Back at it!

Fall 2014 semester is off and running! I was amazed when I looked back at my blog and it has been almost a year since I posted! This is not to say I did not think about the blog during that time, however, it obviously got neglected. My fitness over the past year has increased significantly. Since being diagnosed with a fracture in my vertebrae September 2013 I biked either outside or inside two to four times a week. Starting around February 2014 I was allowed to start running again. Since then I have been running almost every other day and slowly increasing my mileage. In addition to running every other day (3-4 days per week) I am also going to start biking to work once or twice per week (weather and schedule permitting). This semester some of my students are required to keep a fitness and/or nutrition log, within that log they are required to keep proof by taking selfies accomplishing their goals. In spirit of this, here is a picture I took following a run August 27th 2014 around 5:30pm when it was mid 90’s with a heat index over 100 (as you can tell by how red my face is!).

September272014

Since the end of Fitness Walking…

On Saturday my wife and I parked about 1.5 miles from Evansville’s annual Fall Fest, which is, for the most part, a fried food festival. We decided to park far from the festival with the anticipation we would eat some unhealthy food and we would feel less guilty about eating it! We did not end up eating any fried food mostly because we were not impressed with the options and overall atmosphere of the festival.

On Monday and Wednesday this week I did between 45 minutes to 1 hour of biking. On both days I did stationary biking on the stand I have for my road bike. It has been a while since I have used the stand because biking is just more fun outside! I am glad I forced myself to do the stationary biking, if I wasn’t doing this fitness log I probably would have done nothing both days!

Fitness Walking Class Reflection

I biked again on Wednesday to and from USI’s campus and had the final day of the Fitness Walking class on Thursday. For our final day we played Frisbee Golf, of which many if not all of the students had never played before. I believe there were several that enjoyed the activity.

Keeping this blog up was partially due to the fact I was requiring my students to keep a fitness log, therefore I felt it was important I did one as well. While I have never kept a public fitness log before, I did keep track of workouts and mileage I ran when I was a college track athlete and when I ran my marathon. This fitness log is different in many ways because I wasn’t worried about hitting weekly mileage goals or meeting certain times during workouts. I have found this fitness log and holding myself accountable provided motivation to do physical activity on days I may not have otherwise. I certainly understand why people are not physically active; it is easy in our society to not be. Most peoples jobs are sedentary that require minimal walking around the office even to go to the bathroom or break rooms. On top of that roads and parking lots make it horribly convenient to be close to the places you want to go (not to mention all the drive through options for food and drink). Our society is not set up to be physically active. I had a thought on my way into work as I passed a drive through fast food establishment… would there be a positive increase in healthy behaviors if drive through options no longer existed? Would society become healthier by that simple modification?

Many of my students in the Fitness Walking class wrote they liked having a set time twice a week to walk (I enjoyed it as well!). Several reasons mentioned were they enjoyed the social aspect (making friends!) but also, once they got into the routine of walking twice a week they enjoyed doing the physical activities. I really do hope this class and requiring my students to keep track of their fitness activities this past 8 weeks made and continues to make a positive impact on their lives. I hope my students continue to work towards their fitness/wellness goals of losing weight, feeling energized, and an increased quality of life that can be achieved through physical activity. I will continue to keep up my fitness log because like I stated above, this has become a source of motivation that I needed to be physically active.

Fitness walking class is ending

Over the weekend the weather was fairly horrible, lots of rain and wind. I was hoping to go biking before the rain started Saturday, however, it was already raining when I got up at 7am. On Sunday I did curl-ups, push-ups, and lunges. It has always surprised me how sore lunges can make you no matter your fitness level. It just goes to show that you do not need any fancy workout equipment to work your muscles. On Monday I biked to work and back, it was high 40’s/low 50’s when I started in the morning and I can tell my body is not used to the cold air! The rides went well, and I my body is getting in much better biking shape. I am not looking forward to the day the winter weather starts and I will be unable to bike to work anymore. Today I went walking with my fitness walking class, I forgot my shorts at home… so I walked with my work clothes on. Luckily it was a fairly cool day!

Moving along

Today I went for a walk with my Fitness Walking class, we did 3 miles again. The class ends next week and I have really enjoyed teaching this class this semester. My goal is to maintain going out and doing some sort of fitness on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s after this class has ended.

Fitness Walking

Yesterday I walked for 3 miles with my fitness walking class, it was another great day to be outside! This morning I found out the reason why my back has been hurting… Apparently I have something called a “Pars Defect” in my L-5 vertebrae. Basically it means I have a bone fracture in my lower back. I guess this is why the pain has lasted so long. The good news is my spine has not shifted or done any weird things, but I do have a fracture that will hopefully get better with time. I need to focus more on strengthening my core and not doing anything dumb like lifting things I shouldn’t and hyper-extending my back.

A good weekend…

This weekend was perfect to be outside. On Saturday my wife and I played 18 holes of Frisbee Golf near the Mesker Zoo. The course is much tougher than the one on USI’s campus, many more obstacles! It took us 2-3 hours to complete, we were not in any hurry and at times we had to wait for the group in front of us.
On Sunday I went for a 4 mile run, I am wanting to go farther but I am weary of how my back will respond. I am still having back pain, especially days after I run. The good news is that my back does not hurt while biking and does seem to be getting better! I also did some pushups and abdominal work. I need to do these activities much more!
Today (Monday) was a biking day. I felt good during the ride and it felt like I made good time because I hit green lights on almost all of the streets that have them. Of course, there are also the stop signs, but I have to stop at those regardless. I was in a bad mood when I started the ride and almost let it prevent me from riding to work, but I reasoned with myself and convinced myself I would be in a better mood if I biked to work. I was right! Good job self!