Recently in Exercise Category

The Winter Blahs and Running

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I haven't been running very much lately.  Mostly, it's because I just haven't had the motivation.  The winter weather has ben extremely mild so far, so that hasn't really been the problem.  I am incredibly grateful for the lack of snow and much higher than average temperatures, but running just isn't fun anymore.  At least right now it isn't.  Each run seems harder than the last.  It's a struggle.  It's a chore I do because I feel I should or have to.  That wasn't supposed to happen.  It was supposed to be fun.

Even with the mild weather, I am very much looking forward to, and longing for, brighter, sunnier, longer, warmer days.  I'd really like to be able to shake things up again, like I was doing during the warmer months.  I'd like to go for long walks on my lunch hour, go for 15-20 mile bike rides on the weekends.  I'm just hoping I'm able to continue eeking out a few miles a day, a few days a week in the meantime.

Weight-Loss: Diet vs. Exercise

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When it comes to weight-loss, which do you find more important, diet or exercise?

In my experience, the answer is most definitely diet.  I tried going to the gym and working out with a trainer-developed program several times a week for about 6 months.  I took up jogging for several months.  I did feel great, but I didn't really lose much weight at all.  And it wasn't just offset by gaining muscle, because my clothes didn't really feel all that differently either.  I do think my body composition changed a little, but by an almost negligible amount. 

Both times I've tried dieting I had pretty immediate, and relatively significant, results.  The first time I just started paying more attention to what I was eating, stopped eating out so much, and made some common sense better choices.  I lost just shy of 40 pounds, which was the amount I was overweight.  The second time I tried the South Beach diet, eliminating carbs, sugar, and alcohol for two weeks and then slowly adding the good carbs back in after that.  I lost the 20 pounds I needed to lose. 

So, based on that experience, I'm convinced it's all about what you eat.  I'm not saying exercise isn't great for you in many ways, but I don't think it's the key for weight-loss.  It's great for your heart, and stress relief, and energy levels and, especially in my case, for bone density.  The key to overall health is both diet and exercise, but the key to weight-loss is diet.


What do you think?  What has your past experience told you is most helpful in regards to losing weight? 


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Right after I wrote that End of Summer post where I was lamenting about the lack of outdoor activities that occurred, my boyfriend agreed to go on a nice long bike ride with me along the erie canal.  I was pretty much in heaven.  The scenery was great, the terrain was great, and I was just happy as could be riding past people walking or other bikers.  The weather was perfect.  It was around 70 degrees and there was a slight breeze.  There were a few clouds here and there, but the sun wasn't shy about poking through.  Both the fresh air and pushing my body to work a little harder felt wonderful. 

I love riding my bike, but I haven't really done it much.  I am fairly skittish about riding on the road with cars whizzing past.  I also had a fairly bad accidient when I was a young teenager that made me afraid to ride a bike again for many, many years.    I wasn't badly hurt, only minor scrapes and bruises, but it was enough to keep my naturally timid self from really wanting to ride again until a few years ago.

I am still not the best, fastest, or most confident bike rider, but I felt much better and safer riding along the path running beside the canal.  We did 11.71 miles in an hour and 20 minutes.  We burned 645 calories.  So we weren't exactly going at a monsterous pace but it was fast enough to feel it, and slow enough to enjoy it. 

When we got back I ran downstairs and pulled the tennis raquets and balls out of the storage area.  I brought them back up and with them in hand I got my boyfriends attention, put a big smile on my face and siad, "OK, time for tennis now."  He just kind of gave me a look like I was a little bit crazy and shook his head.  I didn't want to push my luck so I let it go, but I at least had to try.


erie canal.jpg


A Sunday Hike

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Late Sunday afternoon I was parked on the loveseat with my laptop.  My boyfriend was parked on the couch with his laptop.  It was a kind of dreary morning weather-wise, but the afternoon was showing promise.  My boyfriend lifted his head from the computer screen and asked if I want to go to the park for a hike.  Without hesitation I said yes.  I used to do a lot of hiking a few years ago, but not much in recent history.  I quickly changed into some hiking clothes and we were off. 

The park is really large with several parking areas and several different trails.  We got a little lost but eventually found our way.  We started on the "green" trail, which was the most challenging in terms of hills, and 4.7 miles long.  We quickly were greeted with a couple of surprises.  The first was a great, big, huge, pile of horse crap.  And then more horse crap.  And then some more.  I think it would have been more aptly named/colored the "brown" trail.  We also began being attacked my lots and lots of bugs.  Not so nice.  Next time we'll remember the bug spray.  Luckily neither of us ended up with any bites.

Despite those two issues, we actually ended up really enjoying ourselves.  It's so nice to be out in nature and doing some sort of physical activity.  It does a mind and body good.  We ended up hiking for a little under 1.5 hours.  During that time, in addition to the crap and the bugs, we saw guys running up hills that we were barely able to walk up without getting slightly out of breath.  And we saw a whole bunch of deer.  Just chillin'.  We were really close but they didn't seem worried about us in the least. 

I'd like to try this trail again in the fall.  I'm pretty sure it will have some pretty amazing fall foliage.

Back At It

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The sun was shining all day long.  The temperatures broke the 60 degree mark.  I looked out the window longingly from 9a until 6p.  I decided mid-afternoon that I would go for a run/jog after work.  I just couldn't resist.  I had put it off long enough.

There was a huge hurdle, mostly a mental one, in getting going again.  I was so afraid that I would be back to square one again and not be able to finish my route.  I was really dreading that.  It took me several weeks from when I started to be able to run the route without having to stop and walk.

I was pleasantly surprised this evening.  I was certainly slower than the last time I ran, but I finished!  My small accomplishment for this warm St. Patrick's Day 2010.  I cleared the hurdle and I'm ready to go.

About This Blog

Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

Many people in their thirties are dealing with common issues and concerns. Some of these include buying a home, establishing a career, starting a family, and dealing with aging parents. I will blog about all these things as well as other every day stuff as I make my way through this third decade of life.

You can read more about the author behind thirty-something blog on the About Me page.





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