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.
Gaming blog Joystiq looks at the health and fitness mode of Wii. Like BrainAge for the Nintendo DS, the Wii's fitness mode runs you through a series of tests (in this case physical, using the Wii's motion sensitive baton-like controller), gauges the results and then awards you a "fitness age" based on your scores. Seems like a pretty cool use of the Wii platform, and all the more reason for me to get one come springtime.
I spent the last week coughing and hacking (and taking care of equally sick kids) instead of going to the gym. The upside to all the phlegm though is that I didn't have much of an appetite, and as usually happens when I'm sick, I lost some weight. In fact, I'm now down to 208 lbs., which officially puts me at halfway to my goal of 190 lbs.
Usually I tend to regain the weight I lost while sick over the course of a week or two, as my body reaches equilibrium, but I'm hoping my return to the gym this week will allow me to keep some of the loss, and provide at least the slightest silver lining to the last week of hacking.
Slow and steady wins the race, or so they tell me. I'm at 212 lbs now, down from a starting weight of 224. The promised land of wearing pants 36 waist has been reached, though my old 36 jeans remain a little tight. I expect they'll be just fine once I hit 208.
The headline pretty much says it all: according to the gym scale, I've now 215 lbs. It was something of a surprise -- I haven't been hitting the gym as hard as I should have been the last week (going something like 3 out of 7 days) but I've still been watching what I eat and walking to working so I was still able to make some progress.
I'm switching to rabbit food (with an occasional helping of humus and some Triscuits) for lunch, which is undoubtedly healthier than my normal roast beef sandwich. Combined with drinking water instead of Coke, I've probably cut 350 calories out of my daily diet with that change.
In the two weeks since my last fitness post I've started to see some improvement as measured by the gym scale: I now weigh 218 lbs., down from 224 on August 30. I'm approaching the eagerly anticipated "36 Waist" threshold.
This isn't quite the monster milestone it may seem; my 38 jeans were always a little loose, but the 36s were always a little too tight. Six pounds doesn't seem like a huge amount, but it's been enough that I've had to go to a new notch on my belt, and I think that if I lose another 4-5 pounds I'll be able to easily fit into the 36s.
My trusty, usually dependable 512 MB iPod Shuffle died a slow, tortuous death this weekend. It ended a year-long run of iPod-augmented home-impovement and exercise, and I'm exceedingly sad to see it go.
What killed it? I'm not sure -- one day it was working just fine, the next it continued to play its store of MP3s, but could no longer connect or draw power via USB. I tried it on several machines, including my G4 PowerBook, G4 Power Mac and even my Windows XP desktop machine, but none could see the device, nor would it draw power. Resetting the Shuffle had no effect, nor did leaving it sit for 24 hours.
Douglas Adams died at the gym. If geeks ever needed an excuse to avoid the gym, the death of the grandmaster of science fiction humor would do wonderfully. But geeks have never needed any excuses to avoid the gym, having come up with dozens on their own.
After all, we're not athletes. It's not that we don't love games. We'll play anything -- card games, board games, role-playing games, war games even live-action role-playing games -- as long as it doesn't require some sort of physical activity on an actual turf playing field. The reasons for this are legion, though for me personally it’s a combination of bad habits picked up in high school (where a nerd in the gym was a ripe target for ridicule), laziness (after all, I used to go biking every morning when I was a teenager) and a sincere desire to do something more intellectually compelling (in this, I am not alone).