Tag Archives: exercise

Active 10

On Wednesday evening I watched The Truth About … Getting Fit on BBC One (it is available to watch on up layer until the beginning of March 2018). It was interesting and tested the theory behind 10,000 steps and whether or not aiming for 3 brisk walks of 10 minutes each day would be better for health gains. The small experiment they did showed that, yes, doing 3 10 minute walks, where you get your heart rate up, is better than aiming for 10,000 steps. The programme also mentioned the One You Active 10 app which measures your walking and “encourages” you to get your walks in each day.

I downloaded the app and set a simple goal of 1 10 minute walk each day. Unsurprisingly, I got the first day as it was a running day anyway. I even got a “reward” for achieving my first goal 😊.

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REDJanuary is over

It’s done, January is finished and with it my exercise challenges. At the beginning of January I signed up for REDJanuary – run every day. I didn’t plan to run every day, but rather, I planned to exercise for at least 10 minutes every day including running, walking and yoga. 

Guess what? I did it! I exercised every day! I ran at least 3 times each week, sometimes 4 and recorded 74.5km of running on my Garmin. On the days I didn’t run, I walked for at least 10 minutes. I also completed a 30 day yoga journey True with Yoga with Adriene.

As I am more interested in improving my fitness rather than losing weight, weight loss wasn’t a goal. Just as well really as I didn’t lose anything. However, thanks to the regular exercise, I have actually lost inches round my waist, hips and belly. Actually, my hips and belly are the smallest they’ve been for 24 years!

So, what now? Do I just stop because January is over? Tempting, but no. Now I’ve got the consistency of exercising every day, I want to keep going. I am aiming to run 2 to 3 times a week and keep up the daily yoga practice. I’m also going to add one strength training session each week with a long term goal of strength training twice a week. One small change each month should make them easier to incorporate and maintain in my everyday life.

Today was a good start to February with a 4k run. 

Did you reach your January goals? What are your goals for February?

Menopause?

*WARNING* If you don’t want to read about periods and lady things then stop reading NOW!  Don’t say I didn’t warn you if you keep on reading.

OK, so this is really happening, probably … menopause has started.  I’m actually OK with it.  I mean I have had the one and only child I am ever going to have.  Trust me, I’m not starting again in my mid-40s, I really couldn’t go through all that again!  As it is my hands-on parenting days are going to last a lot longer than most without the patter of tiny feet.

When my step-daughter, Becky, started going through early menopause last year (she’s blogged about HRT so I’m sure she won’t mind the mention), I spoke to my mum about it as Becky wasn’t getting much, if any, advice from her Nanna who, apparently sailed through with no problems.  Unfortunately, my mum wasn’t any help either because she (and my grandma) sailed through it too!  Great!  Let’s hope I sail through, that would be nice.  It’s not looking likely that I’ll get through unscathed.

So, the symptoms include (only listing the ones affecting me right now if you want to see the list click on the link to the NHS website):

Night sweats – I have those which is really disconcerting when I have to wear socks to bed, until I warm up, because I also have Raynaud’s Syndrome which mean I have cold hands and feet, a lot.  Oh, and I have a really warm husband who emits a lot of heat – I don’t need any more heat, please!

Difficulty sleeping – well, duh, thanks to the night sweats I’m waking up!  Apparently this can make you more irritable during the day.

Headaches – nothing new there, I get headaches with my period anyway and always have.  That’s just something I have lived with for over 30 years.

… but there’s more …

Most of us know that your periods start getting a bit hit and miss, right?  OK, I can cope with missing periods and not knowing when it’s going to come along next.  What I didn’t know, until I googled it because it started happening to me late last year, is that your periods can get more frequent (like every 2 to 3 weeks!) and longer!  What?!?  Yes!  I am one of the “lucky” ones who has gone from a 28 day cycle to a 23 day cycle and the period itself lasts 7 days!  Oh, and the first 2 days are *heavy*, like goes through the super plus extra tampons in 2 hours heavy.  The NHS website helpfully says:

You may start having either unusually light or heavy periods.

The frequency of your periods may also be affected. You may have one every two or three weeks, or you may not have one for months at a time.

I wish I’d known that earlier.  Ah well, I know now.

Here’s hoping that this will be the extent of my symptoms as I don’t seem to be getting hot flushes but you never know that may come.

Apparently, a good diet (avoiding caffeine and spicy food) and exercise can help with the symptoms and yoga/meditation helps with mood swings and irritability.  Well, I don’t like spicy food and I don’t drink tea or coffee, although I do like my diet coke so maybe it’s time to find an alternative or maybe I’ll just start out by cutting down the amount I drink.  I also have a healthy diet, most of the time after all you have to have treats occasionally.  With regards to exercise, ever since discovering parkrun I’ve found that I actually like running and as of 2nd January I have been taking part in Yoga with Adriene’s True 30 Day Yoga Journey.  I’ve really been enjoying my daily yoga and will be continuing it into February and beyond.

It’s Saturday so …

it must be parkrun day 🙂 I’d like to say it was a lovely parkrun day but it really wasn’t.  There was hail!  At least I think it was hail, if it wasn’t it was heavy rain which hurt like hail.  At least Poppy Coffee were there for post-run tea (for Adam), chili mocha (for the Man) and hot chocolate (for me).

After finishing 2017 with two good runs of sub-31 minutes, I was a little disappointed to run 32:08.  However, as I only went for one run this week instead of the planned 2-3 and I reduced the running interval to 3 minutes, we have been doing 4 minutes, with a view to running faster (the rain and wind meant the running interval wasn’t faster) a 1:20 drop in time for 5k wasn’t too bad.

I got Jeff Galloway‘s Run Walk Run book for Christmas and have been reading it.  I’m a great believer in run walk run and all of my running PBs have come from run walk run intervals and Adam has never completed anything longer than 1 mile as a constant run, and his 5K PB is 30:18!  From reading the book, it looks like a 7-minute mile pace is achievable on 3 minute run, 30 second walk, that would be around 21 minutes for a 5K! I don’t think I’ll ever get that fast but I’m going to work on bringing my intervals down to that and then aim to get the running part faster.  Next week, I’m going to try 3 minute run, 55 second walk.  I’ll be borrowing the interval timer I bought my husband for Christmas for that 😉

After getting cold and wet at parkrun, we walked home and while Adam and my husband were having their showers I thought I’d do day 5 of True (Yoga with Adriene).  I’m loving this “me time” which I have created by doing the yoga.  For the first 4 days, I made a conscious effort to turn off the TV between 9.15 and 9.30 pm so I can do the day’s practice before going up to bed at 10 pm.  I’m hoping this will become a regular routine which will continue after the 30 day journey/challenge is over.

So, this is also day 6 of REDJanuary completed 😀

Are you still meeting your goals this week?

Motive …

Yesterday was day 1 of Yoga with Adriene’s new True 30 day yoga programme with the theme of Motive.  If you sign up to the programme via the website, you get a daily email to help you get the most out of the practice (today’s theme is Trust).  In yesterday’s email, and through the 24 minute practice, Adriene asks:

What is your motive for joining True?

Now, I hadn’t really thought about it but, having followed 9 days of one of the previous 30 day challenges in the past, I know that daily yoga helps me in so many ways.  It isn’t only the stretching, although that certainly helps, and it is more than the self reflection.  It helps my mood, my running, my posture, my body has less aches and pains.  It’s time for me to concentrate on me for anywhere between 24 and 40 minutes before I go to fight with Adam about bedtime.

I also find that yoga practice also complements, and maybe even enhances, all the other changes that I have made/am making to my life.  I am, usually, careful about what I eat.  I don’t eat “clean” but I don’t overeat and I don’t eat cakes and chocolates as much as I would love to.  I exercise on a regular basis with running or walking most days, if not every day.  I am aiming to add strength training back into the mix too but at the moment the yoga will have to fill that void.

However, this time round, I think my main goal/motive is to get further than day 9 and, maybe, even get to day 31!

If you haven’t done yoga before, or even if you have and haven’t found Adriene yet, check out her youtube videos.  The runners’ post run practice is a must for me and, when I have time (and I’m not doing a 30 day challenge) the runners’ yoga is great too.  What I really like is that Adriene tells you to do what feels good to you, you don’t have to stay and hold a pose with out moving, if you want to wag your tail while doing cat/cow then do it!

Day 1 of True was completed last night.  Bring on day 2 this evening.

Going to Make 2018 … HAPPY!

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on 2017 over the past few days while I’ve been sitting, cooking, walking and running.  The main thing I can claim about 2017 is that I was happy.  Sure, I set goals and met some of them but the vast majority of the time I was happy and enjoyed my life.  I did things that made me, and my nearest and dearest, happy.

So, how am I going to build on this going into 2018?  First, I am going to do more of the stuff I was doing towards the end of 2017.  Namely, running with a great group of people on a Tuesday and Thursday morning, continuing with parkrun (I only missed 2 of the York parkrun events this year and either ran or volunteered at the rest), continue in a job that I love and which is flexible enough for me to continue to be my son’s primary carer, continue to be a Tupperware lady 🙂 it will probably never pay the bills but I have enjoyed the fairs and parties I have done this year.

I have also been scrolling through Facebook and Twitter, as you do when you have time off from work and not a lot of stuff to do, and found Action for Happiness’ HAPPY New Year Calendar – January 2018 so I’ve printed that off.  There is one simple task every day so let’s see how far I get through the 31 days …

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I have aslo signed up for Yoga with Adriene’s 30 day yoga journey – TRUE which starts on Tuesday 2nd January.  I have done Adriene’s 30 day challenges/journeys before and loved them.  I regularly do her yoga for runners and found that it has helped with my running.

A final goal for January is to continue the “exercise every day” streak which I started last week as part of the REDJanuary.  The goal is to run, or do some form of exercise, every day.  My goal is to run 3-4 times a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) as well as walk 1-2 times per week and practice yoga every day.  That will give me at least 20-30 minutes of exercise/activity every day.

What do you do to make you happy?  Do you exercise?  Do you meet up with friends and family?  Do you take time for you?  Do you volunteer and help others?

Getting Back On Track

I am slowly getting myself back on track with regards to exercising, weight management and general wellbeing.  My year started out OK with the usual post-Christmas weight loss and push back into exercise but then it stalled.

As I hadn’t been going to the gym, and I couldn’t really afford to keep paying for it anyway, I cancelled my gym membership.  As a result, I stopped doing strength training.  I really have no excuse for stopping.  I mean, I can do body weight exercises and I do have resistance bands and a kettlebell at home.  So, why don’t I use them?  For some reason, I don’t like getting dressed for exercise at home, unless I’m going out for a run, and when I come home from a run I don’t have time to do anything more than a post-run stretch.  Actually, the reason is probably more along the lines of I don’t have time when no-one else is at home – I don’t like being interrupted while exercising.

I have been running quite a lot this year though.  However, that also stalled as I started the year doing a lot of run/walk pacing at parkrun and running with my husband.  So, while I have been getting out running 2 to 3 times peach week, my running didn’t improve.  That is until I took a week off parkrun and Adam ran with a friend of ours at parkrun and ran the fastest 5k he’s run in over 2 years!  The following week I ran with Adam and our friend and ran my fastest time since April 2015 when I set my 5k PB of 29:21.

At the beginning of September, I went to get weighed at Weight Watchers hoping that I hadn’t put on so much weight over the 6 weeks of the Summer holidays that I’d have to pay for the first time in over 3 years – yes, I’ve been a Gold Member for over 3 years!  Fortunately, I didn’t.  I put on 2.5lbs in 6 weeks but I am still within 5lbs of my goal weight 😀

Last week, my Weight Watchers Coach gave us all a goal setting piece of paper and said we could fill it in if we wanted to.  I decided that as I was on a roll with getting my exercise back on track, I started a 5k to 10k training plan using an app from Active.com, and was starting to feel good that I would fill it in.  I shared some of the information on to our meetings’ facebook group and thought I’d also share it here:

Milestones for 2017 (so far)

  • Ran my fasted 5k since 2015 – now sub-32 minutes
  • Maintained my weight for a 3rd year

I am proud of myself because …

I returned to meetings at the first opportunity after working all of the Summer holidays rather than waiting a week to see if I could lose a bit of weight first

Goals for the next 4 weeks

  • Lose 1/2lb per week
  • Run the York 10 Mile on 7th October 2017
  • Attend the Weight Watchers meeting EVERY week

Goals by Christmas

  • Lose 7lbs to give me an extra “cushion” for Christmas
  • Run sub-31 5k and maybe even get back under 30 minutes

To be more successful in my journey I need to …

Write down everything I eat, as I eat it!

Since writing my goals, I have achieved one of them – I ran sub-31 minutes at parkrun yesterday 😀  The York 10 Mile is next week and Adam and I will be running for SNAPPY, again https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/adamsefton

100th parkrun Completed!

I haven’t written on my blog for months!  Since May 2016, in fact.  Sorry, life got in the way a little.  I’ll catch up with everything that has happened in the 2nd half of 2016 over the next couple of weeks, I hope.

First though, I completed my 100th parkrun this morning!!!   I ran in the heavy rain and hail with the wind blowing it horizontal on Christmas Eve and then ran Christmas Day parkrun just so I could do the 100th one this year.  It’s been a long time coming, I’ve been doing parkrun since August 2013 but took about 3 months off earlier this year while it was cold and wet and couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed, lol.

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Over the past few months, Adam has decided that he’d rather volunteer than run (his dad is now volunteering as the photographer most weeks) so he needs to do another 15 parkruns to get his 100.  He’s well on his way to his volunteer 25 t-shirt though.

Finally back to parkrun

It’s been a while, and I apologise, that thing called Life got in the way.  After the very soggy parkrun in January, Adam and I only managed one more (on 30th January) and then didn’t run at all until this morning.

After the very wet feet which led to white, numb toes and fingers, I decided that maybe running when there was a chance of having to run through a lot of big puddles wasn’t a good idea.  So, not a lot of running on Saturday mornings.  On the other Saturdays, either Adam was sick, I was sick or I had to be at work by 10 am instead of 11 am.  Whatever the reason, we haven’t run in over 10 weeks.  What? 10 weeks?!?  That’s ridiculous!

Anyway, this week, I decided that we were going back regardless of the weather and the possibility of huge puddles across the track – there were 3 big puddles which you had to run through or pick your way through the mud, we chose to get very wet rather than very muddy.  Fortunately, the sun was shining this morning so it was fairly easy to get out of bed and, more importantly, get Adam out of bed.  I’m sure Adam would have tried to stay in bed for an extra half hour if he could but, as he really wants to run the Great Yorkshire Run in July, the York 10K in August and the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon in September, we had to get back out there.

As we haven’t run, at all, for over 2 months, I decided to take us back to the beginning and do run:walk intervals of 1:1.  I knew it would be easy and slow but I wanted to give Adam something very manageable.  However, at the start there were so many people, and 2 big puddles to go through, that the first run minute was actually a walk (to get to the start line!), so we ran for 2 minutes to get us back on the right intervals – I can’t have my watch telling me that it is a “walk” when it’s a run or vice versa.

After the initial 500m or so, the pack of runners had spread out, especially as we were taking walk breaks after every minute of running.  The first km was just under 8 minutes but we managed to speed up for the other 4 km to finish in just under 37 minutes.  Not bad considering we haven’t done any training for 10 weeks.

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I really enjoyed this morning’s run and am looking forward to next week when I’m going to increase the run interval to 1m30s 🙂  Slowly but surely, we’ll get back to our 5:1 intervals and I may even get back to being able to run the full 5K when training on my own.

A busy week and a lazy parkrun

With the end of the month looming – where did the month go, anyway? – I have been very busy.  31 January is the deadline for self assessment tax returns to be filed online, and any tax owed to be paid.  The end of the month is also the deadline for VAT for some businesses.  So, needless to say a bookkeeper is very busy in January if they, or their clients, aren’t particularly organised in November or December.  I’m back on track with that part of my work and met all my deadlines by Wednesday afternoon.

Apart from work, I’d love to say that I am getting back on track with the exercise too but that just would not be true.  I went to the gym for a session with my trainer on Monday afternoon.  I love being able to go to the gym during the day – the advantage of self-employment and working from home 3 days a week.  I walked to work on Wednesday, a lovely hour’s walk there and about an hour and a half home as I took a detour to go and see a client.  Thursday was weigh-day at Weight Watchers so that was another walking day 🙂 and I lost 1lb this week 😀 only another 3 to go to get back to my Gold member weight.  Yesterday was another day at work although I did get a walk in to town fitted in.

So, we are on to today when Adam and I finally made it to our 2nd parkrun of the year.  It was a very slow 5k run this morning, just under 35 minutes!  I know Adam could have gone faster – he ran the last 400m on his own and finished 8 seconds ahead of me.  Why was I so slow?  Surely I couldn’t have lost so much pace from not running for 3 weeks?  After all, I’ve still been walking (fast) quite a bit and still going to the gym.  The reason I was slow was sore shins and a hip which has been niggling me for about a week.  Also, with the freezing weather, and wind, which we had this morning my back decided to sieze.  Ah well, I finished in under 35 minutes so that’s still good.  And, I got back out there.  Think I need to get back out running during the week too so that I can get Adam going faster again.

Hope you’ve all had a great week.