Monday, December 27, 2010
How old am I again???
Birthdays! These days I prefer to ignore them, but when I think of the alternative, I suppose I should be grateful to have stuck around for yet another year. I am at an age where I actually have to strain my brain sometimes to actually remember exactly how old I am - unless it is a big milestone year, I forget. I never feel my age, well rarely anyway - maybe if I am nursing a bit of tennis elbow or some other muscle strain from a poorly executed golf swing or the morning after if I have more than two glasses of wine the night before, but that's about it. Generally speaking, I actually feel physically better now than I have in years. About 2 years ago I decided to really start putting me first and that included making time for regular exercise, not just the regular tennis I was playing. It made a big difference to my energy level and my overall fitness and that goes a long way in making me feel younger. I especially like free weights. I like the increased metabolism I get as a result of working those puppies and I also like the muscle definition they give me. I used to hide my arms, now I don't think twice about baring them. At one stage, I tried pushing it beyond my capabilities and realized I just could not devote that kind of time to it, so I have settled for a level of fitness that suits me, makes me feel strong and energetic, but does not keep me from doing other things I love as well. Everyone asks me if I go to a gym. No. I do not. I have a treadmill at home. I have a mat and a big ball, a set of 5 and 10 lb dumbbells, a 15 lb weight, a 20 lb one and my Ipod. I work out in my family room to music that motivates me and I do it consistently - no magic there at all. I don't have to get in my car and drive to a gym, pay money to do it, and I don't have to wipe off some stranger's perspiration from the equipment. I find it saves me time. I dress as though I am heading to the gym and I change the music as it suits me - my current motivational tunes are by Katy Perry and Rhianna and I slow it down for the stretching with whatever brings the tempo down a few notches. I honestly don't think I could do it without music. It turns it into something more akin to dance for me and that is what spurs me on. I do some Pilate's, some yoga poses and some other exercises that I used to do back in the day of 'aerobics" classes that make me feel good. I do some ab work, some core strengthening things and 30 minutes on the treadmill - mostly fast walking uphill, interspersed with some light jogging. It takes an hour, a bit more if I have the time and feel like pushing it and I do it 4-5 times a week. I was doing it 6 days for a while, but that was hard to schedule, so now I am happy with a bit less. I play tennis less than I used to - once a week now - 2 hours of doubles, and in the summer I golf about once a week. I figure this is all doable well into my old age. In the spring, summer and fall I abandon the treadmill for the great outdoors and my walks are longer - at least an hour- sometimes 90 minutes with variable terrain. The treadmill is really just for inclement weather - which is most of the winter - I hate the cold. With the New Year only days away, I plan to step up my work-out a bit to rid myself of the 5 lbs that crept on over the month of December. That, and ridding my diet of that "white death" known as sugar. I allowed it back into my body over the holidays, but it has over-stayed it's welcome now and it's time to say adios to my worst enemy - good riddance too. Whoever decided to call it a "treat" needs to have their head examined. The only thing it ever "treated" me to was a wide ass, cavities as a kid, and hypoglycemia. Some treat. Frankly, working out this morning - THAT was my birthday treat to myself. And one that will pay off in dividends and a smaller waistline! Happy Birthday to me!