Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Walk Thoughts #9: exercise

I've been walking again for a little while, but last night saw me do a full-blown, 14-staircase, 21,000-step creekside walk, followed by a short battery of indoor exercises, the list of which you can see here.* If you checked that link last night, you may have seen a slightly longer list of exercises that included forward and reverse lunges. I've now taken those off the list because (1) I could tell I wasn't doing them right, and (2) there was instant knee pain the moment I tried the reverse lunges. I've got squats on the list, so the squats—which cause me no pain—will have to do double duty in terms of building leg (etc.) strength.

I finally engaged in planking last night as well. Managed 30 seconds. I'm pretty sure I was doing the standard forward plank incorrectly, given that I had some pain and strain in my lower back. Form is everything: if you're not doing an exercise correctly, it's hard to derive any benefits from it. Tonight, I'll rewatch some planking videos to make sure I've got the form down. I did, however, do much better with the side planks, which were—bizarrely—easier to do. Maybe it was the duration: I mistakenly did 30 seconds of front planks followed by my mandated 10 seconds of side planks. As you see on my chart, I'm building up to a full 60 seconds of planks, all sides, by the end of eight weeks.

Crunches were fine; I'm starting slow at only 3 crunches this week: forward, reverse, left side, and right side. By the end of eight weeks, I want to be up to 20 reps each. (Back in high school PE class, during the wrestling unit, Coach Taylor started us off with three types of crunch** at 30 crunches each—90 total!) The real embarrassment last night, though, was pushups: I didn't manage a single legitimate pushup in the standard position. I did manage to do a few on my knees, so I may rework my schedule, pulling my goal down from 20 legitimate pushups to only 10—with a promise to continue working on pushups after the walk is done.

There will be plenty of time, after the walk, to expand on the above exercise regimen, but for the moment, I've got to start somewhere, and I've chosen exercises that I think are relevant to the upcoming walk: exercises dealing with core strength, leg strength, upper-body strength, and a bit of arm strength just to round things out. I like how I've spaced out my cardio: MWF for creekside walking, TR for building-staircase walking, and SS for jump-roping. Among the cardio exercises, jump-roping is filling me with the most trepidation because I've been so uncoordinated up to now, but I'm aiming to get through five minutes of interval roping (30 sec on, 10 sec rest; repeat) by the end of Week One. Oh, yeah: for those of you reading my exercise chart, know that the listed goals refer to where I should be by the end of the given week, not to where I should be starting at the beginning of the week.

*For some reason, Google's sharing link isn't read-only: you can actually alter my spreadsheet data, it would seem. For some odd reason, I can't put up a read-only sharing link from my office, so I'll trust you to be on your best behavior while I wait to change this once I'm back at my apartment. Hmmm.

UPDATE: can't change this from home, either. What's up, Google?

UPDATE 2: all is well. When I signed out of my own account and tried altering the file, I got a "view only" flag. So we're good.

**Those three types of crunch were all forward crunches: (1) feet flat on the ground, (2) knees raised and calves parallel to the ground, and (3) legs fully extended and 90 degrees to the ground, feet pointed at the ceiling. Surprisingly, I got through those. But that was when I was, if you can imagine it, thinner.

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