It's been a tough two weeks, with a lot of long hours at work, which caused me to fall back on my old bad habits ... namely skipping lunch (or rather, eating at my desk) and not exercising. The excuses are legion -- working too late, exhausted from wrangling the kids into bed, tired from a day of trying to do too much, etc. -- but all have managed to throw me off my game. Having two kids doesn't help -- they add a burst of exhausting confusion to the end of the day, and 12 hours spent with the kids can make Sue as stressed as me.
Need another reason to exercise (other than building that geeky brain)? Then consider this report from CNN: for healthy people, heavy caffeine consumption &em; on the order of six cups of coffee a day &em; had no more effect on their blood pressure than those who abstained from drinking coffee entirely. No word on whether this carries over to Mountain Dew and other essential geek caffeine sources, but one can hope.
Reuters reports on a study that demonstrates exercise builds new brain cells, something of particular interest to 30-something geeks like me since:
Tests on mice showed they grew new brain cells in a brain region called the dentate gyrus, a part of the hippocampus that is known to be affected in the age-related memory decline that begins around age 30 for most humans.
After two weeks of being sick and not wanting to eat anything (strep throat has that effect on me) I've managed to reach a new low of 203 lbs. I'm finally feeling better thanks to the amoxicillin and getting my appetite back, so we'll see if it stays off.
I gained two pounds over last week, primarily because I only went to the gym once or twice last week, and drank way too much soda (mostly on Game Day and the kids not being around on said Game Day, so I could play video games until 4 a.m. after the guys left at midnight).
If only all the running around I do in Oblivion translated into real exercise...
I missed the Geezer weigh-in yesterday because I forgot my iPod at home ... and there's no way that I am going to the gym without my podcasts. The good news is that I did make it today, and the gym scale surprised me with a weight of 204 lbs. I had to reset the scale and weigh myself again before I believed it.
I now weight 20 lbs. less than when I started this quest and as a fellow Geezer said today, the Land of Sub-200 is in sight! My 36 waist jeans and pants now fit well, and while they're not loose yet a 34 waist also seems achievable.
I swore I'd never do it. I said it was pointless, watching video on an iPod at the gym. The screen's too small, the iPod's too far away, and there's plenty of better stuff to listen to that doesn't risk the iPod going flying across the gym after an inadvertent tug of the earphones sends it bouncing off the elliptical climber.
Yet there I was, at the gym, iPod balanced carefully on the stand in front of me, tiny screen flickering with all the science fiction goodness of Battlestar Galactica's "Eye of Jupiter" episode.
Desperation led me to this moment. Sue had yoga, I had a Knights of the Dinner Table column due, Heroes was on at 9 p.m. and I had to get caught up on Battlestar before Tuesday's lunch hour, when I'd be getting together with friends to watch Part 2 of "Eye of Jupiter". I had too much too do, and not enough time to do it. So I did what I swore I wouldn't, loading the episode onto my iPod and heading to the gym.
I didn't hit the gym nearly as much as I needed to in December and early January, but the good news is that despite eating quite a lot of good food during the holidays, I only gained about two pounds. I'm holding steady at 210 right now, but I'm hoping to start making downward progress again once the start-of-semester crush is over at the day job.
British researchers say that wearing music players or watching TV during a workout can help provide the sort of distraction people need to keep going to the gym, according to this AP article on CNN. At the same time though, hardcore athletes do better when they're able to listen to their bodies, and avoid such audio and video distractions.
Personally, if I'm at the gym, I need my iPod. Whether it's a podcast, an audio book or just some Huey Lewis, I need that brain fix to keep my mind occupied.