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Fitness Catch-up – Crunch Week

Between the barrage of colds, repeated bouts with the flu, an onslaught of work, and an overall not entirely uplifting atmosphere in the city lately, the focus on my personal fitness hasn’t really managed to become a priority, despite it’s prominent placement on my new year’s resolution list.

Though I wouldn’t have thought myself sedentary, being reduced to a wheezing, sweaty mess while jogging and pushing my son in the Chariot this past week was a moment of reckoning. Perhaps worst of all, I was running with my brother and had to rely on him to push the chariot for the majority of the 10km route. It didn’t take a session of deep meditation to isolate the cause; My regular lunch runs and morning gym workouts have come to be replaced with eating out everyday (pho, donairs, pizza, etc) and sleeping in respectively.

The response, shock the system and revive my old, hard fought morning rituals and regular workouts. Though it won’t be sustainable for much longer that a week, I’m going to kick off a Fitness crush week, with the overarching challenge of trying to lose 5 pounds in 1 week. I figure, it’s important to act now, while the guilt and shame are fresh, providing some solid motivation for change. The process won’t be enjoyable, mainly because I have significant inertia to overcome, but I’m confident I’ll be able to live without a pleasure feedback loop for 7 days (maybe 6 days, if a cheat day is deserved we’ll see :)).

Right now, or rather, just before I sat down to write this post, I weighed in at 202.5. I’m gunning for 197.5 or better by next Sunday.

It’s going to be something; 7 days of high protein and high fibre eating, 5 days of morning gym sessions and 6 days of lunch Carido. But perhaps, what I’m dreading most, is Saturday morning Yoga – I can feel my muscles screaming and my joints popping in inflexible protest already.

Here goes… getting old wasn’t, or rather, isn’t as advertised.

reSetting a Morning Routine

My mornings, especially during the work week have been pretty set for a while. After a few false starts over the last couple of years, I’ve built a consistent routine since last spring (ignoring a small week long disruption after my bike was stolen) around bicycle commuting to work every day. I’ve been getting up, reading the Globe and Mail, checking the stock market, walking the dog and then saddling up for a quick leisurely bike ride into work.

With Charles working himself into more of a routine with sleep than not, it’s just Jake and I awake in the morning. When I get home, despite some ambitions to do otherwise, it’s essentially 100% family time until Charles is asleep.

In prep for our beach vacation, I’ve been trying to adhere to breakfast by the principles of the Slow Carb Diet. But diet isn’t nearly as effective as it is when paired with exercise, or better yet, High Intensity Training (HIT). HIT sort of fits the bill here since vacation isn’t far off and I’m already short on time during the day.

My use of our home gym lately has been sporadic at best and some of the equipment is gathering a little dust. So I’m looking to enhance my morning routine, swap the newspaper for the gym, and achieve maximum effectiveness with a minimal dose.

For the next couple of weeks I’m going to try a few new things, my ideal morning routine will be a pretty packed 2 hours:

  • wake up at 5:30am
  • Weigh myself
  • Drink a litre of water
  • 15 minute high intensity workout
  • Caffeine (tea) Dose, High Protein, High Fibre Breakfast (Slow Carb Diet), Morning Journal Entry, and Feed The Dog
  • Skim the Paper, Check my portfolio
  • 1 mile jog with the Dog
  • Get Ready for Work and Bike in, at my Desk for 7:30ish, Second Dose of Caffeine… and work

It’s a bit of a change, so I’m expecting a slight false start and I might not hit every element at first, but with a combination of tracking, posting public updates, and if warranted, posting results, I’ll get there like I did with changing my commuting habits.

With the way things have been going, the time in the morning, before I head into work has turned into a pretty highly focused period of time where I can get things done, prioritize and get things moving for a highly productive entire day.  Likely not coincidence, but lately my most productive days at my desk have been those days where I’ve had pretty close to the above morning routine. In my pursuit of the ideal day, it starts with first seizing the ideal morning.