Just come back from a night time scoot. No cars at all, being Sunday, and without the dogs -- I didn't disturb the 'hood.
Luverly night for a scoot.
I wear a flashing tail light on my helmet and I rest a spot light on my front carrier basket. I need that super glow and focus so that I can see the road ahead. Most bike lights are designed only so that the cyclist can be seen by others. I have to look out for pot holes, little critters and sundries that may rear up in my path.
And when you get to the sea shore you can use the light for spotlighting... I also use it for night time walks on the tidal flats.
Great gadget is a spot light.
In the dark I use it to check where my dogs wonder off to. One has a penchant to go his own route. Fish fry jump out of the water when the beam hits the surface and this entertains my Jack Russel a lot. (And entertaining a Jack Russel is a full time activity.)
I went out tonight because I'm trying to do three episodes of 'exercise' per day, similar to three meals a day. Maybe 20 minutes duration for each and preferably 'light' exertion rather than the full on High Intensity stuff.
I'm doing this because, as I wrote recently, I do more than enough exercise. That may seem contradictory but I do in fact more or less do three episodes of exercise each day of varying duration.
If lucky -- and I'm not crippled by [ ] pain, [ ] fatigue or [ ] stiffness -- I scoot in the mornings, fit in a session Soul Line Dancing at some stage, and then take the dogs for a walk -- preferably in the evening. Of course this is a hierarchy as I do what I can when I can, given [ ] pain, [ ] fatigue or [ ] stiffness. But something tweaked for me when I started to consider Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).
NEAT is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise.
My complication is that while I do a lot of exercises I am also recumbent a lot of the time. I am also asleep often during the day and always in the early evening as well as over night. So while I expend energy doing 'exercise' I also slow my energy expenses right down when I hit the sack . My physiology consequently is continuously being contained by this on/off switch.
Example of NEAT Relativities
What I'd like would be to expend more energy over a longer period of time each day.
But how do I do that? And why would I?
Actually I knew the answer but didn't recognize it.
In 2007/2008 I was engaged with the 1000 Steps program and that was the only time I have ever lost weight through 'exercise'. The point of the program is to walk as much as you can every day and to do it consciously by wearing a pedometer during your waking hours.
I really got into it and notched up a million steps in 85 days . It wasn't so much that I was doing more stuff but that what I was doing was done consciously throughout the day.
The literature on and science about NEAT is convincing although the standard 'self help' book on the topic -- Move a Little, Lose a Lot: New N.E.A.T. Science Reveals How to Be Thinner, Happier, and Smarter (I kid you not: that's its title! ) -- is indulgent and shallow. Any good Google search on the topic will garner all the info you'll need without negotiating the book's purchase price.
But having read the book...I think there are a few changes I can make to my existence in order to consciously follow the NEAT pathway. Some I already had in motion -- that's why I was looking up the related literature in the first place.
- Time my sessions on the computer. There are plenty of browser apps out there. I'm fiddling with one that reminds me that I have spent 35 minutes (that was my arbitrary period selection) in one stretch at the console and maybe should consider getting up for a stretch and a walk around. The timer I use is timer-tab.com.
- Go back to sitting on an exercise ball when at my desk. I was using the gym ball option or some time but gave it up when I hurt my knee while deploying the ball for exercise routines. The point of the ball as a seat is that it forces you to move more while you rest your derriere upon it. I like using it and will return to the option. I'd use a standup desk but I share a computer with a partner who doesn't like to do that.
- Do three 'exercise' sessions a day. That's the equivalent (at least) of three walks of at least 20 minutes duration each. For me that's kickbiking, dancing and dog walkies... So as well as looking at my exercising as something I monitor as a weekly score card -- kickbiking, walking, dancing and HIIT exertions such as HillFit -- I am going to start thinking within a diurnal schedule.
- Be more active.
I could also get another pedometer and monitor my progress...but the irony would be that the kickbiking/dancing/dog walking sessions would have to be excluded as they are a sort of given and I don't need to -- nor want to -- monitor those exertions.
Another adjustment I can make -- and I've done this before -- is to always limit my siesta sleep time by using an alarm. When I lay down and sleep I am usually laying down exhausted and I have no choice in the matter. If I'm lucky -- given the pain and stiffness I may be experiencing -- sleep is a welcomed relief. I don't necessarily wake up relieved and I never awake rested -- but I can wake up feeling at least a little better than when I fell asleep.
If I can reduce my siesta time I stand more chance of spending more energy; and if sitting is low NEAT, sleeping is zero.
And as my daughter said when asked "What does your father do?" She replied, "He sleeps." Yep. That's been my career.
Fibromyalgia ... it's a profession.
This explains the irony of my exercise obsession.