Friday Fitness

This week is the monthly travel week. It is the hardest week to keep on track with a low inflammatory diet, as most food does not work for either of us for various reasons. I have relative food intoleances, Kea has worse ones. I have to eat low carbohydrates: it is less about glucose as insulin spikes. The trouble is that one has to avoid grains and potatoes and rice — and anything that is similar. We found this old ted talk during the week and it is my motivation for the week.

Further on this from Prof Jacka. I’ve heard her speak on this work — she’s been surveying students for years and is now producing interventions to help decrease anxiety and depression by diet.

Intervention group participants were given specific instructions on increasing intake of vegetables, fruits, wholegrain cereals, protein (lean meat, poultry, eggs, tofu, legumes), unsweetened dairy, fish, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and spices (turmeric and cinnamon). They were told to decrease intake of refined carbohydrate, sugar, fatty or processed meats, and soft drinks.Researchers provided easy, low-cost recipes and time-saving tips, for example, using tinned tuna, and frozen instead of fresh fruits and vegetables. Participants also received a healthy food hamper and some funds towards groceries
Participants in the usual diet group received no instructions regarding diet and were simply asked to return after 3 weeks for follow-up.
Using a questionnaire developed for the study, participants in the intervention group reported consuming fewer processed foods and more fruits and vegetables. This observation was objectively supported by data from a spectrophotometer, which measures skin coloration, an indication of flavonoid consumption.

At 3 weeks, the average CESD-R score in the intervention group had improved from the elevated range (> 16) to the nonclinically significant range, but scores remained elevated in the HD group. The DC group had significantly lower CESD-R scores compared with the HD group, controlling for baseline CESD-R scores (P = .007).When researchers also controlled for age, gender, physical activity, and baseline body mass index (BMI), the significant group difference remained (P = .01).

As for the DASS scale, the average score for the intervention group improved from the moderate severity range (7-10) to the normal range (0-4), but remained in the moderate severity range for the HD group.

Medscape, via Linkedin

We made a mistake — we read the reviews and got Healthwatches Don’t.

They do monitor your sleep and BP and HR when you ask them to but are not, repeat not, automatic and continuous. The step function seemed to work. The App was flakey (smartwatches often are). In my view, the market outside of the apple garden is still in flux. What I would want in a watch ain’t there.

  • Reliable HR monitoring. If I’m in the gym and need this, I will use an old HR monitor I have and a chest strap. Most of the time you don’t need this
  • Blood pressure. I’m running if anything low here and this is what Kea wanted in case we were at risk of angina etc. The data ain’t there yet
  • GPS tracking. Not in this product. In the Apple watch or any Sunnto or Garmin product. Admittedly, they are a lot more expensive
  • On all the time. Most smart watches are not. To save battery
  • Long battery life. I like going away for hours at a time (hence GPS so if I get lost I can get back) where there is NO phone reception. I don’t want the phone dying
  • Looks good wish. I’m vain enough to get new watch straps for my analogue cheap daily watch
  • Does not irritate the skin. Both Kea and her daughter had rashes within one day.

Chalk it up to experience and wait for either the cheap PineTime or something that will handle me swimming down rapids. There are people who test such, but am still waiting.. my odd combination of walking, outdoors and (when Kea says I’ve hit goal weight) Crossfit breaks things.

When it comes to the gym or any workouts — spring, as usual, is cold, wet and miserable — scale. The secret of crossfit is not the Rx workouts. It is scaling. Keep your technique good or scale so you can keep it good. Mark Sisson got this right.

The essence of HIRT is to conduct maximum efforts, typically of shorter duration, with much longer recovery, and fewer total efforts than a HIIT session. The word “Repeat” in the acronym suggests that you maintain a consistent quality of effort on every repetition of hard work. This means not only the same performance standard, but also the same level of perceived exertion.

For example, say your workout entails running 100-meter sprints across a football field, and you hit 18 seconds for your first sprint. This is a nice controlled, explosive effort with excellent technique, and you assign a perceived exertion level of around 90 out of 100. Hence, you’ll want to do successive sprints in 18-19 seconds each, preserving explosiveness and excellent technique—delivering what you still discern to be 90 out of 100 on the effort scale. If you have to “dig deep” (the implicit objective, and badge of honor, with a HIIT session) just to arrive at 19 seconds on your fourth effort, that’s it, you’re done. If you notice a slight attrition in explosiveness or breaking form during the effort, you’re done. Typically, this might be a little twinge in the hamstrings or lower back, a tensing of the face or chest, or any other indicator that you have played your best cards of the day.

The exception is competition, but competition grinds you down. When I was running, two competition periods a year were more than enough — often I would get injured for one particularly if I’d done well, for instance, in spring, by late summer I’d be back to walking unless I scheduled in recovery. Ditto with gym competitions: once a year is more than enough.

And you need to schedule rest. This is the week I have to not work as hard physically as it is the week I travel a lot. If that means that I rest most of the weekend, that is needed.

A holiday is when you wake up and you’re not entirely sure which day of the week it is. You eat a leisurely breakfast and then you wander down to the vacant pool and maybe you lie in the sun for a bit, and then maybe you get a drink or three, and then maybe you have some lunch, and all the while there is the sound of birds chirping and waves crashing and most of all there are no screaming children or morons attempting to cajole you into another game of “beach volleyball for all ages”.

I find that the very best time to take a holiday is exactly this time of the year. October is a brilliant time to get away because nobody else is doing it. When I lived up in that little village high in the Italian Alps, October was the absolute best time of the year. The colors were amazing, the days were crisp which meant starting the fire and cooking stews and drinking good bottles of red wine.

But most of all because there were no tourists; the valley was empty. October at that time for me was my downtime.

Adam Piggott

This week I lost weight, gained weight and ended up even. Two days of driving or flying to rural clinics cuts down exercise, and the week has been stressful. Next week is no holidy: that will be well after Christmas.

Change weight Kea Weka
This week – 0.7 kg    0.0 kg
Sinve baseline (week 9) – 7.6 kg – 7.4 kg
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2 years ago

The “losing weight while building muscle” scale pattern is annoying.
Step 1: Do the work. Wait patiently.
Step 2: Get mad because scale goes up.
Step 3: People around you tell you that you’re losing weight. Look baffled, and don’t believe them, because “have you lost weight” is a standard conversation opener in CA.
Step 4: Realize that your clothes have gotten loose.
Step 5: Scale weight decreases. Get excited, think that finally you’re on a roll. Move down a section of weight. Stop.

Two fitness things I’ve accepted. 1) Time to stop being ashamed of how much I eat. It’s a girl thing, and more particularly a fat-girl thing, but gets in the way of taking proper care of myself. 2) I am accepting that even with more to go on my goal, that yeah – I actually am an athlete, and ridiculously healthy. It’s weird. (I was neither of those things in my youth.)