Workouts Oct 17-18, 2014

I post these videos so people can judge whether I’m in better shape than they expect to be at 67, and whether I’m having fun. The question I’m asking myself is, Am I gaining on getting rid of the remaining fat and loose skin or is it gaining on me? After three weeks on a semi-diet I can tell for sure that I’m gaining but I could be doing better.

In the past I’ve seen miniscule improvements in both fat loss and less visible loose skin almost every week, and I’ve been doing this so long it’s made a real difference. But even though relatively speaking there’s not much left it’s still more than I want to see. It feel so great not having to carry so much around, so I’m thinking it’s going to be fantastic to not carry any and I’m getting really impatient.

So I went on a diet about three weeks ago and I thought I was seeing results the last couple of weekends, but this week I’m fairly certain that I’m losing the fat faster than I was. But I still need to be more strict; not just to lose weight, but because I feel better when I eat clean – especially when I wake up the next morning. I’m pretty good during the week, I’ve really learned to appreciate how much better it is to get to work feeling fairly empty. It makes the whole day better. On the weekend I can work out if I’m not feeling tip-top in the morning – at work I can’t do that. As usual, how I feel motivates me to cut the junk food more than losing weight.

And maybe I’m not losing any faster. Maybe I just hit one of those points where the fat bottoms out over a strategic area giving the illusion I lost a lot. Either way I’m happy to see the difference. I’m so looking forward to the day when for all practical purposes the fat is gone. I’m pretty happy with my condition overall, although I would always be happy to have more muscle, but I really want the fat to be gone so I can see what’s there clearly.

I added a new “move” this weekend, which is hooping with your hands clasped behind your back. I think I’ll call it “Hidden Hula Hands”, but I’m open to suggestions. I thought it would just be a new challenge to agility, but I think even more than that it’s going to be a good way to work the core with more emphasis. I discovered if you try to direct your body by moving your shoulders it requires a lot of effort coordinated between the obliques and hips to maintain control over both the hoop and keeping your balance, so I’m pretty excited.

I intend post a blog article on the subject, but you can see “Hidden Hula Hands” now in the post of all the songs from the most recent weekend which can be viewed here. I get into it more after about the sixth song on the 18th when I realized I could grasp my forearms behind my back instead of must clasping hands.

These are some of the songs I hooped to this weekend (Oct 17-18), demonstrating “Heavy Hula Hands”, Multiple Hoops, and Arm Hoops. Playlists in each category can be accessed from the videos below by clicking on the Playlist icon or Next and Previous buttons, depending on your browser.

These are products I use in my workouts.

I don’t have the personality to be a great HoopRock and JumpRock evangelist.

All I can do is to try and offer myself as an example. So I publish videos of all the songs I hoop or jump to each weekend, allowing people to judge for themselves and see how much fun jumping and hooping can be.

Judge for yourself the kind of shape I’m in, my stamina, and whether I’m having fun or not. If I’m in better shape than you expect to be at 67, or if you don’t enjoy your workouts now, you should give hooping and jumping to music a try. I started exercising every day to feel good, but the real payoff might be the kind of shape I’m in going into old age. Either way, it’s the best possible way I know to get all your cardio and some of your resistance training.

Just hooping without any “add-ons”, such as Heavy Hula Hands, is actually plenty of exercise and more fun actually. But I’d like to burn off the remaining fat, and these offer an additional challenge and conquering them makes “just hooping” that much more fun because it seems effortless by comparison and you have so much more control.

Here are some questions I ask myself to keep going when I used to ride the stationary bike and still today on some nights when I do weights

When you don’t want to work out after work because you feel exhausted but it’s really just lethargy and angst, ask yourself “Do I want to keep on feeling like this? How much worse could working out actually be?”

And during the first few minutes when you’re tempted to quit and just go flop down on the couch “If I stop now, am I going to feel any better than I did before?”

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Workouts Oct 10-11, 2014

I post these videos so people can judge whether I’m in better shape than they expect to be at 67, and whether I’m having fun, last week I added another question. Am I gaining on getting rid of the remaining fat and loose skin or is it gaining on me? This week I’m pretty sure I can say I’m gaining

In the past I’ve seen miniscule improvements in both fat loss and less visible loose skin almost every week, and I’ve been doing this so long it’s made a real difference. But the closer I get the slower the improvements; at the rate I’m going I could be 75 or 80 by the time I can truly say I’m lean, so I need to step up the pace.

So I went on a diet a couple of weeks ago and I thought I could see some results last weekend, but I need to be more strict. I can resist cookies, candy and pastry pretty well, but after supper I just can’t resist peaches or strawberries that have been cut up and covered with sugar to draw out the juices. Plus maybe a little more to get a nice glaze just as you eat them. I do pretty well during the week, eating a salad and drinking a V-8 for lunch instead of a sandwich and Coke.

Now even with the miniscule week to week changes ever so often you hit a point where you can see a real difference. It’s like snow melting off the mountains. Detail sort of shows through in the lower elevations as the snow becomes thinner; then one day the details are clear as the last thin cover melts away. This week I can see more detail over my ribs and lower back.

These are some of the songs I hooped to this weekend (Oct 10-11), demonstrating “Heavy Hula Hands”, Multiple Hoops, and Arm Hoops. Playlists in each category can be accessed from the videos below by clicking on the Playlist icon or Next and Previous buttons, depending on your browser. All the songs from the most recent weekend can be viewed here.

These are products I use in my workouts.

I don’t have the personality to be a great HoopRock and JumpRock evangelist.

All I can do is to try and offer myself as an example. So I publish videos of all the songs I hoop or jump to each weekend, allowing people to judge for themselves and see how much fun jumping and hooping can be.

Judge for yourself the kind of shape I’m in, my stamina, and whether I’m having fun or not. If I’m in better shape than you expect to be at 67, or if you don’t enjoy your workouts now, you should give hooping and jumping to music a try. I started exercising every day to feel good, but the real payoff might be the kind of shape I’m in going into old age. Either way, it’s the best possible way I know to get all your cardio and some of your resistance training.

Just hooping without any “add-ons”, such as Heavy Hula Hands, is actually plenty of exercise and more fun actually. But I’d like to burn off the remaining fat, and these offer an additional challenge and conquering them makes “just hooping” that much more fun because it seems effortless by comparison and you have so much more control.

Here are some questions I ask myself to keep going when I used to ride the stationary bike and still today on some nights when I do weights

When you don’t want to work out after work because you feel exhausted but it’s really just lethargy and angst, ask yourself “Do I want to keep on feeling like this? How much worse could working out actually be?”

And during the first few minutes when you’re tempted to quit and just go flop down on the couch “If I stop now, am I going to feel any better than I did before?”

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A Voice From The Future

Youth may be wasted on the young, but wisdom is wasted on the old when it’s too late to do anything with it.

We all probably sometimes wish, knowing what we know now, that we could communicate with ourselves in the past and advise changing some crucial decision to get a better result. The result which was then in the future and now in the past when knowing what it was is no help at all.

I unwittingly made such a decision at 31. It directly lead to my physical condition now at 67. As luck would have it, and I do mean luck, I made the right decision so now I’m in much better shape than I expected to be, the best shape of my life actually. So the only difference in knowing how it turned out is that I know I dodged a bullet. I could be in the normal shape of a 67 year old man who rarely or never exercises.

Truly try to think about that as if you were 36 years older than you are now, or at least into early or full-on old age. Less energy, less strength, less stamina, more health problems, visits to the doctor, hospital stays. A horror show relatively speaking. I mean what if all those symptoms of a running-down body were thrust on you now? That would be very, very bad. But it’s also very, very bad to live with them in the future, it just seems very far off to you now. A bullet that will in time find its mark. And then it won’t be abstract, it will be your life.

That’s what I avoided, so I don’t have to send back a message in time to myself. Instead I’d like to send it to all those people who don’t even know they have a decision to make, or haven’t wanted to think about it.

You can dodge that bullet. I’m sitting here right now in my own personal reality of being 67 years old and I’m telling you old age is coming for you. Old age will be here and then it will be now and you’ll have to live with it. There’s no going back and fixing it. But if you listen to me now when there’s still time you can start fixing things before they ever go wrong. All you have to do is exercise almost every day between now and the day you die.

It’s really that easy and it’s really that hard.

So how do you get past the hard part?

Let’s take it one step at a time. Easy or hard, I’m sitting here in my personal reality of right now experiencing the benefits. Looking back, it would be worth any amount of effort to avoid what it would ordinarily be like to be this old. But that’s easy to say now. It’s the same as planning an exercise program without thinking about the reality of having to actually exercise every day. When that reality actually rolls around day after day so things become hard in real-time the idea of old-age consequences as motivator becomes just too abstract.

Even though from the perspective of being 67 years old I can say it would be worth any amount of effort to be in this kind of shape going into old age, as a practical matter that’s not sufficient motivation to keep up an exercise program day after day.

So my message from your future is that it’s worth it to find that motivation. I can tell you absolutely that motivation for me is how exercise makes me feel afterwards, re-energized and with a renewed sense of well-being. I wrote in Exercise and Depression and other places on how to systematically expose yourself to those feelings so that exercise becomes and essential part of your daily life that you wouldn’t consider doing without.

At the simplest level you find some exercise you can tolerate well enough to make the effort to get the reward. For me it was twenty-four years of stationary bikes. I sometimes also did weights and aerobics classes, but the stationary bike I did every day after work was an essential part of my routine and my day. Even when I had long commutes my evening did not start until after I rode the bike.

Hopefully you can find some exercise or exercises that are fun. Then everything is completely different because there’s no real effort involved anymore and you start to become really fit. For me HoopRock and JumpRock are those exercises. I think anyone who likes music would enjoy them as much as I.

So think about it. I lucked into a decision long ago that made all the difference in my life now. I can’t think of how I could be in a better spot now.

It may have happened to me by accident, but you can deliberately make the same decision I did on purpose. Health in old age may be your initial motivation, but like me you can stay motivated by the day-to-day immediate rewards.

 

 

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Workouts Oct 3-5, 2014

I post these videos so people can judge whether I’m in better shape than they expect to be at 67, and whether I’m having fun, but now I’m adding another question. Am I gaining on getting rid of the remaining fat and loose skin or is it gaining on me?

Overall, I’d say I’m gaining, because I can see miniscule improvements every weekend when I review the videos. I don’t diet other than to try and not get out of control, so any improvements are from jumping and hooping. I’ve been happy with that, but the loss is so miniscule I’m afraid I’ll be 90 at least before it’s all gone.

I went on a diet a couple of weeks ago and I thought I could see some results last weekend, but I need to be more strict. I can resist cookies, candy and pastry pretty well, but after supper I just can’t resist peaches or strawberries that have been cut up and covered with sugar to draw out the juices. Plus maybe a little more to get a nice glaze just as you eat them.

These are some of the songs I hooped to this weekend (Oct 3-5), demonstrating “Heavy Hula Hands”, Multiple Hoops, and Arm Hoops. Playlists in each category can be accessed from the videos below by clicking on the Playlist icon or Next and Previous buttons, depending on your browser. All the songs from the most recent weekend can be viewed here.

These are products I use in my workouts.

I don’t have the personality to be a great HoopRock and JumpRock evangelist.

All I can do is to try and offer myself as an example. So I publish videos of all the songs I hoop or jump to each weekend, allowing people to judge for themselves and see how much fun jumping and hooping can be.

Judge for yourself the kind of shape I’m in, my stamina, and whether I’m having fun or not. If I’m in better shape than you expect to be at 67, or if you don’t enjoy your workouts now, you should give hooping and jumping to music a try. I started exercising every day to feel good, but the real payoff might be the kind of shape I’m in going into old age. Either way, it’s the best possible way I know to get all your cardio and some of your resistance training.

Just hooping without any “add-ons”, such as Heavy Hula Hands, is actually plenty of exercise and more fun actually. But I’d like to burn off the remaining fat, and these offer an additional challenge and conquering them makes “just hooping” that much more fun because it seems effortless by comparison and you have so much more control.

Here are some questions I ask myself to keep going when I used to ride the stationary bike and still today on some nights when I do weights

When you don’t want to work out after work because you feel exhausted but it’s really just lethargy and angst, ask yourself “Do I want to keep on feeling like this? How much worse could working out actually be?”

And during the first few minutes when you’re tempted to quit and just go flop down on the couch “If I stop now, am I going to feel any better than I did before?”

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Exercise and Depression

I was inspired to write this post after I got this comment on one of the HoopRock videos I posted yesterday.

Keep it up man, i was trying to lose weight at the start of the year but so many stuff happened on my life that made me felt so down and depressed that i gave up on exercising and stopped eating in a healthy way… I was checking out my subscriptions (something i rarely do) tonight and i found this video in it, i remember that your videos back then were a nice inspiration for myself, after i saw this video i visited your blog and told myself that i should stand up and try again, thank you man and please keep the good work up.

It’s easy for me to say that when you feel too depressed to exercise is when exercise will benefit you the most, but that doesn’t make it easy to do. The angst that comes along with feeling depressed makes everything seem pointless. Sometimes you’re so depressed you almost don’t want to feel better because… I don’t really know why, I just know what it’s like to feel that way.

Notice I keep talking about feeling depressed, not about being depressed. Clinical depression is a whole different thing I’m not qualified to discuss. But as a human being I am qualified to talk about feeling depressed and feelings of anxiety, having experienced them first hand many times. And I can tell you without hesitation that exercise will help with both, every single time. In my case it not only helps, but it relieves them. When I’m done I feel re-energized with an overall sense of well-being. For years I have been and continue to be amazed at how I can feel so down when I get home from work and so great after a workout, even if it’s only twenty minutes of doing weights. Hooping and jumping are different; I never feel so depressed that it’s hard to start because I know I’ll start feeling great a few minutes after I start. With weights it’s not so quick, but even there it’s getting better all the time.

But the issue is, how do you get past that “what’s the point of anything?” feeling?

Lower Your Expectations

Way back when I started taking computer classes in 1978 I would feel like I was too burned-out / tired to study in the evening after work. From past experience I knew if I rode a stationary bike for 30 minutes I would feel like studying, so I bought one. Now notice that I said I already knew riding would make me feel good, so why wasn’t I already riding or doing some sort of exercise on a regular basis? The answer is it was just too depressing. Even thirty minutes was too much of a commitment if you had to do it day after day after day, and I had tried more than once to get a routine going. So even now when I had a real reason in the immediate future I couldn’t get past that feeling. Long story short here’s what finally worked:

Just make an effort but make it every day

That takes the pressure off. It’s the time commitment that makes it so hard, so get rid of it. I separated starting from doing and just focused on the starting part. I gave myself six weeks to start worrying about the doing part. And to start, all you have to do is make an effort.

Here’s the funny thing. Once you get started it’s a lot easier to keep going, which is true of most things in life. But even if you keep going, there’s no commitment. You started, so you’re done whenever you want to be.

Now it’s still no cinch. There’s a lot of psychological stuff going on that’s going to try and make you fail. I think we all resist being controlled, even if it’s on a schedule we set up for ourselves. It seems funny to me now that I had so much trouble nearly every day for the first two or three weeks. I didn’t even know if it would work; I was afraid it would be like every time before and I would just quit after a few days. So, in spite of myself I rode everyday, and to the best of my recollection I made it the full 30 (it may have been only 20) minutes everyday. Sometimes I’d want to quit within the first few minutes, and I could have, but I started realizing I wouldn’t feel any different than when I started if I quit too soon. And everyday I felt great afterwards.

Knowing is not enough, you have to repeatedly experience the difference exercise makes on a daily basis

The chain is the key. Even if on some days all you do is “make an effort” and nothing else, if you keep the chain going and make an honest effort, you’ll start to feel the difference and eventually you’ll start to crave it, just as I did. But if you start taking days off just because you “don’t feel like it” then you probably will never feel the difference strongly enough that it becomes an actual appetite.

Eventually the expectation of how I would feel after riding made it easy to start.

Notice I wasn’t concerned about losing weight or being fit. I only cared about feeling good enough to study. And I have to say, in spite of Billy Crystal and Fernando Lamas, that it’s better to feel good than to look good.

If you really work on feeling good instead of looking good you get both

Why should that be true? Because feeling good satisfies an appetite, or maybe I should say satisfying an appetite makes you feel good. If exercising, like eating or drinking, made you feel good while you were doing them everyone would be fit. That’s why I never have trouble with starting a HoopRock session. Just like eating I have trouble stopping, not starting.

And that’s why you get weight loss and fitness as part of the deal. The better you feel the more you work out and the fitter you get. And if you can find something fun to do you work out even more.

How My Experience Bears This Out

At 67 I’m in the best shape of my life. My resting pulse rate is in the 50′s and my blood pressure is actually lower than normal. I’m gradually losing the last of the remaining fat apron I’ve been wearing for fifty years. None of this would be true if I hadn’t started riding that stationary bike 36 years ago for reasons that had nothing to do with health, fitness, or losing weight.

The Quest For Endorphins may be about feeling good, but you get so much more.

Feeling Depressed Can Be The Key That Gets You Started

It took a lot of years for me to get my head right on this, because up until maybe eighteen months ago there were days when I just felt too depressed after work to do weights. Then it got to where I would think I was too depressed, but after sitting around for awhile I couldn’t stand feeling that way anymore so I would go and do the weights anyway. And of course I was always glad I did afterwards.

But for about the last year I just go ahead and do them. Why be depressed any longer than you have to be?

An Example From Today

In spite of being on a diet, I ate way too much when we went to Lucille’s last night for bar-b-que and I was fairly miserable and still kind of stuffed when I woke up this morning. Sunday morning is always kind of depressing because the next day is Monday and now I’ve made it worse because all I can do is kind of drag around. I definitely did not feel like doing weights, but even more definitely I did not want to continue feel lousy, so as soon as I could I did the weights, and as usual, I felt great afterwards.

The Key to Happierness

I can’t say that exercise is the key to happiness, but almost by definition, all things being equal, when you feel good you feel happier than when you feel bad.

Everyone has problems and reasons to be depressed that no one else can understand. You may feel like my advice is useless because of that. All I can say is every single time I’ve felt depressed exercise has helped and every single time I’ve been depressed and not exercised I just kept feeling depressed.

Formalize The Commitment

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just commit to making an effort every day to work towards feeling re-energized and having a sense of well-being and keep it. Before you know it you’ll start to feel the difference.

 

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