Saturday, December 29, 2007

Walking/Jogging/Running

In November 2006, I resolved to change my eating habits and was able to lose 5 lbs by January 2007…not bad considering that I began during the holiday season! I still enjoy my 'chips and dip' and other occasional indulgences, but overall, I have done pretty good. However, since I know that eating better is only half of it, I also resolved to become more consistent with exercise—especially cardio.

The most productive cardio exercise is a walking or jogging or running program. When I say productive, I mean all around—physically, psychologically, emotionally—everything.

Physically--I guess it's pretty obvious—healthier heart, burning calories, weight loss, better immune system, toning muscles, strengthening joints, etc. By the way, the most common excuse I hear for not walking or jogging or running is 'bad knees'. I understand if one has had major knee surgery or other very legitimate knee problem. But, for the average person, walking/jogging/running actually helps to strengthen joints! Not walking/jogging/running because of weak knees is like saying I can't lift weights because of weak muscles. Weak muscles are exactly why I need weight training! The key to overcoming weak knees (and other weak joints) is to avoid overuse in the beginning. But, over time, the joints will strengthen.

Emotionally--as some psychologists put it, "It resets your nervous system". For me, it gives me time to get away and think about everything. I am in my own little world and it's amazing how the brain works during these times. I sometimes run with my "Lil Monsta" (MP3 player), but usually, I don't...especially if there is a lot going on in my life. Some people, however, say using their MP3 player makes it even better. They can completely disconnect from their problems and totally get into the exercise and their music. (I prefer a sermon or teaching that I have downloaded from the web…most of the time...but sometimes, it's some good ole classic rock!) Afterwards, everything is 'reset' and one is better able to confront life.

Psychologically—It's everything. Knowing that you are doing something good for yourself. Feeling better overall. The sense of accomplishment…and so much more. I even noticed that my desire to eat right is greater the more that I exercise.

In December 2006, I resolved to be more consistent with cardio exercise. In the beginning, it was tough. Being overweight [and older], I quickly realized that I could not jog as far as I used to; and, it was really rough on my knees. So, I started a walking/jogging system. First, I set a total time of 30 minutes. Then, I would alternate walking/jogging according to how I felt. It did not matter how far I went, as long as it was as least 30 minutes. Sometimes, I walked the whole time. But as time went on, I began to jog more and more. And, no matter how sluggish or tired I felt before exercise, I always felt better afterwards…always.

The treadmill and elliptical machines at the gym were also helpful when I was able to go…but the main thing was to be consistent and disciplined. It was mindset change for me. My walking/jogging routine was changed from "when I get a chance" to "top priority"…right up there with brushing my teeth and putting on deodorant!

I had run a 5k (3.2 mi) race before; so, I made it my goal to be able to run 5k without stopping in under 30 minutes. It took six months, but I finally did it! Two months later, I entered the Macon Labor Day Road Race and ran 5k in less than 25 minutes! This, for me, was like breaking through a wall. At this point, I was closer to my ideal weight, so I was able to 'pick up the pace' some and go a little harder.

I used to think that I would never be able to jog 10k (6.2 mi) without stopping…it seemed like something that I could not even think about ever doing. However, recently, on Friday, December 21, 2007, I ran the 3.1 mi 'outdoor loop' on base...twice. I did two laps without stopping (6.2 mi) in 56 minutes flat! A major victory for me. (My hips were sore and I had to ice them later, but I did it…and the next day, I felt fine!)

A walking/jogging/running program is something I think everyone should commit to if they are physically able. The best thing about it is that everyone's program is going to be unique. The very experienced will be aiming to run 5k in under 20 minutes. Another might be aiming for a personal best 5k in 40 minutes. Others simply make it their goal to walk for 30 minutes at least 5 days/week. Some will always be trying to go farther and faster; and, others will just be glad they found the time squeeze a good walk into their hectic schedule! But, no matter what the goal is, when the goal is reached, all are winners!

1 comment:

BLOG CRISTÃO said...

Caro Tim Jordam;
Eu estou tendo a mesma necessidade que voce, pois estou muito acima do meu peso e necessito urgentemente reduzi-lo. Porém dado a minha elevada massa corporal, eu vou ter que fazer cirurgia bariátrica, tipo capela, para poder chegar ao meu peso ideal e daí sim fazer os exercícios para manter uma boa forma.
Entretanto, na verdade eu quero mesmo é falar sobre o Senhor Jesus Cristo, nosso Salvador.
Peço a voce que abra esse site:
http://www.bjnewlife.org
do Rev. Paul C. Jong, e veja os estudos bíblico ali editados, bem como voce pode pedir livros cristãos gratis ou baixar E-books gratis.
Muito importante é que ele segue a Bíblia Sagrada e isso é muito bom.
Em meu blog estou iniciando um estudo sobre Seitas e Heresias, e devo publicá-la muito em breve.
Me de noticias:
http://palaverblog.blogspot.com
Email: irineu.bosco@ig.com.br

Abraços
Irineu Bosco Palaver
Araras - São Paulo - Brasil