I am curious as to how other people stay fit and healthy on the forums.
My fitness levels are not great at the moment so I am thinking about what I can do to get back into a routine. My energy levels are very low so need to build something up gradually, but would like to get back into cycling again as I do miss it.
What about you? What is your approach to health and fitness?
Hm. They look interesting. Not sure it would be for me, though. My road bike cost getting on for £1k when I bought it 15 years ago. It's a Specialized. Only let me down with punctures - even with puncture-resistant tyres! Part of my problem is my height, and it was the only bike I could find at the time that was a perfect fit for my very tall frame.
Well....I am surprised. The more I come here, the more I find how great the simiariies are amongst people here. I'd be interested if anyone else charts their bodyweight like you do. I could show you my charts - 30 years worth - And that's no word of a lie. Body composition and fitness verges on the prohibitively obsessive in my case. For me, it's nothing to do with body image/vanity or even cardovascuar health. It's the constant monitoring and identification of patterns over which I can exercise control. As regards fitness, I do what my arthritis allows, but mostly cycling - Again the repetetive cadence of motion is what I'm doing it for, Also, I believe people like us are hugely sensitive to natural endorphin fluctuation. I would be an obsessive exerciser, when possible - Something else that gives me a feeling of being in control of my health. In reality, I can't change my genetic make-up and will most develeop heart disease / cancer in my early 70's, as did both my parents. However, adherence to strict fitness regimes and healthy eating plans gives me a framework I can operate within and a provides a shield against depression when the Black Clouds come.
I have been inspired by others on the forum to try the couch to 5k. So far I have reached week 4 which I am pleased with as I do have a lot of couch time due to fatigue. I’m not sure how far I will get with it as I have arthritis in my knee and spine but even if my “jog” is faster than my walk it’s an improvement and it’s free and can do it when I like
I too aspire to getting an expensive trike the Hase recumbent or Icetrikes especially the ones that can be used off road. However they are at the moment prohibitively expensive as they are adjusted to personal requirements. This type of cycling is better for my spine and balance.
ive also cut out sugar and fat from my diet and had started to cut out gluten ( which I felt a lot better without but have to eat it again for a while til checked out for coeliac). I also try to have my main meal at lunchtime whilst In more active and just soup and fruit before 6pm so that I’m not going to bed with a full stomach. We’re all so individual we have to try different things to find what suits us.
I'm glad the couch to 5K is going well so far. It's a good app and have used it in the past. I've found a training plan similar to this style, but for cycling, so I am hoping to try that once the weather improves - snow and ice on a bike only leads to disaster!
Yes you are right, we are all individuals and as such have our own requirements. I have experimented a lot with nutritional approaches over the years and have found a vegan diet suits me well. Likewise, I have also cut out refined sugars and my fats mostly come from nuts, avocados and dips such as hummus or tahini. I am trying to get my partner to eat healthy with me as well, which works so far as he will eat freshly prepared meals with me, but then binges on cakes and biscuits! I can't win!
The recumbent trike looks interesting. I did some research a few years ago on recumbent bikes as I wanted something I could do a bit of travelling on and would be suitable to pull a small pack on wheels behind it. The low position put me off a bit, but saying that, there is a man I see commuting to work on one and he has a tall flag mast mounted to the rear of it with a bright flag mounted on top. Definitely makes him more visible and he gets some decent speeds out of it.
I use the MyFitnessPal App. It's free and you can record your nutrition intake to the calorie, chart your nutritional breakdown, measure progress visually, set yourself goals, and it sends you these great motivational/organisational reminders. Perfect for my zany little mind.
I have fibromyalgia and so struggle greatly with exercise fatigue. I would say add things gradually. I started not even being able to get up a flight of stairs and my muscles had become so weak that I could barely support myself properly. I started out with a few exercises from a pilates routine and gentle walking and slowly built up. I am now averaging 2-3 hours a week (two dance classes and a yoga class) plus extra walking and home exercises when I can. I have also been to quite a lot of sessions of physio therapy which have really helped as they have helped me target the areas where I struggle most. This has been over a period of 3/4 years.
Also as said before quitting sugar has helped greatly along with cutting back on meat. I have just started on the Patrick Holdford Low GL style diet and been finding things much easier energy wise.
I have found that routine is absolutely key, especially with some kind of external motivation, i.e. attending regular classes. I do yoga and always intend to get into a routine at home but if I don't attend a regular yoga class it just doesn't happen. Oh I'll do it tomorrow, oh a couple of days won't hurt, oh I can't fit it in today, etc. When I attend a weekly class I find that I am more motivated to keep practising a few times a week so that I don't fall behind in class.
Also I have to admit that the fitness app things have helped to keep me motivated too. I'm usually anti-tech for things but I started recording my steps over a year ago and have continued to monitor them. I also added other activity and now I have my own activity goals which I monitor.
I have cancer so I have to be careful with my energy, but then I also have to keep fit. So I think that has kept me motivated. If my activity levels drop I start to wonder whether it's an energy blip or whether it's the symptoms starting again. That gives me a blast of motivation because I don't want to feel ill again. If it's an energy blip then I should come through it and be able to increase my activity again.
Diet - I don't think there is a one size fits all. You have to go with your body. I am generally low carb but don't worry about fats as long as they are the right types of fat. Our body needs fat. Now the weather is a bit colder I have increased my carb intake as I can feel that I need the energy it provides at the moment. But I still keep plenty of fruit and veg in my diet. There's a lot of discussion about whether you should have fruit or not given that it has sugar in it but I do have 2-3 pieces of fruit a day and try to make sure that I have different types of fruit. I tend to have around 6-7 portions of veg a day, again trying to make sure it's a good mix of different types. Processed sugar is of course evil, but unfortunately does contribute to an occasional tasty treat (mmm fruit crumble).
There are different styles of recumbent so that racer types are almost on the floor and fast but there are others designed to sit higher up which is what I would go for ease of getting on and off and to be seen. Some have space for bags on the back or pulling a something. Plus for me I felt safe on it when I tried one which I don’t with bicycles and it was fun which isn’t something I’m used to. It immediately brought a big grin! And because of the fatigue issues It creates a seat when stopped. Anyway it will be quite a while before I can get one The fat tyre Icetrike for off road looks great because you can cycle on green lanes and beaches etc as long as you wash it afterwards.
This is how I have been much of the time using a stroller to get about and so after my last bout of fatigue and being ill I suddenly decided enough was enough and so making this attempt to do the couch to 5k. My jog is other people’s stroll or walk but that doesn’t matter because it’s giving me a goal and someone coaching and encouraging me whilst I try. Not very easy in icy weather but the rest day/s suit me. Plus I find routine really difficult to stick to and don’t know when I’m going to need a sofa day so it’s flexibility suits me. It’s encouraging to know you have fibromyalgia too and managed to build up to so much activity.
LimaMikeSquared said: I started not even being able to get up a flight of stairs and my muscles had become so weak that I could barely support myself properly.
I use a fitbit, I enter the data in on their app and it plots it all for me. It also with plot on graphs how much water I have been drinking which is really useful for me as I dehydrate quickly. It also has a food diary although I find it problematic in the way they assess certain foods.