Winter has arrived early here in Perth. Cold mornings, rain and wintry days ahead. I had flu-like symptoms last week, so I didn’t exercise. I prefer resting when I am under the weather. This week I moved my exercise to warm afternoons instead of chilly mornings. I did loads of walking this week. There are more people on the road. Walked for an hour at a fast pace. Walking has the same benefits as running, jogging, or any other exercise. Weight loss, enhance creativity, sleep.
It was my birthday month, and I had cake. What’s a birthday without cake? Don’t worry; it was a marble cake with no frosting or icing. It’s okay to enjoy cake or cookies or anything sweet. But in moderation. Check for the serving and track your calorie intake. Don’t punish your body by going for a long run to burn the calories or feel guilty the next day. ENJOY YOUR CAKE.
I thought last week was an interesting week but no; it wasn’t. This week my dad tested positive for COVID-19 and I was a close contact, despite having a negative result I had to isolate for seven days. Couldn’t leave the house and do my usual out door runs or do weights. So I went on YouTube and downloaded strength and cardio exercise to do at home. My strength training exercise did not involve weights. Used my own body weight. My cardio exercise involved dancing, and I had a good workout.
What did I learn
• I have done weights for months, lifted heavy weights and not once have I pulled a muscle, but when I did home exercise, I pulled a couple of muscles.
• When I go for my jog or do weights, I wear my gym clothes but at home I worked out in my pyjamas, no shoes, just socks, didn’t have to worry about my hair.
• Another great thing about working out at home is, you can wake up late because you don’t have to get dressed to leave the house or worry about rain or anything.
• You don’t have to worry about stopping to let cars pass, or overtake people while running, tripping over a cracked pavement or the sun blocking my eyes.
I had an interesting week. Monday went to volunteer and after volunteering, I went into the city to roam around. My favourite chocolate shop closed down because of COVID and many other shops too, walked past empty shops or shops up for lease. It’s heartbreaking to walk past deserted shops. Tuesday was my day of strength training and it didn’t go well. I usually jog for twenty minutes before starting my strength training. When it was cold, I left the house. I started feeling warm and after my twenty minutes of jogging; I started feeling dizzy. Luckily I was near my parents’ house and went there. I felt disoriented and close to fainting, started sweating, but I wasn’t breathless or my heart wasn’t beating rapidly. Since I have had issues with my blood sugar levels before and have an irregular heartbeat, I think it may have been blood sugar or irregular heartbeat. I didn’t do any strength training that day, didn’t want to lift anything heavy. After I arrived home, I went over my day. I drank water, jogged the same paces as the previous week, I slept my normal hours. I wore the same clothes for my jog, nothing heavy. Something must have happened for me to fell faint after twenty minutes of jogging.
On Wednesday went for my strength training, didn’t jog, just walked at a slow pace, and didn’t feel faint when I walked, did my strength training and was okay. Walked back home and was fine. Saturday arrived, and I was going for a thirty-minute jog and strength training. I removed my jacket before jogging and I monitored my breathing and heart rate. I completed my jog and didn’t feel faint, like Tuesday, did my strength training exercise and walked back home and felt fine.
Came across an article on reasons I felt dizzy on Tuesday. I think it was my irregular heartbeat.
We had got a big bin to clean our shed over the weekend and on Tuesday I woke up early to go for my strength training at 6:45am; I found a bicycle near the bin. At first, I thought the neighbours may have thrown their bicycles, but I saw a couple scavenging through the bins. They saw me and climbed their bicycles and cycled away. They returned the next day and continued scavenging because the bin looked empty.
It’s annoying when you are going for your walk and someone on the motorbike uses the walk path instead of the road. I had to give them way to pass. Wonder why they used the walk path. They had a whole empty road to ride. I found it dangerous they used the walk path.
During my morning run and strength training, I carry the most essential things in my little belt, no I don’t carry water. I find it annoying. I drink water at home and go out the door. I forgot to drink water today and felt so dehydrated, but I kept going. Anyway, back to my run belt.
5 items in my run belt.
Mobile phone: I carry my phone at all times, and I save my ICE (in case of emergency) number on my phone in case of an emergency. If m battery is running low, I charge it to 50% before leaving. Always charge your phone the night before or when you wake up.
Identity card: I carry for identity, in case something happens to me or if I am stopped. Haven’t been stopped yet.
Money: I carry a few coins in my belt in case I’m near the bus stop and have sprained my leg or exhausted, or feel unwell. I can always buy a ticket to go home. Or if you are running with someone and they wish to buy something at the shop. That happened once my aunt passed a mini supermarket and remembered she ran out of honey and wished she had carried money. I bought the honey for her.
House keys: I carry my house keys. The last thing I want to do is wake my family up before eight or arrive and they have gone.
Food for long runs: When I did the mini marathon, I packed dates for my run and they were great energy boosters. I packed two and munched on one after 17 kilometers.
Ever since I started my weight loss journey, I had to change my diet. I came across several articles which look at the good and bad food eating habits. Before I share the articles, I wanted to share my good food habits and the bad food habits I had to say bye-bye to.
My 5 Good Habits
Tracking my food, use an app to write what I have eaten or plan my meal. This app kelps track how much protein, carbs and fat I have consumed.
Drinking water-Before I started my weight loss journey, I used to skimp on water, will go one day without drinking more than 750ml of water. I have changed that habit and I drink at least 2000ml of water. I try to drink at every hour.
Exercising-I am happy to say I have been exercising for several years and my aim is to keep exercising until I am old.
Eating Breakfast- I have never skipped breakfast. I always make sure I have something to eat. The advantage of being a morning person is you wake up early and make breakfast. I sit and eat my breakfast.
Not dep frying my food- stopped frying my food and started grilling, steaming, or boiling.
My 5 bad Habits I had to stop
Drinking soft drinks–stopped drinking soft drinks such as juice or sodas. I only drink them when I am invited for dinner or lunch, but I usually go for water.
Junk food–stopped eating junk food every Saturdays, I eat healthy foods and on my cheat days I don’t overindulge. Junk food is a once in a lifetime thing now.
Eating the wrong food after exercise. Many years ago, I used to exercise in the afternoon and have a biscuit after a workout or a slice of cake… yeah, that is bad. I now usually have a banana if I exercise in the afternoon. I changed my exercise routine to morning workouts and have a proper, notorious breakfast.
Mindful eating. Had to stop scrolling my Facebook page when eating.
It is autumn here. I am happy doing runs when the day is cooler and cloudy. The days are getting shorter and it’s still dark by 6 am. I avoid running in the dark, love running when I can see outside. So my running time has changed. The days are getting shorter and cooler.
The past weeks, I have been increasing my reps during my strength training and increased my workout days. What have I learnt the following weeks?
My legs are stronger than my arms, my legs can lift 30 kilos, but my arm can lift 20 kilos.
Doing leg curls and going for a run the next day is hard on the legs, but I kept pushing.
I felt exhausted the first time I ran up the hill. But now I ran up and down the hill twice and feel fine.
A stray cat followed me, but it must have got bored with me and disappeared. I remember once someone’s dog ran beside me and the owner was calling the dog to stop, but the dog didn’t stop and kept running with me until I stopped and the owner came and got the dog. Dogs prefer running than cats.
The mind says, “we will go for a run tomorrow.” I ignore that voice and feel glad I did a run in the morning.
Squatting reduces back pains. I had a back pain, and I did a squat and the pain disappeared. Love squats.
If I am going to miss a running day, I will combine it with my strength training day. I run for thirty minutes and do strength training.
Rest when your body is tired. You can exercise the next day.
If you want to run further, trick the mind. Sometimes your mind says. ‘We should stop now’. Say ‘yes’ and keep running. It works for me.
This week I started strength training, lifting weights since I haven’t lifted weights for over two years, began lifting smaller weights and will progress. Woke up the next morning with my quads hurting. Did my morning run, and I used an alternative route, thought I had done an hour of running (I never check my Fitbit tracker until I complete a circuit.), Noticed I had only done thirty-seven minutes, so had to run the route for the second time. On Wednesday, I got my walking steps by getting lost. I walked in the opposite directions, my GPS is to blame.
I came across an article about the benefits of strength training. Strength training helps you lose calories, boost your mood, makes your stranger, builds lean muscles, and it also emphasises on starting on a smaller weight and not overdoing it. I do strength training for an hour.
Another article I came across explains the different strength training. I do muscle endurance, where I lift weights. They also say you should strength train at least twice a week. So my exercise days have increased, I do one day cardio and the next day I strength train. I avoid doing them both on the same day.
I walked on Monday because I had to volunteer, so I walked to the train station which was 40 minutes. Walking with a mask isn’t fun but that is the rule. Unless you are running you don’t need a mask. I usually buy subway for Lunch when I’m in the city but I decided to go home and make my own lunch. I still have a sugar craving, especially on days when I’m busy and dark chocolate helps. Eating dark chocolate has many benefits such as it’s nutrious, has antioxidants and improving brain functions.
I had got my booster shot on Wednesday so didn’t run, took a rest but Friday woke up early, it was one of my perfect days for running. It was partially cloudy and the air was cool. Ran for 6 km. Still monitoring my food intake and I am under my calorie intake.
Came across an article on the benefits of walking and they have the same benefits as running
Completed one month of exercising. I have increased my distance from 4 km to 8 km. I have lost weight and moved from walking to running. My Monday started with my mind being my mind not wanting to run until Tuesday but I came out of the bed, wore my running clothes and went for a 6 km run. I felt better and glad I didn’t listen to my mind. My knee is better today and ran longer. Sometimes you need to rest.
Something I have noticed ever since I have been running. There are only three times you see the bus. When you begin your run. You don’t need the bus because you are getting started. In the middle of your run, you need the bus because you’re tired, but here is no bus stop or buses nearby. Instead, you walk until you feel like running again. When you finish running, you see the bus again, but you don’t need it anymore. The school term has begun and saw a woman take pictures of her kids near the bus stop.
It was a hot day on Wednesday but I still ran. I completed a circuit around the neighbourhood, ran on smaller hills this week. Ran through someone’s sprinkler. It’s so interesting to watch people who stare at you when you run closer to the sprinkler. It was hot, and the sprinkler cooled me down. People walk further away from the sprinkler, but I love running closer to the sprinkler.
I didn’t run on Friday because I walked on Thursday. I was volunteering this week, so I walked around a new suburb. The suburb had many restaurants mainly for dinner, massage parlours, clothes shops and other stores. I wanted to run on Friday but I exhausted my body from walking and standing, so I rested. It is good to listen to your body when you feel exhausted.
You should have a rest day, according to this article. I agree with the article, rest to avoid stress fracture, rest your muscles and give your brain time to rest.
6 Reasons Why Rest Days Can Actually Help You Run Stronger.
Another article I came across has ten ways to motivate yourself if you don’t feel like running. I did one, that is; I go out and ran. Another motivation I came across is, I change my routes every time I ran.
Running Motivation: 10 Tips When You Don’t Feel Like Running.
Increased my distance this week by one kilometre, increased my runs and reduced my walking time, did 5km for three days. Weight reduced by 0.4g, happy with the results, slow progress is better than no progress.
Things I had to change this week, changed my yogurt to a low fat yogurt, eat foods high in carbs such as wraps, and increase my protein intake. I didn’t know wraps were high in carbs than bread and used to avoid them. Made sure my food had both protein and carbs, for example, a chicken wrap.
This week two of my days were fun, enjoyed my run but on my last day had a bad run day. I didn’t sleep well, which led to my body being tired, which affected my run. On top of this, I had to run up and down a hill, which was tiring after not running up and down a hill for a year. The secret to running up a hill is to go fast and running down is going slow. They were moments I wanted to stop when I run up the hill but kept pushing. Running down is much easier. Walled back home after my hill running.
Saw a lady who walks with her little dog. A few years ago, her dog approached me and I walked away from the dog and the lady said.
“My dog just wanted to say hi.”
Today I saw the lady with her dog again and stopped and said hi to her dog and found out where she leaves. Don’t worry, I wasn’t stalking her. She stays a few blocks from my house.
It was verge collection this week. All the neighbours throw their rubbish, so my run was interesting because I got to see what everyone was throwing away. Many people seem to throw their old sofas away, mattresses and appliances. Some people’s verge had blocked the walk path and had to run on the road.
Since I hadn’t run for a while, I was happy to see the usual suspects on my road. The usual suspects are people who you see on regular bases going for their walks or run. The Old Asian couple who walk every morning, the lady who goes and buys her newspaper, the lady with the small white dog, the guy with a big white dog, the old Indian guy who walks fast up and down the road. Haven’t seen the old man with the brown dog and the Asian guy who runs with a backpack, (I don’t know why he runs with a backpack, maybe he has water inside his backpack) and the man who walks barefoot on the middle of the road.
Saw an interesting article on Women Running about running and treadmills. Hate running on treadmills because time passes slowly, and it feels boring because you are running on the same spot. Guess running outdoors makes time move fast because to notice different things.