Posts Tagged ‘ running ’

No Pain, No Gain: Returning to a Routine

So, let’s review. Vacations are awesome. They are a great time to relax, escape from the pressure, and monotony of work, and have a little fun trying new things. My recent trip to Scotland was all that and more. Two weeks away, to clear my head and relax…

Well, sorta… I remembered one thing while I went on vacation. A diet is not something that ever ends. An exercise regimen is not something that can be picked up, and dropped like an old hat. If I completely turned off for two weeks, I didn’t want to think about what it would be like to get back on that horse again.

So what did I do? I did what most people would call crazy. I just call it enforced sanity. While overseas, I did let myself try the local flavors, and have fun with what I ate. At the same time, I challenged myself to exercise self control. I have a problem with overeating when I let myself go, even a little. I’m working on that, but that’s another post.

Still, the thing most people would call crazy is that I packed my running shoes, and clothes in my suitcase, and got up every morning (give or take), and ran. Now, I didn’t do my full routine that I have back here state-side of running4+ miles in a certain time yada, yada, yada. Instead, I got up about an hour before my travel companions, and just went out and jogged (not ran). It was relaxing, and I saw tons of cool countryside, unaffected by the business of people. In the early morning, I was able to enjoy my own little Scottish paradise. I didn’t have to share with anyone (except the sheep and cows).

So what was the end result of all this? I managed to walk away from vacation without some horrible weight gain (I actually stayed about the same), and a bunch of new memories of some of the most serene jogging I’ve ever done.

Now reading this, and looking back at the title of this post, you may be a little confused. Well, for all of my effort, and success at continuing to be a health nut, returning to my full on routine the next Monday was still agonizing. My body revolted, it was sore, and it took everything I had to push myself through to get back on track. It sucked. There’s no other way to put it, it was just painful, and no fun. Still, after a week, I’m feeling back to my old self. I just don’t want to imagine what it might of been like had I not jogged like I did in Scotland.

Rant over folks. I think the message I was trying to get across here is that you can be really pro-active on vacation by not letting your entire diet/workout lifestyle land in the hotel waste-bin, but don’t expect everything to be sugar coated and gum drops when you pick up where you left off back home. Here’s to the hard road.

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And I Ran (Insert Rest of Song Here)

So, as part of my diet, I also partake in that oh so shameful pastime of exercise. I know that no one wants to hear it, but eating healthy isn’t the only part of losing weight; exercise is a major player as well.

For exercise, I’m always willing to try something new, but my standbys are jogging, and swimming. Any person trying to lose weight probably groaned at the thought of that. Add that I do these things at five in the morning, and I know that some people are already moving on in search of an easier solution. Trust me, exercise is your fastest, and easiest way to lose weight. The hardest part isn’t the exercise; it’s getting into the routine of exercise. The first week of five AM’s was pretty tough, but if you really want to succeed you can. Also keep in mind that you can pick any form of exercise you like, these are just my two choices based on convenience and personal preference.

To the point. Running every other day is great, but sometimes you need to shift your routine, and try something new to keep it interesting. This past weekend, I went home to get my car worked on, and grab some BBQ with my Dad. All that was great, but how did I chose to spend my Saturday morning. As crazy as it sounds, I joined my best friend’s Mom, and her coworker for a jog. I usually run on Saturdays, but not like this. I signed myself in for a 10 mile jog around North Conway, NH. Please note that the farthest I’ve ever ran is four and a half miles. This was something new for me, and simply due to that, I was excited. Don’t worry, my parents think I’m sick and twisted as well.

Well, I have to say that it was very fun. The pace was much easier than my usual runs to compensate for the compounded distance, and throwing in some intense hills worked different parts of my legs that a treadmill just never touches. The end result was that I accidentally ran about 10.5 miles, and felt great afterwords. I was in better shape than I thought, and was able to go out and wing it without any repercussions. Note that I have been on a running regime for months, so don’t just go out and try to run 10.5 miles at the drop of a hat unless you are actually at a point where you can.

The point of all this is that exercise is a key to dieting, and losing weight, but beyond that, keeping exercise fun is the best way to live a healthy lifestyle. Go out, and have fun being active. I’m actually starting to play dodge ball once a week. It’s fun, interesting, and great for you. Get out there and do what you like!