Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Red light the carbs, Green light the cardio!

In an effort to elevate my cardio component of my exercise regime (wow- sounds like I'm a fitness maniac!), I agreed to do a 90 minute power walk this morning with a friend who has been doing this particular walk 3-4 times per week since early April. I, on the other hand have been walking, as opposed to "power" walking in much shorter bursts (30-45 minutes)about 3 times per week. In other words, I am not getting much cardio benefit from my walks, nor am I in very good "power" walking condition. Walking on the golf course, although a long walk, is interspersed with many stops and starts and doesn't really count in the cardio department either. As I sit and write this blog, I am still cooling off from what is probably one of the best sweats I have worked up in a long time. (not since spinning class a few weeks back). My friend and power walking partner, if I were to hazard a guess, probably has about zero percent body fat and is thin with longer legs than mine, so right out of the gates, she is handling the pace with ease. I, on the other hand can feel my heart beating faster and faster and although I could still talk, I was more comfortable listening. Because the two of us always have much to talk about, the 90 minutes went by quickly, and I really only noticed my quads getting a bit fatigued on the last 20 minute portion of the walk that was entirely uphill. Now that it is over and I am sitting here drinking water to rehydrate and feeling the effects of all those great endorphins kicking in, I ask myself, why I am not doing this more often. Over the years, I have gone on and off this type of power walking kick several times. And then I remember! It's seasonal. I am motivated from the spring through the fall, but come our wonderful Canadian winters, I pack it in. Even if I could deal with the cold, it's the ice on the walkways that interferes. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it! I find it motivating to exercise with people who are fitter than myself. It makes me work harder. Yesterday I played tennis with a group I had not previously played with. They were all stronger players than I was and despite the fact we were playing doubles, the pace was quick enough and we played long enough (2 hours) that I had a pretty good work out. So, if surrounding myself with people with a higher level of fitness, makes me work harder, would the same principal apply to food? I've always thought how great it would be to have a personal chef preparing healthy tasty meals for me so I would never have to enter my own kitchen with it's many temptations. I never understand why Oprah, with all her money to pay her trainers and chefs, still struggles with her weight. It still comes down to the word NO. No thanks, no dessert for me, no, cut that slice in half, no cream, no sugar, no salt, NO, NO, NO! She just doesn't like that word I guess, and neither do I. So for now, I'll stick to the occasional YES, a few NO's and see if upping the cardio will do the trick. It can't hurt. And maybe a set of those "STOP" plates for good measure.

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