Although it started a bit rocky I managed to get 4 days of exercise this week. My goal is 4-5 days per week.
Scheduled Rest day
Even though today was a rest day we did manage to get over 19k steps at Tampa’s Gasparilla Festival. It was a lot of fun and a great way to keep moving even on our rest day.
Scheduled Rest Day
- Weights: Back & Bis
- Crosstraining: Off-Road Biking 7 miles
We hit Planet Fitness for our weight training today. I am loving being so close to the gym. For cardio, we decided to hit our bikes outside instead of staring at the four purple walls at the gym! It was so much better.
I thought it was going to be a quick couple of miles down the dirt road to the small lake so we hopped on the eBikes instead of the mountain bikes. The eBikes were already unpacked and ready to roll. The lake actually ended up just over 3.5 miles down the road! I refused to turn on the bike and used my pedal power the entire time. Although, Phil may have zipped past me a few times with little boost from his ebike. Hopefully, pedaling that extra 60 pounds of bike helped strengthen my legs because those bikes were not ideal on this terrain.
Unscheduled Rest Day
Moving day. I did not exercise today. I just wasn’t feeling it!
Walk: 3.77 m/64 min
I did not want to exercise today. I was feeling so lazy. But I put on my shoes and headed for the path around the lake on MacDill Air Force Base. I was told it had a nice trail but it was terrible for running. It was all sand. So I ditched the running and continued speed walking. I didn’t get in a training run but I accomplished my mission of moving!
- Weights: Legs, Glutes, & Abs
- Crosstraining: Incline Treadmill to a grade of 10%, 23:11 min, 1.38 mi
- Yoga: Savor, 22 min
It was a tough day at the gym but it was also a good day! Legs are not my favorite workout day but I am always glad when I am finished.
Today’s treadmill goal was no hands. Usually, by grade 7 or 8 I need to hold on to the treadmill keep from falling off. But today was a no hands day. In order to accomplish the goal, I had to decrease the speed after 7% grade. When I hold on the treadmill it changes my stride and I don’t get as good of a glute workout. So, look Ma no hands!! I love this low impact workout. It is great for the legs, heart, and lungs! I was dripping when I finished.
- Weights: Chest & Back
- Rowing Machine 5 min
- Yoga: Synchronize, 29 min
Soreness set in overnight! My legs were not happy about hitting the gym today. After a little warm-up walk on the treadmill, they were ready to go. It was another good workout at the gym on MacDill AFB. This gym is pretty amazing with so much equipment and so many different workout rooms.
I did not run again today so tomorrow it will be on the top of my priority list. There is a nice path beside the bay that I will visit tomorrow morning.
Last week I mentioned the book Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge MD. This book talks about the importance of exercise. This week I am recommending The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung. This book discusses the reasons diets don’t work long term. It is based on research and data. It was very interesting and made a lot of good points about insulin and cortisol which are the two main hormones that cause weight gain. Grab a copy and let me know what you think.
I am currently reading How Not to Die by Michael Greger MD. What I like the most about this book is the fact that the author donates all proceeds to charity which eliminates the bias created by profit. I am just getting started but I have a few friends that had high recommendations of the book.
What drives me crazy about all of the nutrition information out there is how no one can agree. Eat meat, don’t eat meat. Eat dairy, don’t eat dairy. High protein, low protein. And it goes on and on. I am a nurse practitioner and you would think I was taught all about nutrition. Not even close. The medical community can’t agree on nutrition so how can schools create a decent and accurate curriculum for the medical field?
The Framingham study is one example of how confused the medical community can be. The Framingham study is a large long term study on the effects of exercise and nutrition on heart disease with the residents of Framingham, MA. The results of this study vary based on who you ask. Everyone interprets the data differently. It is maddening! Even the How Not to Die and The Obesity Code have different interpretations of the data. So how are people supposed to learn about nutrition?
What Should You Do?
If the medical community can NOT agree on what we should eat to stay healthy what do we do???? First, talk to your doctor. We all have different nutritional needs based on age and disease process. Second, focus on what the medical community does agrees on.
Cut Out Processed Food
Eliminate as much processed food as possible from your diet. Look at the ingredients if you can pronounce it then it is highly processed. If there are more than 5-6 ingredients then it is processed. Fill your grocery cart with items from the outside rows of the grocery store with less from the center isles.
Eliminate Added Sugar
If you start eliminating processed food you will also decrease some of your sugar intake. Sugar is hidden in about 80% of processed foods. Those manufacturers are really sneaky when it comes to sugar. Many different names for sugar are used so be sure to read the ingredient list. Several different types of sugars may be used in one product to push sugar down the ingredient list. Read the ingredient list not just the percentage of added sugar.
If you are thinking of switching to artificial sugar as a way to decrease overall sugar intake….DON’T. It does not help! Not only is it a possible carcinogenic but it raises insulin just as much as regular sugar. Why is that a problem you ask? Insulin’s job is to either use sugar (called glucose in the body) or store it! It will store all that extra sugar as fat! So chemically it affects the body just like real sugar. Just skip it!
For most Americans, the easiest way to begin eliminating sugar of any kind is to change what we drink. Sodas, electrolyte drinks, flavored waters, sweet tea, are just a few of the liquid, nutritionally empty drinks we ingest throughout the day. Ditch the sugar cube and drink water or unsweetened tea.
All the hidden sugar in our foods can really add up. Save sugar for the really good stuff like those amazing truffles we found in Stowe, VT instead of boring old bread, soup, crackers or chips. Yes, there is sugar in all of those products and more!
Increasing fiber has so many benefits for our bodies and most of us don’t eat nearly enough! Check out all the benefits of fiber.
- Lower risk of certain conditions including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, and constipation
- Reduces appetite
- Reduce blood sugar spikes after a high carb meal
- Helps to make you feel full faster
- Feeds healthy gut bacteria
You can read more about the benefits of fiber at The Nutrition Source by Harvard’s School of Health.
Read the Ingredient List
But don’t make the mistake of buying food because it says it’s healthy! That is just marketing. Always read the label and ingredient list. Just because it has an AHA-healthy check on the box does not make it good for you! If it is loaded with sugar, sodium or other chemicals it is not a good option! Did you know food companies pay hundreds of dollars for the American Heart Association’s little checkmark? Talk about serious bias!!
I know I hopped on my nurse practitioner soapbox. Working in endocrinology with diabetic patients really made me passionate about the effects of sugar. Sorry for jumping up and preaching but I really hate how those food manufacturers work so hard to trick everyone. It makes me so mad!!
How Did I Do?
Over the past 8 weeks, I have worked really hard to make improvements in my overall health and fitness. I have eliminated sugar (almost completely), eliminated alcohol, and started to exercise regularly and it is paying off. I have made real progress but of course, I have more work to do. Here are some of my results over since starting this journey.
- I Lost 8 lbs
- My jeans are a bit looser or actually fits again
- I am sleeping much better
- More energy
- I am more knowledgeable about the ingredients in the food I purchase
That is a pretty good start to my lifelong health and fitness journey in my humble opinion. I still have a few more pounds to drop and I am hoping to eventually see a bit more muscle tone. But my main goal is a long, healthy life! I am 50 years old and I don’t take a single medication and I will work the rest of my life to keep it that way.
How About You
How is your journey going? Are you working toward a long, healthy life? What are your goals for the next week, month or year? You can accomplish your goals. Just be the turtle….slow and steady!
Thank You for Joining My Health and Fitness Journey
Thanks for joining me on this journey. I have really enjoyed talking to everyone about the roller coaster ride to healthy living. Even though this is the last post in the series I will still be working hard to improve my health and fitness. It is a life long journey. Let me know how you are doing with your journey in the comments below. Be sure to look for me at a gym near you! 🙂
Author: Stacy, You, Me & the RV, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2020