Friday, 11 December 2009

Fitness Training and General Heath

My current fitness routine consists of cycling to work normally 2 to 4 times a week (8 miles each way), then a spinning class, swimming and the gym at lunchtimes (I try to do all three each week - once). I generally do a bike ride and a walk at the weekend. I did some quite long day trips during the summer of 60 to 90 miles, and Mike and I did a 200 mile 3 day trip in June, but lately I’ve just been going out for an hour or so on a weekend bike ride. I sometimes do a 3 or 4 mile run at weekends or when I’m working from home, to get some quick exercise.

I first started cycling to work about 2 years ago in order to get fit, lose some weight and lower my cholesterol. Also through the Cycle to Work scheme I got a bike half price, and it means I can get through Aylesbury’s rush hour grid lock and save money and the planet!

Since I started cycling to work, I feel much fitter, have lost about a stone, and my total cholesterol has dropped from 7.3 to 5.0 mmol/l. My doctor wanted to put me on statins, but I wasn’t keen, having read they can damage your muscles and liver (also my parents have high cholesterol, and are still going strong in their mid-80s). So I decided to exercise more and eat a low-fat diet, which seems to have done the trick. I haven’t changed my diet that much, but tend to eat well during the day when I’m active (lots of fruit and fibre), and avoid pigging-out in the evening. I’ve also reduced the amount of alcohol I drink – although a recent study has shown that drinking 4 pints of beer a day can lower cholesterol! You just get cirrhosis and fat instead!

Over the next few months I plan to step up my activities a bit – after Xmas probably, by doing some longer weekend rides, focussing on my leg muscles whilst in the gym, and trying to lose another half stone. My BMI is 25.8 which means I’m still a bit overweight – although I’m only 5’ 6” and quite stocky – so maybe this is my natural weight. I’ll try to exercise a bit more and eat a bit less to get down to 11 stone or less – but it’s difficult, especially when exercise makes you hungry, and I like my food and drink. Also exercise turns fat to muscle which is heavier – so I’m not going to get obsessed with getting down to a target weight.

Although I’m pretty fit, I think the LEJOG trip will be quite a challenge. I’ve only got little legs! I average around 12 mph on a long run, but get pretty knackered at the end of the day, especially when it’s hot. But with a good supply of energy drinks and Mars bars I should make it. I’ve considered getting a lightweight racing bike, but I think my hybrid-style bike, although not as fast, will less cause strain on my back and body as a whole, given the riding position and suspension from the comfy saddle and 35mm width tyres. We shall see. I’ve got the padded shorts and gloves too.

No comments:

Post a Comment