Monday, June 27, 2011

Dad swears by yard work

I was speaking to my dad last week about some of my fitness goals, one of which is to begin training with a competitive local sports team. I chose rugby, and he scoffed. He implied I was too old, and that I'd get hurt. When I said to him I had no intention of getting old at 40 I told him I didn't recall him working out or participating in sports much once he hit middle age - a point which he denied wholeheartedly.

"I still play golf" he said.

"Golf? That's your workout?" I wasn't convinced.

First, let me mention that my dad is 70 years old and he beat stage 4 throat cancer a few years back. So it's AMAZING that he's as active as he is. I have to give major him props. But my contention isn't that he isn't working out now, but that he didn't really do it much in his 40s.

When I told him that I never saw him going to the gym or participating in any organized training of any kind after he turned 40, I asked him what he did to stay in shape. To that he said his best workouts have always been when he's doing work out in the yard.

My first instinct was to call him out - yardwork isn't exercise! But in his case, that may be true. My dad has several acres of beautifully manicured lawn, lots of flowering, fruit and pine trees, bushes, even a water feature. And when he gets out there in the same worn red t-shirt and shorts I've seen him wearing for this, his favorite activity, over the last 20 years, he really sweats!

So, I thought I'd try it out this weekend. I, unlike my dad, have a postage stamp of a back yard, but there was about 20 minutes worth of work to do and I really did feel like I got a bit of a workout in right there in my back yard.

I doubt this will replace my regular gym and home medicine ball workouts. But it sure was fun!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Medball Routine - the woodchopper

On a pretty regular basis I do elements of a medicine ball routine I found on the Men's Health website, called The Ultimate Medicine Ball Workout, a.k.a. The Tar Heels Workout. Staring with some of these basic moves, I'm going to be posting exercise videos periodically. This will also give me an opportunity to track my progress - hence the shirtlessness of it all!

This video is me doing the second exercise of between six and eight that I do as part of what I call my Medball Routine. The original routine I found on Men's Health has 10 elements, and I just don't do the ones I don't have time for and/or don't like.

Hope you all enjoy. Please give me feedback to let me know if you want more of these.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Phase 3 in full effect - Rugby anyone?

Phase 3 of my fitness plan is in full effect. For those of you who've read my blog since the beginning you may recall that I began Phase 1 of my fitness plan more than two years ago. Phase 1 was all about nutrition. After realizing on my 37th birthday in 2008 that I was tipping the scales at nearly 420 pounds, I decided I had to do something about my weight. It was then that I decided to move to New Mexico to be closer to my grandma Fay, and I started this blog in December of that year as I began planning out strategies for for what I knew would be a long and challenging process.

My first attempts at changing my diet got stalled (notice I didn't say I failed, because that experience was an integral part of this whole still-ongoing process), and I finally got the jump start I needed when I ordered Nutrisystem in January of 2010. I shed more than 70 pounds fairly quickly, and in May of 2010 I was ready to start Phase 2 - exercise.

I started walking about a half-mile a day and joined a gym to began resistance training. I committed to one hour at the gym five days-a-week, and it stuck. I continued losing about 10 pounds a month (sometimes more, sometimes less), and have continued with the gym until today, just more than a year later. I'm still committed to the same amount of time at the gym, though my workouts have become increasingly more intense.

Now, though, I'm looking for something more. I'm ready to begin Phase 3 - sport. I have been considering some of the different sports offered at local gyms - boxing, capoeira, krav maga, etc. But I just can't afford to pay as much as they're asking for something I'm not even sure that I'd like. Plus, I'm more interested in a team sport.

Well, as I look to move to Boston this August, I have been doing some research online about team sports for adults in the Boston area. And I found that there is a competitive rugby team called the Boston Ironsides that accepts and trains new members - even if you have no rugby-playing experience. So I'm going to give it a try. I think.

What do you think? I haven't played competitive sports since high school. And admittedly I don't enjoy dirt and mud and sweat, all key components of rugby. But I do want to challenge myself and take my fitness to a whole new level. I think this is the way to do it! Excited. Nervous. Doubtful. Hopeful. I'm feeling a range of emotions. But most of all, just happy that I am at the point in my life now where I can actually consider this as an option, whereas before it would have seemed like little more than a pipe dream.