Saturday, August 08, 2009

A Contrast In Exercising

The sacrificial altar of my many lost pounds

For the past month my workout on the exercising bike has been between 80 and 90 minutes. I do a 10 minute warm up on a lower resistance setting, then I go up a setting and do that for 65-70 minutes before taking a one minute 'break' at the lower setting. I then do several minutes at the higher setting, another minute at the lower setting, then the higher setting until I am a minute away from finishing and I go to the lower setting as a bit of a cool down.

It's always somewhat of an effort to get through the workout. Some days it just a physical challenge, others days it's stress from a bad day in the office. Other times it's just boredom. Let's face it; riding a stationary bike for an hour and a half is far from exciting.

I've tried playing video games, the motion of the game on the screen coupled with the pedaling on the bike just makes me too dizzy! So, I watch TV, and as I have mentioned before I typically watch shows from the Food Network. Why, would someone working to lose weight watch shows full of foods they can't eat? For several reasons. First, I like them! They are amusing and educational and often give me ideas to use in my own cuisine. My Pasta with Chicken, Mushrooms, and Shallots in a Saffron Sauce Reduction came from a show I saw. Second, it's a reminder to me of how I got where I was by eating too much of too high calorie recipes. Finally, it's the carrot on a stick, to remind me to keep going, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and one day, down the road, perhaps once a month, I can have a lavish meal with too many calories!

So, as I started saying some days the workout goal seems almost impossible to achieve. Yesterday in fact, I was so worn out when I got about 30 minutes into the higher setting, I did not think I would be able to keep going, so, I took a minute at the lower setting. I ended up interjecting several unscheduled 'breaks' like this which increased the time of my workout by a few minutes since the goal of the workout is a set number of calories burned. The lower resistance setting burns less calories. When I was finished though I had burned the 900 calories, it just took five minutes longer. The workout is rarely this bad, but other days, it just seems to go on forever.

Today was one of those rare workouts though that could almost cause me to enjoy exercising! Don't get me wrong, every day when I climb off that exercise bike, I am elated that I finished the workout. This morning, I was into it mentally and physically. The ride was almost effortless, the time passed reasonably quickly, I did 70 minutes at the higher setting before taking that first minute break. If the workout went like that every day, it would be fantastic!

And it is a workout! The t-shirt I am wearing is completely saturated in sweat as is the golf towel I keep on the exercise bike for wiping my face and head. It is a hearty workout!

However it goes, I don't know how any days I'll go on my streak of continuous days. Without checking I think this Sunday marks 17 weeks. For me, couch potato that I am, exercising every day for 17 weeks is quite an accomplishment.

Oh, and I hate exercise!


Bev from PA said...

Good for you Chris. I hate exercise and am in the "psych myself up phase". Had an exercise bike similar to yours and gave away. There's an elliptical in basement I just have to use the thing.

As I said Good For You Chris. Keep it up.

David Louis Harter said...


I ride 3-4 days a week--generally for 20-30 minutes.

Your workout regimen makes me look like a true slug.

- David

Chris said...

Bev, thanks much for the kind words I hope all is going well for you in PA these days!

David - You are not trying to lose a third of your body weight, so, your workout suits you fine! It is commendable to exercise on a regular basis.