Today was cardio day! I woke up way too early, because one of the dogs whined at me to take them out to go to the bathroom. I had my cup of coffee, and planned my route. I had originally planned on doing a walk around where I live. It’s out in the country, and I love taking my walks on old country roads and take in the scenery. Maybe even catch a glimpse of a random deer or other wildlife. This morning, however, I decided to go into town and walk some of my old stomping grounds; streets I’d frequented a lot back when we lived in town. I was eventually going to have to go to the store, so, 2 birds, one stone, right?
I set out this morning with the goal of 4 miles walking, and either take time off of each mile walked, or maintain within 10-15 seconds. I think I did pretty great!
The analysis on the left was from last weekend. The one on the right was from this morning. As you can see, the first 3 miles I made some progress shaving time off! The 4th mile is hard to determine, because I walked a little further last weekend. Progress is a great thing! I was happy with the results! Now, the goal is to keep the latter pace each mile, or within 10-15 seconds, give or take. You have to figure in some factors, traffic being the major one or stopping to tie a shoe (happened both times! Guess I’ll have to go back to double-tying them!). When you’re outside walking, bicycling or running, things are going to factor in. Roll with the punches!
Here is a side-by-side of the routes I did last weekend and today. Again, last week is on the left, today is on the right.
My short-term goal is to begin mixing in jogging with my walks. I will begin that around the 1st week of September, the 2 month anniversary since I’ve began this journey. I set this goal for that specific time-frame because it takes roughly 8 weeks to show physical results from 5 days a week working out, and, I want to work in some core exercises. I’ll begin tomorrow with a simple plank. I’ll do my specific exercises I have planned, and after each set, I’ll plank for 20 seconds. Overall strength is important for taking on a task like jogging, but core strength is extremely vital! We use our core for every movement, we just don’t consciously know it! In layman’s terms, your core is your torso, minus arms and legs. More can be done to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Planks help with that a lot. I plan to add crunches and other abdominal exercises as my back begins to strengthen.
All in all, I cannot be any more proud of my times today! It’s important if you’re going to start out walking instead of hitting the gym, which we can all agree walking is an exceptional form of exercise. Consult with your physician first for medical advise. Remember to do some light stretches before and after. I prefer to do static warm-ups prior and non-static stretches after. Static warm-ups can be leg swings to the side, leg swings back and forth, jumping jacks and knee lifts. Extensions are taking whichever leg you want to begin extending from a standing position, and kicking it to the side (left leg, kick out left, right leg, kick out right). I do 15 each side. Back and forth is left leg kick out front, then kick it back. Same amount-15, each leg. Knee lifts are self-explanatory. Again, 15 times. Now you’re ready to go for your walk! Take it easy at first, then increase your pace a little. I would begin with 30 minutes. A little tip: Use the timer on your phone, set for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, turn around and head back 15 minutes. Do that for a few times, until you feel that your pace is getting easier, then increase your time. Rinse and repeat haha! When you’re done with your walk, do some light stretching. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart, and bend and try to touch your toes. If you can’t, don’t worry. Hold stretch for 10 seconds. Slightly bend at the knees and return to standing position to avoid dizziness from your blood rushing towards your head. Another good stretch is stretching your quads (thighs). For a good idea how to perform that stretch, search “Quad stretches”. Side bends are great as well. Remember when doing all of your stretches, breathe in and out. Do not hold your breath! Your physician or any physical therapist can help you out with some stretches. I will post some stretches soon, but, always remember, if you’re unsure, talk to a healthcare professional. When you first start walking for exercise, you may feel some soreness in your shins. It’s not uncommon. There are stretches for that as well you can search online. Or, purchase a foam roller and search exercises with a foam roller. Believe me: any fatigue or soreness you might feel, I’ve been there. Anyone who’s taken on the task of weight loss/weight training, etc., has been there. You’re not alone. There’s a saying in the Navy Seals, when they’re going through SEAL Training: “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday”. Stay the course! If it were easy, everyone would do it! If I can do it, so can you! Make sure to listen to your body. If it’s extremely sore, slow down. Remember to always stretch and drink water!
Until next time….(Note: Light Humor intended)
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