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?
I was placed on a proper 12 week. Health fitness and diet course by one of my work advisors. These courses are NHS sponsored and free to the user and give much useful information.
Again, it depends one what you want to get out of it. Do you want to lose weight, get more stamina, more physical strength or what ?
Interesting aside, I missed one session because I had a psychiatrist appointment at a mental health unit. He suggested the identical course I was already on. Saying that physical health can help improve mental health.
From my early 20s onwards, when I started distance running, I was obsessed with fitness. I'd run every day. I'd also never touch alcohol, drugs or 'unhealthy' food. Later still, in my 30s, I took up cycling and became similarly obsessive about it, sometimes cycling to work and back every day (a 16 mile round trip). Swimming, too, is something I enjoy - though only in the summer, and only in the sea (fortunately, I live close to the beach). I can't stand swimming pools, with the chemicals and all the people!
I'm not so obsessive about these things now. I stopped running - apart from the occasional jog - last year. I still cycle a lot, though - and, as I said, swim a lot in the summer. I'm 58 now, and I think all of those years of exercise have a) entitled me to a bit of relaxation, and b) left me with an overall fitness level that is higher than most for my age. I can still run up 4 flights of stairs without getting winded, and my metabolism means that I don't put on weight. I drink more now, though, and I'm not so worried about food. I walk a lot. I belonged to a gym for a couple of years, but was going every day and putting myself through it with a triathlon training regime... but I decided that it wasn't really healthy. When you look at it, too - top class athletes don't necessarily live any longer than the rest of us.
My main incentive with it (apart from improving my PBs in races when I was running) has always been stamina. I'm not interested in gaining physical strength, or weight issues.
Exercise does definitely help your mental health so long as you are not over training, which is hard to do unless you are training for events etc.
My main goal for exercise is to increase my energy levels (currently very low and long walks take their toll on me) and to build my muscle mass and tone as I have lost all my muscle due to not exercising. Weight has never been an issue for me, but despite this I appreciate I am probably at my most unhealthy at present and need to do something about it.
My main issue was losing weight, especially around the waist since my existing clothes were popping buttons.
My main firm of exercise is walking and resistance walking where one walks uphill and gets beneficial effects when the legs physically hurt.
I also eat less. And have become a calorie counter and I weigh myself obsessively. Keeping track with graphs of my weight on a computer.
I used to love running and cycling and like you would commute to work and cycle 60+ miles at the weekend.
I was obsessive about training and used to compete in sportives, but found I was over training at times so backed off from competition stuff. Exercise is meant to be enjoyable as well as challenging ourselves, so you were probably right to back off from the triathlete training. From what I have seen of other people putting themselves through it, it's a full-time job that is hard to juggle if you have other life commitments and injuries are common.
Do you mostly focus on road cycling or do you dabble in mountain biking/cross-country as well?
Fitness trackers can help with this if this area interests you. Data is easily tracked, logged and analysed so you don't have to worry about logging everything. Despite my low energy levels and activity at the moment, I find the tracker helps me to be aware of what I am or should be doing and puts things into perspective. I have a habit of pushing myself too much, so having data to quantify what I need to do or what I have already achieved helps.
Have you found that the 12-week plan has helped to deliver noticeable benefits?
It's all road cycling. Running was my passion for years. At 53, I was still coming first in my age-range (50-60) in my local Parkrun 5k race every week. I doubt I could run 5k now - not that I really want to. I got to the stage where I simply wasn't enjoying it any more. Getting home from work after a tiring day, and it's cold and wet and dark out, and thinking 'I need to go for a run'. Once that fun goes, and it becomes a chore, I think it becomes counter-productive.
I may get an off-road bike sometime. There are lots of routes and trails around here, and my racer isn't best equipped for them!
I made progress in losing weight. Here is my current graph, 12 week course is over but I'm still dieting.
Wow! Congratulations. You have made some real progress then as it looks like you have lost a lot of weight. If this doesn't give me a kick up the butt to sort myself out I don't know what will. Thanks for sharing Robert123.
I recommend trying off-roading as it complements what you are doing on the road bike by working different muscles as well as challenging your muscles in a different way to what they have grown accustom to.
At present I have a bit of an obsession with eliptigos! http://www.elliptigo.co.uk/
They are super expensive, but I desperately want to own one and have decided to start saving with the hope of buying one in 12-18 months if all goes to plan.