Jan 16, 2008

On Being Out of Shape

I have previously posted about my efforts to lose weight, and I was able to drop from 236 in 2006 to 220 by October 2007. Alas, the holidays saw my weight creep back up about six pounds, and I decided this term to make regular visits to the gym as a way to combat my overeating and improve my health.

While I have been engaged in walking and light weightlifting, it would be inaccurate for me to suggest that my 6'5" self is anywhere near being "fit." My visit to the UT Rec Center this afternoon was a startling reminder that I have neglected exercise for too long.

I walked at a 4 mph pace on the inclined treadmill for 30 minutes, listening to the Pete Townshend album Empty Glass as I got my blood pumping. This fast walking caused my heart rate to rise between 130 and 150 bpm, and I worked up quite a sweat in the two virtual miles I covered. There are lots of cool statistics on the Matrix machine, including the estimation of 200 burned calories.

After getting off the treadmill, however, I realized that there is a considerable price to pay for neglecting one's cardiovascular needs. I was winded and disoriented, and I suspect that I should start with shorter walks on my next visits.

No need to induce a heart attack trying to shed another 20 pounds.

Anyways, for the twentysomething slackers who might be reading this post: middle age creeps up rather quickly, and I advise you to put down the potato chips and go for a long walk every day. One or two pounds a year adds up faster than you might think, and getting rid of excess baggage really sucks.


Anonymous said...


historymike said...

I believe that would be "Twinkie." Thanks for visiting, though, Anonymous.

microdot said...

Mike, do you bike? I realize it is hard in the city.
I have a very good friend in his late 60's who rides every day to work in NYC. On week ends, he rides with a group of buddies up the Hudson River and usually does a trip of over 100 miles. I am in awe that he does it in cold weather....he has a lot of tricks for insulation.
Granted, we can't all do that, but I have found that biking is a way to feel timeless. When it is all working, I feel the same as I did when I was 16.
In the winter, I have indoor trainer, which I use a few times a week to keep my legs going.
I can send you my buddy, Enzo's virtual bike tour video of Cape Cod to watch when your rolling indoors on a chilly day!

Actually, biking in Northwester Ohio is great! Virtually no hills!

The added, benifit is that you can eat what you like, if you want as your metabolism quickens!

ollie said...

I love to walk. Keep it up! It gets more fun during the good weather seasons.

But remember this: your long term goal is sort of a "marathon" rather than a "sprint", so take it a little at a time.

You might think in terms of eventually signing up for a long footrace of some sort (half marathon?) that has a long time limit; that might give you more motivation.

PS: cell phone drivers annoy me too.