Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One Month of Cardio and Weights

About a month ago I mentioned that I'd started my annual winter fitness program and was anxious to see results. Well, I've been strictly faithful to an every-other-day program of 35 minutes on the cardio trainer (arms and legs both working) followed by a pretty comprehensive free weight lifting session. It works!

I've gained about six pounds of muscle ( to 188 pounds) and my waist is a bit smaller (less than 34). When I sing in the church choir I can hold the long notes all the way to the end. My chest and shoulders feel "tight", and they are noticeably larger. The other day I easily ran, pretty fast, up a 50-yard hill with a young man - and I was not breathing hard at the top. These results make it easy to stay on my plan.

Last year I worked out until May, then hiked the Appalachian Trail a bit, then spent the summer walking the golf course. I didn't keep up the workouts. By September I had lost quite a bit of upper body strength. This year I'll keep exercising throughout the summer, emphasizing flexibility and endurance more than I do with my current strength-oriented workouts. I'll celebrate my 64th birthday in July in pretty good shape, by that time probably able to bench press 150 pounds ten times.

You may think I'm writing this blog to boast about my progress. Not so. I'm really writing to let you know that you can get into shape regardless of your current physical condition. One hour, every other day. 3.5 hours per week is all it takes. The rewards are better sleeping, a better appetite, shorter "colds", better sex, and a more positive self-image, in addition to being able to accomplish physical things with less chance of injury. Why not think about it?

1 comment:

ThomasLB said...

I stumbled across a quote about hiking I thought you'd like:

"Walking may be a good metaphor for spiritual life, but there are times when simple hiking is literally the best activity. When one walks in the woods or climbs mountains, there is a wonderful unity of body, mind, and spirit. Hiking strengthens the legs, increases stamina, invigorates the blood, and soothes the mind. Away from the madness of society, one is freed to observe nature's lessons." ~Deng Ming Dao