April 13, 2012

Second Session of Game On!: Exercise

KT has organized a second session of the Game On! program and this time, we formed teams.  I am on her team with another lady.  I am down ten pounds, 20% of what I need to lose.  I have traveled this road before only to gain it all back after losing my focus.  This time it is not going to happen.  I have a feeling that several people in Minnesota are planning on playing several more games.  I probably need about five or six more game (28 days each) to get down to my ideal weight.

Before I started the first session, my exercise involved walking the dog, leisurely.  I had tried yoga at a downtown Mesa studio and enjoyed it, but the kids' schedules got in the way.  I never felt like I had the time to exercise because I had in my mind that I had to work out long and hard.  And then, sometimes after exercising several weeks, I would have problems of getting too tired because I was working too hard.  One of the major components of the Game On! program is exercising six times a week for at least 20 minutes a day.  Food is worth 30 points a day, but you can mess up a meal and only be out six points.  Exercise is worth 20 points and is an all or nothing deal.  So missing exercise will impact your points in a big way.  You do get one day off of exercise, meaning that you get the points for not doing the exercise.  So I had to figure out a way to exercise six days a week.  First of all, knowing that I only had to work out for twenty minutes was a big mental breakthrough.  I can definitely find twenty minutes in my schedule.  

The website for Game On! has some ideas for exercises.  One of them was the Hi Intensity Interval training.  They used running as an example, but I have also used it for riding my bicycle.  It involves doing something at a high pace and then at a lower pace.  Most of the time, I strap on running shoes and alternate between walking and running around the neighborhood.  The first month, I would walk for a minute and run for a minute.  I had a route that took about 25 minutes to complete with the last few minutes reserved as a cool down period.  I used it bicycling, too, cycling at a 15-18 mph pace for a minute or two and then slowing down to a 12-14 mph pace.  That is a little harder because, as a former bicycling enthusiast, I feel the need to get my gear on and I usually have to check the tires and such.  So running and walking are my more typical work out.

I also like yoga as a low impact exercise.  It stretches and strengthens at the same time.  But once again, I can't afford, time-wise to go to a class.  So I started checking out digital videos from my public library.  My other SIL, Kristi, who is an avid yoga practicer, told me about a website, www.yogadownloads.com for different videos.  They have a lot of 20 minute classes that can be downloaded as audio files for free. I had just enough experience from attending a class to feel comfortable.  I will usually do this twice a week.

The last exercise I do once a week is also on the Game On! site, called the High Intensity training.  It is almost pure strength training and is better if you just read the program here.  It once again involves strapping on shoes.  When I first started, I could barely finish the first repetition of exercises and my whole body screamed at me for days whenever I moved.  Now, it whimpers a little bit.  I make sure to stretch out well after each repetition.  This also takes me the longest time.

Sometimes, I am tired and so instead of yoga or anything involving the words "hi intensity", I make sure to walk my dog twenty minutes at a 15 min-mile pace.  Because he wants to sniff at things, mark his territory and sometimes leave a deposit for me to clean up, my official pace is less than that, but all that matters is the twenty minutes and brisk pace.  

This week has been hard.  It was getting in the 90's in mid-afternoon here and that means the bedrooms, which are upstairs, got pretty warm, too.  I hadn't been sleeping well.  Fortunately, a cool front came through bringing highs back into the lower 80's (Thank you God!), delaying the inevitable for a while longer. However, I have kept on so that I don't let my team mates down and feel stronger for it.

"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 15:57

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