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Notes on exercise and exertion: what seems to matter

After focusing on creating and sustaining a full-on exercise program for myself I've now moved on and stepped aside from any obsession.

My lengthy mid year bout of ill health had sabotaged my program and recovering any routine has been difficult.

So I said to myself, "Chill out. All in good time."

After 4 years at the sweat face I'm relenting.

Of course when you take a break you should feel it physically and I do -- I feel my bod is missing something: not as strong nor as enduring as it  was...and theres' more daily pain.

But each time I get into the old mode -- do a session, so to speak -- I appreciate the changes that I'm re-introducing.

For instance, I'm back dancing almost every day and it's clear that the lack of practice had really impacted on my hip and knee mobility.

So it's great to discover  my core again and become more movement aware.

I'm walking less -- shorter distances -- but the irony is that I recognise  I'm missing  the routine of the peace and interaction with my environment long nighttime walks with the dogs give me.  So it's not the distance I yearn for. Nor the activity. It's the time and place. 

A walk to the shops or one of my shorter routes isn't the same as my old rambling habits along the shoreline. The dogs may get out for a walk but it isn't the same head space thing for the human.

Worst of all, I miss my early morning kickbike scoot...and that was so important to me. I could notch up an on-waking scoot even though I may be incapacitated the rest of the day. 

It was something active when I'm so often inactivated by pain and stiffness.

That leaves the High Intensity Interval Training exercise sessions -- the really demanding stuff. I need those 8 minutes of intense exertion every second day so I can handle my pain and alleviate stiffness. So that is a sort of pressing need I'm trying to re-embrace. After all: No pain/no gain. 

The rest can fit in as I feel primarily because I like all this other stuff: the walking, scooting and dancing. The HIIT -- lifting kettlebells or dumbbells, push and pull ups -- on the other hand is just plain Ouch! 

It slips my mind that I need to do this.... (no prizes for guessing why).

But I can feel its physiological absence especially on my upper body, across my shoulders and back. I'm stiffening up, despite my conscious attempts to work my limbs while swimming. Swimming and water work really doesn't challenge me that much. I need to work hard against gravity.

Since it's New Year resolution time: this year -- gotta get back doing HIIT. 

It may be irksome but the science supporting HIIT confirms it as the best 20-30 minutes  you could invest in yourself each week. So it's worth taking up and finding your own preferred HIIT routine. That's the trick. There are any number of ways to get highly INTENSELY TRAINED. Squatting. Running up stairs. Skipping. Sprinting (on foot or cycle/scooter). Lifting weights. Push up and pulling....

Just go flat out to the max. Then rest. I use 90 seconds/10 seconds cycles.


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