Tag Archive | weights

Exercise log week 3

My last week of exercise while I am on leave.

Will I be able to sustain the regularity when I am back at work? Pilates is in my diary, so that is safe. But I cannot dodge out of work early every day. Weekends are generally free to do two walks and one set of exercises. So I need to fit in another two walks and one set of exercises.

Anyway, here’s my log for the past week:

Day 1: 3.18km walk in 32 minutes. My set exercises.
Day 2: 3.2km walk.
Day 3: 4.2km walk in 47 minutes.
Day 4: 4.2km in 44 minutes.
Day 5: 4.2km walk in 46 minutes. 1 hour Pilates.
Day 6: 2.75km walk in 26 minutes. My set exercises.
Day 7 Yesterday: Nothing! Sydney had a bad day. The wind was wild and I live in an area with lots of trees. Too dangerous to walk as branches of gum trees (also known as widowmakers as they drop branches) can fall without warning. And Sydney was ringed by bush fires; the sky was orange and full of smoke. So too smokey to walk. (And my thoughts are with the many who have lost their homes.)

Droptober review of Day 14 to 17.
Day 14: No bikkies or cake or waffles or any high fat and sweet things.
Day 15: one piece of chocolate.
Day 16: one piece of chocolate.
Day 17: no baddies passed my lips. As in none of those things I dropped.

Latest round of exercises

Oh, she’s a cruel woman, my exercise physiologist.

No actually she is just a young, fit whippersnapper who loves sport and exercise.

And I do feel sorry for her, trying to motivate and push me. Madness, I know, given the pain I suffer with my back and that I pay her to give me exercises, but I do try to bargain down the number and repetitions that I have to do.

She is also a stickler for form. Exercises have to done correctly or the intended muscles won’t be worked. I strongly recommend getting someone who knows the correct form, stance, move to show you and guide you rather than just doing them on your own.

Anyway here’s the update on my next round of exercises:
1. Dead lifts, 3 sets of 12 with 15 kilos. I have trouble with the correct form of these. I tend not to move from the hips but just complete the movement with my shoulders.
2. Lunges, 3 sets of 15 on each side. These are killers! Oh my hip flexors!
3. Step-ups, 3 sets of 15 on each side. I have to watch the stability of my pelvis and knee, hip and angle alignment. I am stepping up two steps on my verandah. On the top I lift my knee up, and then return the foot to the start. This one really makes me sweat.

4. Side plank from the knee, 3 sets each side with 15 leg lifts. I am only able to do 12 leg lifts this far. But I am building up. Previously I could only do 10 leg lifts.

5. Plank, 3 lots of 30 to 60 seconds. I am only at 22 seconds at the moment, but I will build up.

I have also added bicep curls, 2 sets of 8 at 7.5 kg, and triceps, 2 sets of 10 at 4 kilos.

And a range of stretches focusing on my backside, hamstrings, hip flexor, back and side of my body. You can look here for some stretches I do.

Droptober update
Flippin’ ‘eck. That banana bread is delish! I was cursing my husband for bringing it in.

“Don’t you know I am trying to avoid fatty things?”

“Yes, but you can have it for breakfast instead of toast. And you don’t need to put anything on it. You’re looking good. Droptober’s working.”

“I’ve only lost half a kilo.”

“We’ll, the shape of your waist has changed.”

Is there anymore motivation to NOT have that second piece than knowing your husband has noticed your weight loss?

So this far in Day 12, I have only had one “naughty” thing, a slice of the banana bread. Did I tell you it is 40% banana?

Staying strong! Hope it holds for the afternoon and evening.

Exercise log Week 2

Funnily enough, keeping an exercise log has kept me focused and has motivated me. I wouldn’t have thought that it would have made such a difference. But I suppose who wants to have an empty space on one’s log?

It has also helped me keep track of what exercise I have done and when I have done it, so I can see, “Oh, today I have to do some weights.”

So here is my last 7 days:

Day 1: 4.27km walk in 46 minutes. My set exercises. I know I said I would post these but I haven’t got around to it. I have a new set for the next 4 weeks, so will post these soonish.

And I did 30 minutes of yoga stretches, from a DVD for bad backs.

I borrowed this from the public library. My back was starting to play up again and this really helped improve my mobility. Without this I would have had to take pain killers. It may seem counter-intuitive, but if your back is playing up, generally rest and immobility will only make it worse. This DVD also has some good information on treatments for bad backs. Well worth watching if you suffer recurrent back pain.

Day 2: 40 minute walk. Forgot to wear my GPS watch so don’t have the distance.

Day 3: 3.16km walk in 37 minutes. Slow because my back was stiff. Then some hip, back and hamstring stretches.

Day 4: 3.16km walk in 35 minutes. And 45 minutes of stretching from another DVD borrowed from the library. Stretch and Re-energise. It wasn’t as good as the Mayo Clinic one. But I will do it once more before returning it to the library. I know all the stretches and can do them myself but I find it helps following someone else, especially to ensure I don’t rush them.

Day 5: 1 hour Pilates. I do an equipment class. It really helps with mobility.

Day 6: 3.16km walk. And my weights and set exercises.

Day 7: 3.2km in 35 minutes. And 30 minutes of stretching and some strength and mobility exercises from the Strong Women series. Miriam Nelson has another book Strong Women Strong Backs which I found really useful. Nelson’s books are easy to read and she gives simple exercises to do.


I also watched this DVD.

Everyday Basics for a Better Back. Again from my library. It gave good advice on posture, stretching and strengthening your core. Definitely worth another look.

Droptober review of Day 11: I had 2 pieces of banana bread. Does this count as cake? My darling husband bought it. And it proves my theory, if it is in the house, I will eat it. It is mainly made from banana – 40% in fact. So kinda healthy. It was yummy.

I realised as I ate it that I tend to over-eat when I am eating while doing other things, eg doing a Sudoko. That’s because I don’t notice I am eating. So I decided to eat this piece mindfully. I savoured it and ate slowly and stopped reading the paper. Result: 1 piece was enough.

2 weeks of exercise and 10 days of Droptober, drum roll please …….

I have lost 0.5 kilos.

So I am 69 kilos.

Next weigh-in in 4 weeks time. Hope the half a kilo a fortnight continues. Skip right pass me as I am dreaming now. I might be 68 kilos then!?!

Keep an exercise log.

My exercise physiologist has asked me to keep a log of my exercise for a fortnight.

Well, when you write it down, it is not so easy to fudge what you have or have not done.

The blank row next to a day looks very empty.

It is not enough to do a walk every day. I have to build my core and backside muscles to support my back. While walking helps keep my back subtle, it doesn’t build the muscles where I need building. Also, walking everyday without enough stretches was tightening my quad and hip flexor muscles which added to my lower back problems.

And if you want to lose weight, walking is not enough. Lots of studies have shown that replacing some cardio with strength training burns more calories and builds more muscles which raises your metabolism.

Regular planned exercise or physical activity will also lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol. Which I need to do.

So for strength and weight loss my exercise physiologist has advised me to do weights. At least twice a week. And my hour of Pilates once a week.

There’s no denying the fact that I find the weight exercises very boring. I enjoy my walks. I can dream, think, plan, destress and get some fresh air. Look at this view from one of my walks.

You have to admit that is more interesting than staying in a room doing exercises?

Anyway, here’s my log for the past week:

Day 1: 4.2km walk in 50 minutes. My set exercises. (I will post these tomorrow.)
Day 2: 9.85km bush walk in 2 hours 20 minutes.
Day 3: 2.66km walk in 28 minutes.
Day 4: NOTHING!!!
Day 5: 1 hour Pilates.
Day 6: 5.24km walk in 56 minutes.
Day 7: Lots of walking/strolling – to the Post Office, to the train station, around the city.

And Droptober review of Day 4? No bikkies or cake or chocolate or pastries. Today should be OK, but I might weaken tomorrow with a special day out with my husband.

Walking is not enough. Lift some weights


Walking is not enough. For fitness, for health nor for weight weight loss.

Lifting weights will help protect loss of muscle tone that comes with age. Walking won’t. More muscle means a higher metabolic rate which means higher fat burning.

Lifting weights also builds bone tissue which prevents osteoporosis. And helps strengthen your core.

I have used the Strong Women books and exercises from my Pilates classes to devise my strength exercises. Every so often I alter the routine in a number of ways: up the weight, increase number, change exercise. I aim to so these twice a week but often can only manage once a week.

Here’s my current routine:

1. Bicep curl: 7kg, 2 sets of 8. I alternate the sets with:
2. Wide leg squats: 2 sets of 15, on the 15th squat I hold and lift my heels alternating each heel for 15.
3. Upward row: 7kg, 2 sets of 8. I alternate the sets of the upward row with:
4. Squats: 2 sets of 15.
5. Overhead press: 7kg, 2 sets of 8.
6. Lunges: 2 sets of 12 to 15, depending on how my legs feel.
7. Triceps dips: 2 sets of 12.
8. Abdominal curls: 2 sets of 8. I alternate these sets with:
9. Pelvic lift: 2 sets of 8.
10. Abdominal curls with a twist: 2 sets of 8 on each side.
11. I finish off with pushup from the knees: 2 sets of 12 to 15.

In between exercises I do some stretches.

Today’s decluttered item = I quite like these sandals and have had them for a number of years. Unfortunately one heel broke (luckily at the end of the day so I didn’t have to limp around) so this is an easy declutter.


Weekend log: how much exercise is enough?

I’ve been reading about the amount of exercise that will make a difference to your life, more in terms of health, disease prevention, maintaining youthful vitality than weight loss.

The Heart Foundation says to do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity every day.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association, healthy adults need at least:
•30 minutes of moderate activity on five days each week – such as brisk walking, yoga or dancing; or
•20 minutes of intense activity on three days each week – such as jogging, swimming or aerobic dance; and
•20 minutes of strength training twice a week

Dr John says you should walk for at least 100 minutes a week, and do strength and stretching exercises.

Dr Oz and the Real Age site recommends 30 minutes of walking at a moderate intensity a day, and strengthening exercises.

Dr Nelson from Strong Women says: even though it is best to spread your physical activity over the week, it is fine to get it all done in a couple of days, if that is all you can do. She says substantial health benefits can be achieved from 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical activity. For more substantial health benefits, she says aim for 300 min (5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity.

I can’t fit in exercise every day with my work demands. Hence my earlier goals of walking four times a week, doing two sessions of weights a week and one session of Pilates. And it has been working. Ihave thought about adding a Yoga session or some high intensity exercises, but I don’t want my enthusiasm to lead to failure. Just as I set reasonable, but challenging, goals, I know what can be put into my schedule and slow and steady lifestyle changes rather than a quick fix is my goal.

My weekend walks are for one hour as I have more time. So I end up walking 210 minutes a week, which is the 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity exercise.

Saturday’s exercise: 1 hour walk at moderate intensity and weights (counting down for rest of the year, 2/22).
Sunday’s exercise: 1 hour walk.


Strong Women for the 3rd month

I am into my third month of doing a weights routine based on the Strong Women program. I varied the exercises slightly for the second month and have made some changes again this month. I also increased the weights that I was lifting, as per the program.

This is what I am doing for the 3rd month: for each exercise I am doing 2 sets of 8.

1. Biceps curl with 5 kilos.
2. Upward row. 5 kilos.
3. Overhead press. 5 kilos.
4. Triceps dip on a chair.
5. Crunch.
6. Lateral crunches.
7. Pelvic lifts.
8. Push ups from the knees.

The increase from 4 to 5 kilos was hard the first time but I persevered. I was actually quite excited and couldn’t wait until Saturday. I wanted to see if the 5kg would be easier the second time. It was a little but still almost impossible to do the 8th rep. I’ll let you know when it becomes easy enough for me to do the 8 reps – cant wait until I am stronger.

I am doing the routine twice a week – Wednesday and Saturday. 22 more sessions until the end of the year.