Updates on Feat #7: Exercising

20 Feb

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

For the original Feat #7 blog entry, click here.

DAY 7 (Sunday):

Well, I was hoping to end this week with a big cardio bang, but my “alleged” allergy issues have turned my head into a mucus factory and left me with no voice.  Screaming over the blaring music at my niece’s Sweet 16 birthday party and playing a marathon 5-hour Pokeno game probably didn’t help!  That’s life, though – you can’t always be sure things will work out the way you plan them.

Even though I didn’t get cardio in every single day this week, I was much more active than usual.  I went to the park with my kids multiple times, rode my bike, pushed the stroller, even danced around my living room.  I just tried to keep thinking of ways to stay active.

And on the days I exercised, I did feel more energetic.  It’s true that even if you’re exhausted and feeling active is the last thing on your mind, you can really give yourself a boost with some exercise.

A surprising thing I discovered was how much fun I had.  The weather this week was amazing, and the cardio was just a nice perk to all the outdoor activities I enjoyed.  When you’ve got young kids, pretty much the only way you’re going to get some exercise is if you do something that includes them.  This was the perfect week to do that.

While I know that one week is not enough to significantly improve my heart health, it was a great start that I hope to continue.

And I never did make it to the stupid gym – what a waste of money!

DAY 4 (Thursday):

Woohoo – I was on fire today!  I started the day totally pooped (stayed up way too late), but I was determined not to think about that.  I planned ahead, and stashed my jogging stroller in the car before leaving to take my son to school.  While he was there, my daughter and I went to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.  I set her up with a coloring book and crayons in the stroller, and did 30 minutes of walking/jogging.  (OK, mostly walking, but a couple times I did sprint when crossing the street.)  When I was done, she and I played tag on the grass.  Bonus cardio!

In the afternoon, I walked up to the park to meet some friends.  My kids and I did another hour of walking and running around.  It was a gorgeous day to be outside!

I can’t say that I exactly pushed my cardiovascular endurance to the limit today, but I stayed really active, and I know that counts for something.

Still haven’t made it to the gym…

DAY 3 (Wednesday):

After an embarrassing Day 2 fail (didn’t have any free time until 10 pm, at which time I promptly passed out from exhaustion), I feel like I rallied pretty decently today!

I had a long day with the kids, but I somehow found a second wind around dinnertime.  My husband fed the kids while I took a bike ride up to the park by my house.  It was beautiful!  Breezy, cool, still light out – perfect.

And I guess my bike ride energized me a bit, because afterwards, I came home and cleaned the garage.  Yay me!

I took a tip from the American Heart Association and didn’t beat myself up over skipping yesterday.  Here are their suggestions on ways to take charge of your health:

  1. Have regular doctor visits – check blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose
  2. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days – start by marching or jogging in place for 15 minutes while watching TV and then increase by 5 minutes each week until you meet your goal
  3. Drink Water – take a water bottle with you wherever you go
  4. Hide (or don’t buy) unhealthy foods, but keep the healthy snacks handy.
  5. Control your cholesterol by avoiding foods high in saturated and trans fats.  Eat foods low in saturated fats and trans fats like lean chicken or turkey, fruits and vegetables, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and whole grains.
  6. Lower high blood pressure by limiting your sodium intake.
  7. If you smoke, quit.
  8. Extra weight increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.  Lower your calorie intake and increase your exercise until you reach your goal weight.
  9. If you mess up any of the above, don’t be discouraged.  Just get back on track as soon as you can.
  10. When you reach a goal, reward yourself for your hard work!

DAY 1 (Monday):

Yuck.  Long, exhausting day of non-stop work with not much to show for it.  Why does it seem like for every one thing I cross off my to-do list, five more get added?

It was after 9 pm when I finally got around to exercising today.  I was tired and it sucked.  I did the elliptical machine in my bedroom while watching a movie (The Town, not bad).  It wasn’t the most invigorating workout of my life, but at least I stayed on that stupid machine for 35 minutes.

I was hoping to feel better after the workout, but I’m just tired.  I really need to find a way to squeeze it in during the day (instead of late at night), but it’s so hard with 2 kids!  I’ve got that gym membership, and the kids can hang out there while I work out, but even that seems hard most days.  There’s just so much to do all the time – with the kids, with the house, etc.  How do I make it work??!

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One Response to “Updates on Feat #7: Exercising”

  1. Lisa Martin February 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    I’m with you, Jen, about morning exercise. By the evenings, I just want to curl up in a ball on the couch. (Of course, I can’t…homework, laundry, etc.) Our goal as a family in 2011 has been to do something outside four times a week–weather permitting. This last, gorgeous week, we’ve taken half-hour walks together. (Our five-year-old boy keeps stripping off his shirt, claiming he’s too hot! I guess too hot is easy compared to 19 degrees or whatever it was earlier in the month.)

    Keep us posted on your progress!

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