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Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-07-2004, 02:22 PM   #1
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Achieving Fitness Goals

I've seen surveys of happiness that assert that happiness is more correlated with health than anything else. More than money, marital satisfaction, etc. Also, research linking health status to fitness has me convinced that exercise can powerfully influence health. It seems that every retiree, early or not, needs some attractive and effective exercise program. And it needs to be robust, so that life's little bumps don't make it too hard to follow.

I have 2 sons, 6 years apart. For many years my main fitness program was doing stuff with them. Swimming, hiking, roller-blading, mountain biking, tennis and squash.

Then 5 years ago my youngest moved out to live with his brother, and I lost my exercise buddies. We still get together to play tennis especially, but it can't be an everyday thing anymore.

The nearest gym is too far, so I am trying to do something that will give me enough fitness, without a lot of financial or time overhead.

I ran across a Japanese idea. You wear a pedometer, and try to get in 10,000 steps a day. I'm here to tell you 10,000 steps is do-able, but won't happen without giving it some thought. At my stride length, 10,000 steps is between 8 and 9 kilometers.

I saw an interesting article on exercise and health in a recent harvard Alumni magazine. it mentions that paleontologists think that stone age men probably covered 10-20 kilometers per day, but somewhat in bunches. These scientists think that women might have gone about half that much, but steadily, not bunched. (Due to the differing food gathering roles of men and women.)

I also want to keep up some of the athletic fitness I had, so I am adding some sprinting. My Dad had a similar technique, loosely based on the training of boxers in the 30s and 40s. he would walk along a country road at a good pace, then jog a little, then run like hell until he was good and winded, then walk again, then repeat the cycle till he felt done. (Or done in.)

I used to lift heavy weights. I built a squat cage in my garage for this. But one day I missing racking the bar, and put my back out of commission for about 2 months. So I don't like to do that alone anymore.

For the weight part, I went to dumbells. My bread an butter now is to grab a 45# dumbell, swing it down between my legs, then back up overhead. I do it 15 times, then do the other hand. Then I rest a little, and do it again.

My main quest now is to figure out something not too boring to do inside, when the weather just really turns me off.

What do you guys do, on days when you don't play golf, or hike the mountains or surf the waves?

Mikey

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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-07-2004, 02:56 PM   #2
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

I don't exercise, eat New Orleans food, smoke cigaretes, and post too much.

But if I get unhappy then I'll stop procastinating - exercise, eat a diet I don't like, stop smoking, buy health insurance, and worry myself to death.

Then- of course - I reserve the right to change my mind and 'leap into action'. Meanhile its on my 'someday list'.
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-07-2004, 02:59 PM   #3
 
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

Hey Mikey! Other than hiking with my black lab Maggie,
most of my exercise is walking from my recliner to
the kitchen to fix a bourbon manhattan.

Seriously, I understand the benefits of regular exercise.
But.............if it starts to seem like work, I won't do it.
Rather take my chances. If I drop dead early because
I laid off the treadmill and bicycle, no problem.

John Galt
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-07-2004, 03:15 PM   #4
 
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

mikey,

I have been working out at the gym for about 20 years now and I must confess that I mostly hate it. There are those that say if you hate it, you won't stick with it, but I have. Everytime I work out, it feels good when I'm finished. And the alternative is not that great so I keep at it.

I use aerobic machines about 3 to 4 times a week, mixed in with some minor weight lifting (not enough to damage anything)

The only time I don't hit the gym is when I'm on vacation, but then I tend to hike more anyway.

I think this is why they call it Work - ing out - Mostly because it sucks! -
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-07-2004, 03:26 PM   #5
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

Since I retired I've started a regular workout routine. Monday through Friday I have about a 30 minute stretching and stomach crunch routine. I have one of those ab rollers that allows me to do crunches in about 5 different forms. I typically do these exercises while watching a morning news show. Then my wife and I take Bubba the black lab out for about a 2 mile walk along the canal. I jog the last 1/3 of mile. This takes another 35 minutes or so. If the weather is too bad (not a frequent problem in Mesa, Arizona) then I use a treadmill instead. On Mon, Wed, Fri, I add some upper body work with a spring chest-pull and I do some push-ups. I do this before my canal walk and get a few more minutes of daily news in. My typical weekend involves about 10 or more hours worth of hiking. My wife usually accompanies me on the hikes.

I'm in a lot better shape today than I was a year ago when I retired, but the health guidelines indicate I still need either to exercise more or eat less. I'm trying to decide if I'm ready to make the greater committment to my health required to get there.
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-07-2004, 06:30 PM   #6
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

I can't work out. My wife would have a heart attack or
die laughing.

Charlie

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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-07-2004, 07:03 PM   #7
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

Well, looks like a pretty good range of opinions on this one.

It was a nice day here in Bellevue, WA, so after I posted this afternoon I decided to find out what it might feel like to walk > 10k. I walked from Crossroads Market to Bellevue Square in downtown Bellevue, over a course of all sidewalk, with some pretty good hills.

I went in Borders and briefly looked at some naked women in an art photography magazine. I contemplated calling one of my kids to fetch me home, then recovered a little spine and walked back to my start. Overall, I went 15,000 steps, which is just shy of 13 K. Round trip took about 2 hours 45 minutes, even with my art break.

Now that I know there is something of interest at my destination, I think I can do this. No problem, at least in nice weather. If they are sold out of magazines, I can always get an espresso

Mikey
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-07-2004, 08:10 PM   #8
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

Quote:
It was a nice day here in Bellevue, WA, so after I posted this afternoon I decided to find out what it might feel like to walk > 10k. I walked from Crossroads Market to Bellevue Square in downtown Bellevue, over a course of all sidewalk, with some pretty good hills.
Whoa, that's a long walk! I was tired just walking from my office to the Subway in Factoria...
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Old 03-07-2004, 09:07 PM   #9
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Now I'm going to have to recover my pre-holiday routine. I'll start tomorrow... yeah, that's it, tomorrow.

We usually log twice a week at the Nautilus & weight stack in the local gym. For a little warm-up we pick up a load of mulch at the community garden next door. A really good week includes two surf sessions of more than two hours each, or until my arms resemble wet spaghetti (depends on the waves).

Next to surfing, my most satisfying workout is "vigorous gardening". I've been clearing a hill behind/below our house and harvesting our fruit trees. Pick up a bunch of construction debris or deadwood, add in about 20 steps, repeat 20 or 30 times, and decide to pick the fruit another day.

During my working days I used to bike the 10 miles each way. Luckily work was downhill and home was uphill or I never would have left the house. Apparently I can't eat like those days anymore unless I'm willing to put in 100 miles/week again...
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-07-2004, 09:35 PM   #10
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

Quote:
I went in Borders and briefly looked at some naked women in an art photography magazine.
God Bless you mikey. I had my Dad over this evening and we watched a double feature of the Angelina Jolie "tomb raider" movies.

In the middle of the first one, he muttered "look at the size of those lips, you could stick those on a wall". I told him if a wall was all he wanted to stick them on, then he WAS getting a little too old.

Anywho, in the meanwhile, I'm back to rollerblading (not recommended to those without health insurance) and kayaking in the beautiful feather river. Kayaking IS highly recommended to anyone looking for a good aerobic and upper body workout. A decent heavy duty $150 inflatable and a paddle in a quiet waterway and you can have as much or as little work as you like. I saw an 80-something year old woman in one last year paddling enthusiastically.
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-07-2004, 10:09 PM   #11
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

M - F I fast walk about 2 miles. Year 'round. In the summer I get up and out there before sun up. On cold (relatively speaking) windy days of the winter, I go around lunchtime. But then, lunchtime is whenever I want it to be!
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-08-2004, 12:23 AM   #12
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

My 78 year old father does 1000 (yes, thousand!) standing toe touches every morning. My exercise is watching him.
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-08-2004, 05:32 AM   #13
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

Exercise = Work. Why? When I was young/working did all kinds of hiking/climbing/sking/volleyball/etc.

In retirement, exercise is too much like work? Even though now's the time when I should be doing it.

Duh - even the thought isn't fun?
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-08-2004, 07:41 AM   #14
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

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. . .I went in Borders and briefly looked at some naked women in an art photography magazine. I contemplated *calling one of my kids to fetch me home, then recovered a little spine and walked back to my start. Overall, I went 15,000 steps, which is just shy of 13 K. Round trip took about 2 hours 45 minutes, even with my art break.

Now that I know there is something of interest at my destination, I think I can do this. No problem, at least in nice weather. If they are sold out of magazines, I can always get an espresso
Iíve read that the goal of a good aerobics workout is to get your heart rate accelerated for about 15 minutes a day. Depending on the pictures, you might be able to skip the walk and just spend 15 minutes in that part of the store.
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-08-2004, 12:43 PM   #15
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

I tried to help once using a similar method. When my girlfriend was on the treadmill I snuck up behind her and went "WAAAAAH!" to help speed up her heart rate.

Just for the record, dont do that.
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-08-2004, 01:18 PM   #16
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

You guys crack me up. One of the few things I am serious about is exercising. I try to make it fun, but I have accepted it as a goal. Which means I won't feel good about things if I don't do it. (When I read this it sounds a bit religious.)

Once he stopped being young, until he was in his mid-fifies, my Dad's main exercise was carrying the keg to the barbecue. Then he got some illnesses, got religion, quit over-indulging in alcohol and started exercising. Although I think he never expected to make it to 60, he actually died at 86, in pretty good health.

So I have pretty good feelings about fitness activities.

Oh, by the way- you young studs wouldn't be interested in this, for for us older dudes, some German scientist found that doing squats or leg presses works just like Viagra. Just for a public service to you guys, I'll keep at it a while, and report my experience with the therapy. I've been hearing that Viagra can make you 20 again, but the idea of looking at a blue woman with my nose running, my head pounding and my back hurting just doesn't sound very erotic to me.

Mikey
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-08-2004, 01:39 PM   #17
 
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but I have accepted it as a goal. Which means I won't feel good about things if I don't do it. (When I read this it sounds a bit religious.)
mikey,

I too am serious about exercise, but I'd be lying if I said it was fun!

BTW - Viagra increases blood flow, and if blood is not flowing 'down there', it means it is not flowing good everywhere else either. Needing Viagra is a Symptom of blocked arteries.
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-08-2004, 01:48 PM   #18
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

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BTW - Viagra increases blood flow, and if blood is not flowing 'down there', it means it is not flowing good everywhere else either. Needing Viagra is a Symptom of blocked arteries.
Cut-Throat, I read your concern and message, and I appreciate it. I'm ok. My interest at this time is more preventive and recreational.

Mikey
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-08-2004, 02:21 PM   #19
 
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

Perhaps my arteries are shot. Don't know. Don't care.
If not for Viagra, I'd have been all done dancin' years ago. It's the quality of your years, not the quantity.
My spouse and I agree. Enjoy your time on the planet,
and don't get hung up on living to be 100.

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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals
Old 03-08-2004, 02:27 PM   #20
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Re: Achieving Fitness Goals

Well, I'm on the young end of the spectrum here (and not ER yet), but I'll put in my two cents I fence several times a week and compete several times a month during the main fencing season (more or less October through the beginning of July). It's good exercise and enormously fun. I've been fencing about 12 years now... and one of the great things about this sport is that it truly is a lifetime sport. There are "veteran" categories for over-40 and over-50 (and I have friends who compete in these, and they are GOOD), but even in mixed-age competitions, it's really a very level playing field. Fencing is so much about strategy and tactics that experience and treachery really can overcome youth and strength I've learned never to underestimate any opponent.... I've gotten my head handed to me on a plate by a 70-year-old, on occasion!

I also do some bicycle riding, though not as much as I'd ideally like to do. I always feel good after doing some cardiovascular exercise, though, so even if I don't go for a ride on the road, I try to hop on the indoor bike trainer on a reasonably regular basis to get a workout. My husband is the big cyclist - he loves it. We have contemplated getting a tandem, but haven't taken the plunge... it may be something we'll get when we ER!

I actually wasn't athletic or active at all until I got to college... a definite bookish couch potato. I'm still very bookish but getting regular exercise makes me feel better overall. I prefer to get it in forms that are fun to do, though - going to a gym would bore me to death.
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