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Events and Life Sports Wellbeing

COVID-19 Lockdowns and Exercise

Update (2020-03-19): It seems that I read our Health Ministry’s restrictions a little too restrictively. For the time being, it seems to be possible to get out for a run, even if it should probably be closer to home to limit the risk of exposure to other people.

As with many other countries, Israel is slowly locking down cities in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Although this seems to be a good strategy to slow the growing pandemic, it’s also unfortunately disrupting exercise routines, too.

I’ve been running again for a few months now, and I feel like I’m growing stronger as a runner. I ran about five and a half kilometers this morning as part of my Garmin coaching program, and I was looking forward to two more runs later this week (including a roughly eight kilometer run).

Today our Health Ministry forbade any non-essential excursions out of home, and only allows 10 minutes of outdoors exercise a day allows limited outdoors exercise time (no more than five two people, and you need to remain two meters away from each other).

Exercise around a lockdown

Still, I want to make the most of the time I have available, so I’ve started mapping out roughly two kilometer routes that I can run in around 10 minutes nearby routes.

Instead of running longer distances three or four times a week, I’m going to aim to run for 10 minutes a day, and just treat these runs as speed training exercises (or something like that).

It’s certainly better than nothing, and I can’t just stop after all the effort I’ve been putting in the last few months. If I can increase my pace, I should be able to run around 12 to 14 kilometers a week.

Pausing my Garmin coaching program

I found out that I can also pause my Garmin coaching program that I’ve been following. To do that, you –

  • open Garmin Connect,
  • open the Garmin Coach panel,
  • tap on the three dots in the top right corner, and
  • tap on Pause.

Source: Garmin Coach FAQ – My Runner’s Life

It’s a little ironic that this coronavirus is undermining our efforts to remain healthy, and become fitter. At the same time, runners can become infected too, so we adapt, and do our part to help stem the spread of this virus.

Other opportunities to remain fit

In the meantime, I also want to take the opportunity to work on my core strength. I don’t use a gym (and couldn’t go now, even if I did), so I’ve been collecting videos with exercise options that I can probably do at home:

Do you do any core strength exercises at home that you can share? Let me know in the comments below?

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Jenny Hill
Categories
Events and Life Mindsets Sports Wellbeing

Today’s alternative to my usual run

Our frisbee and ball

I finally took some time to get outside, and exercise for the first time in about a week. I was going to do my usual run (it’s effective but I don’t particularly like it) when my daughter asked me to take her to the park.

I was about to say “No”, and that I wouldn’t have time, and then it occurred to both of us that I could take her to the park, and get my cardio workout.

So we took a ball and a frisbee. Our daughter (and, later, her friend too), threw the frisbee, or kicked the ball, and I ran around fetching it for them.

This worked out to be a win-win, I think.

Categories
Events and Life Food and Drink Wellbeing

Diabetic for 6 years

Today is the sixth anniversary of my Diabetes diagnosis. I remember the morning I received the news from my doctor. I had gone for blood tests because I was feeling thirsty almost constantly, and I noticed that my vision was a little fuzzy.

I discovered that these are two typical symptoms of Diabetes later. At the time, I was in a state of shock. I was only 37. I thought that life as I knew it was over. It was, just not how I thought at the time.

Being diagnosed forced me to lose weight, and start eating far better. Much of the credit for eating better goes to my wife who’s found great, Diabetic-friendly alternatives to common ingredients in the years since then. I remember that she basically went out and replaced much of our kitchen inventory with healthier options almost right away.

Since then, my control has been mostly ok.

The thing with Diabetes is that it’s a progressive condition. You need to work at it, every day, for the rest of your life.

That means you need to be mindful about what you eat, and when you eat it. I haven’t found that depriving entirely is the way to go, at least not for me. I cheat now and then, and focus on keeping that urge under control.

I’ve slipped many times. My levels were way too high for most of 2018, and I’ve started to bring them back down in the last couple months with more regular exercise. When I spoke to my doctor after my latest blood test results, she said that she’d formally prescribe exercise if she could, it’s that important.

I started running at the beginning of the year. I aim for 20 minutes, five times a week. I can’t say that I enjoy running, but I’m getting stronger, and 20 minutes isn’t that much time. It’s enough to get my heart rate up to where it needs to be (frequently even higher), and I can see the results in my routine blood tests.

I can also see what happens when I take a break from my running.

For now, my goal is to get my levels down enough for a “normal” HbA1c test in a month or two. That’s only going to happen with regular exercise, better discipline with what I eat, and a focus on the positive benefits of all of this effort.

At the same time, I’m also thinking about doing a race or two this year. The city conducts a running race in November each year. Gina and Aaron ran last year, and I think I’ll join them this year, and run the 5km race.

It’s been a challenging 6 years, and I’m sure there will be more challenges in the year ahead. The point, though, is that there will be years to look forward to.

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Brian Metzler*

*FYI, this isn’t what I look like when I’m running. It’s what I imagine when I’m gasping for breath, lurching up a hill on my usual route.

Categories
Wellbeing

Not sure who took who for a walk this morning

I need to be more active. My Diabetes control has been pretty non-existent this year. Thankfully, my new Fitbit gives me an easy way to measure my (lack of) progress, and I’ve started making better use of short gaps in my daily schedule to get outside more often.

Home must be here somewhere …

I had an hour gap between shifts this morning, so I took our dog out for a walk in our area. The nice thing about walking with her is that she tends to move at a pretty fast pace (once she gets past the anxiety of being in a new space). It’s mostly her way of trying to return home as quickly as she can, wherever that is.

The upside of that is that we tend to have a pretty brisk walk so I can get my heart rate up a bit. Today we only walked for about 15 minutes or so. Next time, we’ll head out further, I think.

I’d like to do at least half an hour at a time, at a fast walk. I’m also contemplating buying a pair of decent running shoes and getting back into running. The challenge is that Winter is setting in. The prospect of running in the cold rain doesn’t thrill me.

Categories
Travel and places

Walking to the library the long way

I wanted to go for a walk this morning. We have some overdue library books so I decided to walk to the library. I managed to drop off one of the books, and got some exercise in the process.

I made a point of doing more walking before I bought my Fitbit, but having the Fitbit is a great incentive to do even more. I enjoy tracking more of my metrics when I’m out, and about.

Categories
Business and work Mindsets

Mental workouts to for a productivity boost

HubSpot has a great post titled “9 Willpower Workouts to Maximize Your Productivity” which is worth reading. There are a couple mental workouts which could help you give you a productivity boost:

Studies show that our willpower is similar to other muscles. If little time is spent working on your self-control, you won’t see any improvements. However, unlike your other muscles, you only have a limited surplus of self-control: As our day progresses, our willpower depletes.

If you’re struggling with diminishing willpower, below are nine ways to improve your self-control and max out your productivity.

Two things which are becoming more and more important to me are making sure I get enough sleep (especially because I start work at 7am these days) and exercising enough. On the exercise front, I started running in the mornings and I’ll probably need to adjust that schedule with my early starts.

Image credit: Pixabay

Categories
Mindsets

For when you feel bad about a little extra padding

I saw this awesome line on a roadside ad (probably for a gym):

Sweat is your fat crying