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What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been – Let’s be Active in 2021!

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2020 was a rough year, but it could have been much worse. I was employed, in a fairly new home, and despite not having any vacations or non-virtual fun with friends, it was still better than expected, and better than most. However, one thing I’ve been missing out on is going regularly to the gym with a couple of friends. Workout from home? Sure…that’s easy. Got some equipment and started doing it…only to discover that it wasn’t as much fun as before, and it became too repetitive and/or boring. And as the months went by, I became less and less interested in working out, and as a result I ate a lot more and started to gain weight. I started the year around 180lbs (I’m 6 ft tall) and ended at 210lbs. This was a pretty unhealthy trend, and if I wanted to make it to my 40s and 50s, I had to do something to change it up.

New Years Resolutions are in general, pretty stupid.

New Years Resolutions are in general, pretty stupid. And it’s not because of the idea of “wanting to change yourself”, because that, in itself, is great. What makes it stupid is that many times it’s a substantial change; significant enough of a change to not follow through with it. Things like: “I won’t eat dessert ever again” or “I’ll exercise for 2 hours a day” are great goals, but they’re difficult to follow through with. So, I figured I’d make a relatively simple set of goals, making it somewhat easier to follow through with them. 

[geekmaghighlight]Goal #1[/geekmaghighlight]: Eat only two meals per day: A light breakfast and a somewhat substantial Linner (Lunch/Dinner for those who are unfamiliar). The latter is…how do I put it…not the healthiest way to go about things. From what I’ve been told, eating 4-5 very small meals throughout the day is the “best” way to go about it. But I really love food…I love it so much that it’s tough for me to eat a small meal because I won’t stop. And as a result, I consume entirely too many calories per day with that method. So, I decided to eat twice a day, and make sure I don’t eat past 4pm..that way I don’t go to bed right after eating (which I’ve also heard is bad for you…but who knows really).

[geekmaghighlight]Goal #2[/geekmaghighlight]: Walk 15 minutes a day, every day, rain or shine. Walking is by far, my favorite exercise. If motivated to do so, I could walk for hours without resting (as long as I have comfortable running shoes). I don’t like jogging or running as that hurts my knees (yes, I’m old) and my asthma prevents me from constantly going at a fast pace. Starting this in the winter is a bit lofty of a goal considering it’s cold and wet, but being in Houston, it’s actually better off than many places in the US.  So, fast forward 11 days later and so far, I’ve been consistent… walking at least 15 minutes (usually 25-30) and around 1.5-2 miles a day. It’s not a lot, I know. I’m not training for anything nor am I trying to lose significant weight or anything. But, it’s something, and it’s every day. I even went yesterday when it rained and was 35F out, so there’s that. But, a few things help me along the way while walking to stay engaged.

I’ve been listening to an audiobook while on my walks (exclusively so, so I have enough material to last me a while). I’m using the “Smart AudioBook Player” App for my OnePlus 7 Pro that, with a properly loaded m4b makes the experience seamless. I happen to be listening to Ready Player Two right now, which is an amazing book and I highly recommend you pick it up (but, read Ready Player One first!) Also, it does get really loud with cars, wind, construction equipment and other noises along the way. So, having a good pair of noise cancelling headphones do help a lot. And while the Sony and Bose leading headphones have great noise cancellation, I wanted excellent audio quality too… so I’m using the Bowers and Wilkens PX7s. I originally got them for plane flights, but that’s not really an issue right now, so they end up being great on my daily walks. 

Part of this experience is also to prove to myself that I can do it, and to track my progress (because, who doesn’t love some progression, right?) So, I’m using the popular app known as “Strava” which I post privately my walks every day (I don’t post publicly for reasons besides privacy…I just don’t walk very far and don’t like the judgement).  So far, I’ve explored a few different parks in the area, along with a good chunk of my sprawling neighborhood, as well as a new construction section currently being built in the back of my house. It’s a fun hobby and hopefully, if all goes to plan, it leads to a healthier lifestyle that can make me feel better, healthy, and at least, at a similar weight by the end of the year, if anything. So far, I’ve already dropped down to 195lbs, but I expect it to slow down considerably. Either way, I plan to keep it up…whether it rains, snows, hails, or whatever the weather may bring. After all, I can always do a mall-walk if needed, right?

 

Where I went, I didn’t need roads! Or at least, not on that day! This is a snapshot of one of my walks using the Strava App. 

 

 

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