Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Workout Wednesday

Hello everyone! Okay, I realize Wednesday is over. Wednesday was a holiday here, and while I

didn't actually participate in the festival of Holi (a Hindu festival where people throw colored powder and dye on each other to celebrate color) I did have plans that kept me occupied all day.

So last week's goals were this: Complete week one of the Couch to 5K and work out to a youtube fitness video.

I did it!

Last week an hour or so after posting the inaugural Workout Wednesday I decided to go ahead and do the workout video... I did get bored five minutes into it though! So I decided to click on one of the recommended videos on the side though, and ended up working out for an hour to a couple different videos. So even though I didn't just work out to that particular channel I still count that as a success.

I didn't get to the first workout of the Couch to 5K until Saturday, but I was able to get out and do it then. It went well. I liked having the MP3 tracks telling me when to run and walk. I also was surprised at how many of my neighbors were out there also working out. There were walkers, runners, walk/runners like me, and even a few people doing either yoga or tai chi, plus a couple old men sitting cross legged on the benches meditating. All this while the sun was shining (but not too hotly yet), flowers were blooming, and kids who I am guessing belonged to the adults working out were running around playing games with each other. It was very pleasant!

I did the second workout on Monday. I didn't, however, check the battery life of my MP3 player, so about 3/4 of the way into my first run interval (ie at pretty much the very beginning of my workout) it died. I'm running around an oval path, so I decided to just estimate how much I "ran" and walked and just do that... I ended pretty much running half the oval, then walking back to the same place and running again. It wasn't exact. At this stage of the C25K I'm supposed to run 60 seconds, then walk 90 seconds.

When my MP3 player had died, I had glanced at my phone and it was 8:28am. I forgot about that until I was almost done, then it hit me to look at the time. See, in my head I'd been thinking "okay, I ran about this far last time I did it, so that's roughly 60 seconds, and I guess I walked this far" and had been trying to add up the time that way...

But anyway, what ended up happening is I *do* think I was running about 60 seconds, but I was walking about 2 minutes... but I ended up working out for like 25 minutes, instead of the 20 the plan is supposed to do. So I decided that was still a win, and about as good as I could get considering!

Then the next workout was supposed to be on Wednesday. But then I realized that Holi was Wednesday. So I asked my husband, "Honey?"


"Come here for a minute, I need your advice."

He comes. "What do you want?"

"Well, for this Couch to 5K, my next workout is supposed to be Wednesday morn-"


"Oh, okay, thanks."

Haha. Basically it would be likely I'd have spent the whole workout getting shot at with waterguns filled with paint or something. So yeah.

So instead I did the third workout this morning (Thursday) and this time I checked my MP3's battery. I was able to do it successfully, and I'm looking forward to next week!

Goals for next week:

Do week 2 of the Couch to 5K.
Do at least two other workouts of at least 20 minutes each.
Research strength training without equipment. (It's recommended for my PCOS that I do strength training, since PCOS is linked to insulin resistance, and muscle processes insulin better or something. But I don't have access to a gym or any weights.)

I'll check in again next week!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Workout Wednesday

Yep, workout Wednesday. It's a thing now.

Untitled So I'm thinking each week I'll outline my workout plan for the following week, sharing sources if possible. If I haven't already done so in previous posts that week, I'll also tell you how the workouts went.

Since this is first week, the only thing I'll say about the past week is I tried to do some deliberate exercise here and there: some crunches, some jumping jacks, some push ups, etc.

Starting this week though, I'm going to have more clear cut goals, and I hope you will help keep me accountable.

First, I am going to do one of these workouts one time this week. I found this channel on youtube, as well as other exercise videos, and I figure I will try one. I'll tell you how it goes next week.

Also, I am officially doing the C25K again. For those of you who don't know it's the Couch to 5K, a workout designed to take you from sedentary to being able to run a 5K. I completed it in September, but I haven't really run since then since I was crazy busy planning my move to India, moving to India, then planning my marriage and as you know, I got married three weeks ago.

So since it's been months I'm going to just repeat it. Only, it will be different this time. Last time I did three weeks of "Pre-Couch to 5K" because I wasn't just sedentary, I am overweight as well and when I looked at the first week of the C25K I knew it wasn't realistic. So I took it slower and did those three warm up weeks. I recommend this highly for anyone who has considered the C25K but isn't even sure you can do week one. After my 3 weeks of prep, I eased into official week one, but I was very winded during my first week of prep so I know that if I had just tried to jump in I either would have quit, or worse been injured.

So anyway, this time I am skipping the three prepatory weeks because even though it's been some time, I did improve my overall fitness before and I don't think I've lost that and I think I can do the "normal" C25K week one.

Also, last time the only equipment I used was a watch (and a water bottle and shoes, if you want to count them.) This time I'm joining the masses and using an audio program. Most people download one of these into their MP3 and then they listen to music and it tells them when they need to change (you switch between walking and running.) I am using Buried Talents Band's Christian India Running Tracks.

There are two big reasons I didn't do this last time:

I didn't have an MP3 player.

I had been running along the road. We didn't have sidewalks, so I didn't feel it was safe to impair my hearing by listening to music since there are always crazy drivers.

Well here in India the drivers are even crazier, but I won't be running along the roads. There are a few parks within walking distance, and one has a track. It's not like a competitive track, and there are no distances marked, but it is an oval path that is obviously intended for exercise, especially as when I've gone there in the past there is always at least one person walking or running laps. I have done so myself, actually, but I just did one lap walking, one lap running and then went home.

I'm not actually sure how long the track is, as I said there is no distances marked, so I'll probably still be doing it for time, especially as that's how the music tracks are set up (hmm, I just realized those were the same words!) However, if I take the time to figure out roughly how long a lap is, I should be able to more accurately keep track of my progress.

Last time I know that I didn't actually run a 5K at the end, but I was running for 30 minutes straight and was happy with that. But since I'm starting from a fitter place, maybe this time I will actually end with running a 5K in thirty minutes... and if not, then still!

One more thing worth mentioning is I don't know how well this will go because, well, Indian summer is approaching. Which scares me greatly, as it will regularly be in the 110s during the heat of the day. That said, I obviously won't be running in the heat of the day. But if it's 115 in the afternoon, it could easily be 95 in the morning. So I hope I have it in me, but if not then I would rather quit than get heat stroke. I had heat exhaustion once, where I almost fainted while not at home. It was scary and I won't risk that... but I figure if I bring plenty of water and I only exercise during the early morning, I should be able to do it. And right now, it's not that hot so there is no excuse for me not to get it done this week!

One thing is that the heat is dry heat, which is honestly much more manageable. It is in the low 90s outside already, but it doesn't really feel hot. It doesn't feel cool either, but the 90s back home is far more suffocating, and the only difference would be this climate is drier.

So that's the plan for next week... I promise that next week's declaration of what I'm doing the upcoming week will be less long, I just had some one time explication of the C25K to go over. So hold me accountable: by next week I'll need to have done one of the workouts from that youtube channel and completed week one of the C25K!

Monday, March 18, 2013

My Good Tea News

Hello health blog!

I just wanted to tell you the exciting news: I found spearmint tea!

Okay, that may not seem that exciting, but a few weeks ago I decided to look up diet changes that may help my PCOS, and apparently studies have shown that spearmint tea can help lower testerone. PCOS, a common endocrin disorder in women that I have, is at its core a hormone imbalance. So by lowering my testerone (I have more than most women) I can help bring the hormones back to balance. So whenever I've done to stores I've looked for spearmint tea. But they haven't had them. They didn't even have any idea what spearmint was... they kept going, "Peppermint? Peppermint?" No, spearmint...

But yesterday Ryan and I were in the gourmet section of a one stop shopping store (Spencer's) and I found it! Not just spearmint, but a green tea and spearmint blend. Guess what? I'd been planning on blending them anyway!

As you probably know, green tea has been proven to help up your metabolism, especially if taken first thing in the morning. Also, I normally have been drinking delicious Indian chai to wake up, which as milk, and some PCOS studies have shown lowering your milk intake can help (though whether this is because the milk in question may have come from cows treated with artificial hormones wasn't said, because the cows here are not, so maybe Indian milk isn't the same that way.) So basically I'm going to be replacing my morning chai with green tea (which has caffeine) and spearmint...

And I want to add honey to it too, because in my readings I've found that there are also studies that say if a spoonful of honey in warm water is the first thing you have in the morning, you're more likely to lose weight. We don't actually have honey right now though, but I'm thinking honey in hot water that also happens to have been brewed with green and spearmint teas probably would have a similar effect. Then it'd be a triple whammy of healthy goodness. :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013


My groom and I
I am sorry I've neglected this blog a little. If you follow on the main blog, I have gotten married since I last posted here! I then left for almost a week on honeymoon, and have been back for almost a week. So now I'm turning my attention back to this blog... and fitness!

Several different people have told me I look like I've lost weight, separately, so I'm guessing I probably did, though I'm not sure. I don't feel like I have, in fact I feel like my gut got bigger! We don't have a scale here though, so I haven't weighed myself since I left the USA... but I do have a tape measure!

Since several people have independently told me, I guessed maybe I have, but that the reason I felt I'd increased my gut flabbiness may be because I've lost muscle definition. Which I'm sure is true because when I left the USA I was definitely fitter than I am now.

I had measured my waist shortly after arriving here because we were talking about ordering my wedding gown, so I know what my measurement was... so I re-measured and guess what? I've lost two inches! And like I said, that's with me being less fit than I was in America. So if I start exercising regularly again I'll probably only increase this unexpected loss.

Fitness wise I want to start running/jogging in the mornings again. I say want to instead "I'm starting tomorrow" because right now I'm not waking up in the mornings. Since I got back from my honeymoon my sleep has been messed up and the only morning I actually got up in the morning was Sunday. (I was sick during my honeymoon and it threw me off.) So once my mornings stabilize again, I plan on running.

A week or so after arriving in India. I was going to show you a current picture to compare my size, but I can't find one that really shows my body and when I tried to get Ryan to take one it came out awful and so maybe just look at the wedding photo above and try to decide if I look thinner?
I've thought about just starting in the afternoon but there are two reasons I haven't, though I am thinking I will come up with exercises for the afternoon.

The first reason is pollution. The air pollution here is very high, but in the nights it settles so that the least polluted time of the day is the early morning. I'm not exactly sure how this works, but it has to do with the sun heating stuff up I think as it rises.

The second reason is heat. It's already in the 90s farenheit at the hottest part of the day. Yes. In March. And it will always get hotter.

But as exercising outside in the dark is dangerous, the coolest part of the day with the sun being up would be early morning, so if I'm going to run again I want to do it then.

But of course, running isn't the only exercise in the world.

I did fifty crunches, fifty reverse crunches, fifty crissy-crossy leg thingies, and fifty leg lifts on each side the other day.

A while back I did what I called the "fifty" which was I think 12 different exercises, doing fifty of each, three times a week. I was planning on doing that again...

But I found myself exhausted by just what I described above because as I said, I'm not nearly as fit as I was in America.

So I added a few exercises to the list and told myself I need to do fifty of each exercise (or fifty seconds full out of some that you measure my time) this week. Then next week I'll try to pick two days and do fifty of all the exercises on the same day. Then the next week pick three days, and keep it that way until it seems easy, then up the exercises to seventy-five, or maybe just sixty.

And I've downloaded some tracks for the C25K for my MP3 player. Last time I didn't use tracks, so that will be new and different, and as soon as my mornings stabilize I'm looking forward to trying it out!