Alex (yakshaver) wrote,

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Workin' it: six month progress report

Yesterday marked six months since I was able to start working out regularly. Since May 15th I've lost 51 lbs and gone from being worn out by ten minutes on the nordictrack or concept2 to being able to take a 40 minute bike ride, park the bike, do my grocery shopping, have lunch at the store, ride a half-hour back home via a slightly less indirect route, and still not feel tired. My typical resting pulse has gone from the low 90s to the high 70s.*

I've spent a total of 96 hours and 3 mins doing aerobic exercise of some sort or other over the past six months — probably more, since when I have to estimate, I try to lowball it. I've recorded 329 aerobic exercise sessions on 122 days over those six months. (Yes, 122/183 or exactly 2/3. No I didn't plan that.) My exercise sessions had a mean duration of 17 min 31 sec, the median session being 13 min.**

I would have given up in despair long since without the support of my friends. Sitting here looking back on six months of solid progress, it all looks fantastic. But at any given moment during that six months, or the next six months, or the year after that, it can be awfully hard to believe there's light at the end of the tunnel. Friends matter more than I can say at those times. Thank you.
My doctor says the thing I need to focus on now is endurance, and with my median session being 13 minutes, he certainly has a point. Aside from my target weight, I didn't have any goals more concrete than "get into better shape" when I started this. Now that I know what kind of progress I can make, I want to set some concrete goals for the next six months:
  • Every day that I exercise, I will have one session of at least twenty minutes duration
  • Once each week, I will have at least one 60-minute session
  • I will have at least four sessions of two hours or greater
Look for another retrospective in six months, telling you how it went with those goals.
* The downside, such as it is, to my progress is that I can no longer get aerobic exercise in anywhere nearly as readily as I could six months ago. The other day I spent two hours cleaning out the garage and raking (wet) leaves, which would have easily gotten me into my aerobic range six months ago. When I finished and checked my heart monitor, my average pulse was 109: not high enough to count as aerobic. Six months ago, I could go for a stroll and my pulse would average 120; now a ten minute walk won't get me into my aerobic range unless I'm paying attention to walking fast.

** If you're interested, you can see a large and detailed graph of my exercise activity over the last six months. Or, if you're really, really interested, you can see that same graph in context, with an html-ified version of my exercise log. (That page is mostly for my doctor, who's very enthusiastic about it.)
Tags: geek, health
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