Saturday, February 20, 2016

Wellness Wish: "three outa five ain't bad"

Darn--I missed my goal! I planned to work out five days each week, and I only worked out three! However, I made progress!

I gave my valentine a Fitbit on Valentine's Day and liked it so much, I got one for myself! We've both been paying attention to our heart rates, exercise, sleep, diet, etc . . . it's been very educational! I'll be writing more about my Fitbit in future posts--I love it.

On Monday, I had planned on going to Sport and Health to work out, but the roads were icy, so I was stuck with the treadmill in our exercise room for the morning--hey, it works. 

Now that the snow is gone, I've had a chance to go to Sport and Health to work out. So far, I've had two dates with a cross-trainer. This one is different from the ones I've used in the past--it moves laterally. I liked it--my legs felt like jello when I was finished, but my heart rate didn't go too high. Perfect!

Now, I just need to build a habit of going to the gym . . . daily! I do have a lot on my plate, and it is hard to fit one more thing in, but it's so worth it. I'm worth it. The next challenge is making it to the gym at the proper time to be able to join a class!

Life is good--cheers!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Wellness Wish: metrics and establishing a baseline

Wow, it's been a busy week! Last week, I was in an Army course, the Enhanced Financial Management Training course (bootcamp for the CDFM certification exams), and I had the flu, so I wasn't able to fit in much exercise. However, I am back in the game. The week before last, I worked out at 0400 on a treadmill three times and established the following baseline: incline 5, speed 3 (to keep my heart rate below 145). I have a lot of room for improvement!

This Valentine weekend, I joined the Sport and Health near my home and learned that there is a discount for Booz Allen employees--how great is this?!

I'm excited about the variety of classes offered there--yoga, pilates, and something called bodyflow, which is a combination of yoga, tai chi, and pilates. I was hoping for a barre class, but I'm looking forward to getting off of the treadmill and trying something new! Unfortunately, it snowed today, so it was another treadmill day. My goal is to workout at least five days each week, with one day on the treadmill in order to measure my progress.

For those of you who are curious about your own target heart rate, the following chart is from the American Heart Association:

For Valentine fun, we went wine tasting at Trump Winery and Barboursville Winery (red wine is heart healthy!)--yum! 


Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Wellness Wish: another journey begins

In 2010, I began a fitness journey—a challenge. It was more than a challenge. I decided to run a half marathon and raise $2400 to find a cure for Leukemia and Lymphoma with Team in Training. It was a wonderful, life changing journey that led to three more half marathons. I blogged throughout that journey, sharing my trials, triumphs, and lessons with others.

I’m about to embark upon another journey. A year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with a thoracic aortic aneurism, and it has drastically affected my lifestyle. It is critical for me to watch my blood pressure, I’m not supposed to lift more than 40 pounds, and I’m not supposed to allow my heart rate to rise above 145 bpm when I exercise. This is difficult for a normally active person, and the result has been my turning into a much less active person.

In December, I entered a wellness wish challenge via my employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, and I was given a grant of $500 toward my wellness wish. What is my wish? In a nutshell, I want to find a way to improve my fitness in such a way that it doesn’t stress my heart and increase the size of the aneurism. I want to be able to enjoy activities like hiking, kayaking, and tennis, yet keep my heart rate low and not stress my heart.

I’m going to use this grant to pay for a health club membership that offers a variety classes such as yoga so I can gradually increase my activity levels while maintaining a low heart rate. I’m also going to learn about heart health and ways to lower my blood pressure and heart rate through my diet. As in 2010, I’m going to share this journey—trials, triumphs, and lessons—in a blog so that others may follow along with me. Please join me on my journey!