind of activity besides walking to and from the car, your house, the kitchen, the bathroom etc., it’s very reasonable to assume that you’re only taking about 2000 steps a day. That’s about how many steps I hit when I don’t walk or go to the gym on a workday.

i.e., me yesterday at 8:32 p.m.

I was not having it, especially since I didn’t go to the gym. Instead I went for a walk with my marm and got back at 9:14 p.m.

Not great, but not too bad either. This just goes to show you how much a little walking can make a difference!  It was nice to bond with my momma, too.

I’m not advocate of obsessively tracking how many steps you take every day, but I think it’s a good idea to wear a pedometer for a few weeks so you can gauge how active you are. Then use that as a guide for the future.

If you’re just trying to maintain your weight and be generally healthy, you’ll still want to get in a good amount of walking, and you may be pleasantly surprised to find that you’re actually walking 7000+ steps a day. Those who are on a weight loss quest can also benefit from a pedometer, especially if they are at a plateau. When you are losing weight you are in a caloric deficit, and after a while our bodies tend to compensate for that by moving less. You may not even realize that it’s happening, and that’s when the pedometer comes in handy. It’ll help you to maximize your fat loss efforts by ensuring that you’re moving enough every day.

I use an Ironman Triathlon Timex that also has different timers and other features I have not figured out how to use, haha.

Personal:

I’m staying at my parents’ house because my house currently looks like this:

I’m getting a new floor installed on the second floor and everything is pretty much upside down.

Other than that, I’m feeling kind of under the weather. Normally I pride myself in having the immune system of low-grade superhero. I say low-grade because I do have pretty bad allergies. But other than that, I hardly ever get sick. My stomach rarely gets upset. I only remember having a fever twice in my life–at 5 when I had the chicken pox and close to a year ago when I caught a stomach bug.

It wasn’t always like that though. In high school I used to catch colds constantly. When I was 18 and 19 I could not stop getting tonsillitis. I used to have a ton of cavities. When I started working out (but not eating healthy yet), I stopped getting sick so often. Eventually increasing the amount of veggies I ate and reducing the processed food turned illness into even more of a rare occurrence.

But alas, I’m sick! Mildly sick, but still. It’s annoying -_-

Oh yeah, and I woke up at 5 a.m. today to go to the gym. That resulted in me having to take a nap during my lunch break. Sheesh!

To the night…

27 Sep

I’m prone to bouts of upper-end-of-young-adult blues. Some people call it a quarter life crisis, and it is usually a period of time in your twenties when you feel stuck in a rut, directionless, like your life has no meaning or purpose…basically like you’re trapped in a Kevin Smith movie.

I guess that’s where I’m kind of at sometimes, and tonight was no exception. As much as I sing the virtues of having a routine, sometimes too much routine (especially when it involves obligations I’m not too crazy about) can make you feel stagnant. Groundhog Day syndrome.

Tonight, I set out to do something different. I needed to shrug the cloak of negativity weighing down my shoulders, so I…went for a walk. Yes, I remedy my sadness over having a mundane life by doing one of the most ordinary things you can do: go for a stroll.

But you never know where the road is going to take to you. To paraphrase about a million cliches, sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone. Well I didn’t just step out of it tonight, I leapt like a delusional cat and did a cartwheel then crapped my pants.

One freaky ass road.

(Yes, I am a card-carrying member of the hyperbolic licensing club.)

On this walk, I became very reacquainted with my fear of heights. There is a busy overpass by David’s house that overlooks the turnpike. We walked over it. My stomach dropped. There was just so much potential for things to go terribly wrong, and I couldn’t get the death train of thought out of my mind. Anxiety ensued. Crossing the street to the other side provided a bit more stress. But finally we made it to our destination: this park nestled between the overpass and a neighborhood.

I feel my vertigo kicking in.

Nothing like a little danger to make you feel alive. Even if it is like, old lady danger.

Staying alive, staying alive, ah ah ah ah...

Shooting lasers Cyclops style.

We walked around the park, admired the lights. Talked. It was nice. Neither momentous or momentary–maybe something in the middle, like noteworthy. Anyway, I’m babbling. As I turned on the radio for the drive home, the perfect soundtrack was provided by wvum. It was the Psycho Candy show which features new and old songs of the shoegaze genre. I was so into it that I actually pulled over to text the station to tell them that they’re awesome.

Odonis Odonis – Ledged Up by Fat Cat Records

Caged Animals – Girls On Medication from Lucky Number Music on Vimeo.

Speaking of which, I’m a girl on medication.

It's called red wine.

And in case you are wondering what any of this has to do with fitness…I went for a walk, okay! And red wine is good for you. And I needed to do this for my MENTAL fitness. That’s important. I want to start taking more quick walk breaks while I’m at work as well. I think they’ll help me feel less like a mine canary.

Now I have dirt-mouth from the vino, and I’m up far too late for what was supposed to be my 4:30 a.m. waking. It was worth it.

Talking About Walking!

7 Jun

There’s been some fuss at my job about the new parking procedures. Unless we get there early, chances are that we have to park in a lot that’s about a 5-minute walk away. I think I’m the only person who’s actually happy about this.

I mean, do you ever think about how much you actually MOVE on a day to day basis?

For cubicle slaves like me, chances are it’s probably not very much. I have to admit that I’m slightly envious of people who work in retail or restaurants simply because they get to MOVE. I know that to some people 6-8 hours on your feet sounds like torture, but to me it sounds great! If you disagree, then you’re probably on the wrong blog.

I sit on my ass. All day. For eight hours. In front of a computer. Honestly, it drives me nuts sometimes. I was not meant to be that sedentary. So how do I alleviate the problem?

Part of the solution is walking on my lunch break. (Sometimes I also do a full-blown weight training workout on my lunch break, but that’s a post for another day.) When I tell people this, I usually get one of three reactions: 1. You’re crazy. 2 Why? 3. Isn’t that a waste of time?

To address #1: Um, I guess we have different definitions of crazy, but I can see where you’re coming from. I mean after all, lunch time is when you’re supposed to relax, right? Why would I want to spend my break doing even more work? Well, that brings us to #2….and to that I respond, why not?

What are my alternatives? I could go to a restaurant where I would sit some more. Order food that probably isn’t as healthy as something I could prepare myself. Pay for it when I have a fridge full of food that I already paid for at home. Eat. Go back to work to sit some more and possibly nod off from a food coma depending on what I ate.

Or, I could walk for 30 minutes, listen to music and think about my life. Then go back to work and eat a quick, healthy, light lunch before resuming work energized and relaxed. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

This is where I go to walk on my lunch break. Not too shabby, eh? (The park, not the quality of the picture.)

And as for #3, walking is so NOT a waste of time. I know it may not seem like much, but it’s the little things that make a big difference in your life. You see, there’s this thing called NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis), and it’s pretty significant to how many calories you burn a day. Potentially even more so than a 30 minute cardio session. What is NEAT? In short, it’s how much you burn daily just from moving around (not counting sleep, eating or sports-like exercise). Studies show that the majority of calories we burn a day actually come from activities like walking to and from places, showering, cleaning, doing chores and other little things like that. (LINK)

For example, who do you think burns more calories a day, a person who works in an office, or a hotel room maid? This is a perfect example of NEAT in action.

Even if you don’t need to lose any weight, walking is good for you! Physically and mentally. It keeps you young, man. I know they taught us all this stuff in elementary school, but sometimes I think we need to be reminded of the basics. We get so caught up thinking that we need to be doing p90x or Crossfit or some other kind of craziness to get any results, but it’s not true. If you really want to get somewhere­–and I’m not only talking about a physical destination­—walk there. And then maybe run if you feel like it. Walking is so easy and peaceful, and it’s so good for you. I wish people would do it more.

Seriously, if you are currently living a sedentary lifestyle, try adding 30 minutes of walking to your schedule every day and see how you feel. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Now, I’m fortunate to work a skip and a hop away from my gym and a very nice park­—JC Bermudez in Doral. On days when it’s not sweltering hot or raining, I take my lunch-break walk at the park. Other days, I go to the gym and walk on the track so I don’t get sweaty. I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have their gym or a nice park two blocks away from their job. But if you ARE lucky enough to have either of these options, I’d recommend going for it.

Other creative ways to get some lunch time walking in? Go to the mall. I’m not advocating consumer whoredom. Just a little window shopping and people watching. I’ve been known to go to International Mall and try stuff on when I need a break from the gym. Hey, moving is moving, even if you are just getting undressed and dressed and undressed again. :P

"Shopping is my cardio." Ew...I can't believe I just said that. I promise to never say anything like that again.

If anyone has any other ideas, pipe up!

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