Summer Time

Summer time just started for us – now its light enough to go out and do something active right up till gone 8pm.

There goes that excuse!

I should be able to get out for a ride after the kids have gone to bed from now until autumn. Assuming I can clear up a couple of niggling injuries.

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Climate factors

In much of the health debate the focus is on food. References to exercise are vacuous at best.

What they conveniently ignore is the weather and the seasons. In the UK we get a lot of rain. Thats great for some sports but for many its a major turn off. In our winter its dark by 4pm, so any winter activity will need some sort of lighting.

Whilst the government glibly tells us we need 5 sessions of 30 minutes of moderate activity a week to stay healthy, they show no signs of making that realistically possible.

My kids play football on a floodlit ‘all weather pitch’. So far this winter their training has been cancelled 3 times because of the rain, and twice because of frost. Hardly all weather!

I don’t know where the nearest covered venue is, but I can see unless we get more proper weather proof venues the general health of the nation is likely to decline even further.

One option to help with the lighting issue might be to insist companies give staff a 2 hour break during the day to get out and be active. In fairness most places I have worked didn’t care how long we took for dinner as long as we made the time up and the work got done.

For the last few years I have noticed I have made a significant ‘get fit’ effort in the spring, pretty much as soon as the clocks change (next week for us).

Do you think weather is a factor in health/fatness?

Buzzing

Not sure quite what has changed, but for weeks (/months) my exercising has been a bit of a slog. Quite pleasant, but easy to avoid.

Yesterday and today I have done longer sessions and have come back buzzing each time. I’m up to about 15 minutes running and about 40 minutes biking. One possible difference is I am doing them back to back, I go for a run, then jump straight on my bike after. It ends up as not far off a full hour of decent intensity aerobic exercise. I tried it the other way round – ride then run, the run nearly killed me. As riding is easier it makes sense to do that when I’m tired after the run.

I assume something has happened to get the ‘runners high’ to kick in, but the main thing is its a great feeling and I’m hoping I can use it to encourage me out on those dark dreary days. I suspect it is the length of session that gets the endorphins going. I don’t think I could do long enough in any one activity, but combining them seems to work well – lets see what happens tomorrow.

Yesterday I rode to the woods, hid my bike then went for a run. This worked great until I couldn’t find my bike after the run. Predictable of course, I found it eventually, I’ll need to be a little smarter next time!

I’m not worrying about food, just trying to not go daft. We are on holidays for a few days soon though and generally that kills any thought of sensible eating.

Progress to 11 March

The week of obsessive effort followed by 3 weeks recovery didn’t prove too effective. (net result no weight loss for the month)

I’ve changed things quite a bit now, I’m mainly focussing on getting out and doing some exercise. I’m not beating myself up over what I eat but I’m not going mad either. I’m not on the scales everyday either.

I have been out pretty much everyday for the last 10 days or so and it looks like I’ve lost a kilo (2 lbs) or so.

What I am trying to do is focus on the positives – getting out and enjoying a ride or a run (not too easy with some of the crappy weather we have had recently). rather than focus on the negatives like weight and diet. I reckon those things will come in time if I can keep enjoying my exercise.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is very grim so I hope I can drag myself out.

I think just going and enjoying the activity should mean motivation will not be a problem, but we’ll see. In the past I have had feelings of guilt for going out and enjoying a bike ride when there are chores to do or the kids to play with. At some point you have to say I have to do this for my health, thats where I am at now.

Council facilities

The mainstays of my (intermittent) fitness campaigns are riding my bike and running. I used to do a lot of gym work, but now we live a bit more remotely it doesn’t make so much sense.

Today though I decided for a change I would go to town and do a circuits session and go for a swim after. Thats a half an hour drive (each way), only to find out they cancelled the class. I didn’t find out why, I was so gutted. I just drove home fuming.

I also stopped playing football with the kids to make the class, by the time I got home from my wasted trip it was dark. So not only did I not get any exercise, but I missed out on alternative activities. Bloody council!

And then the government wonder why the population is getting fatter and fatter. Its hard enough to get in shape, without the government funded facilites working against us. And of course I fund my local leisure centre too through local taxation (poll tax).

I had also looked at buying a season pass, but they are not priced to encourage participation, or to improve the health of the nation. A single session is between 3-4 GBP, so trying to keep within the government guidelines of 5 sessions a week would cost roughly 900 quid a year, at which point 400 odd for an annual pass doesn’t look too bad as long as you aren’t off with illness or injury much of course.

Net result? looks like I am going to be sticking with biking a running!

Pattern forming

Sorry I’ve not posted for a while.

I did my obsessive approach, and it worked well for a week, then I thought I ‘d have a day or two off. That was a month ago!

This is pretty much what happened last time too. And that seems to be the pattern, obsess for a week or two, and do lots of exercise and blog posts, then take a break and forget all about diet, exercise and blog posts.

So I lost about 1kg (2lb) during my week of effort, which I put back on the following week whilst ‘rewarding’ myself for my exertions.

I had a (brief) go on my sons skateboard the other day, brief because I saw it had a weight limit of 75 kg ( 165 lbs, 11 stone 11 lbs) that really struck home – too fat to skateboard!

Anyway I have had some serious lifestyle thoughts which I will share as time goes on. For now the key thing is I have come to the conclusion that my career choice is not a healthy one.