Monday, April 14, 2008

In The Gym Again

I was never a very fit person during my working days. Other than some squash playing in the 80's, I hadn't seen the inside of a gym since I was in high school. The, at the end of 2001, I signed up for an introductory program at the Sudbury YMCA. The staff there taught me how to use the cardio and weight equipment and, over the winter, I dropped 35 pounds (down to 185) and got in pretty good shape. However, when spring came, I stopped going as riding season started.

The next winter, I went back to working out again. More benefits, although the summer weight gain didn't come off as easily. This annual pattern continued, gym in the winter and not in the summer. Some winters, I was more diligent than others. This went on until last winter.

I finished the riding season last year at 208 pounds. Not bad considering I had started the season at 211. But I didn't get back into the gym in the fall. Sandy had surgery in October and I quit smoking in September, throwing things out of kilter. I went to the YMCA a few days in early December and a couple in mid January. In the meantime, my weight skyrocketed to 229 by the beginning of April. All in all, this was a less than ideal situation and, by April 7th, I had had enough.

Not going to the gym in the winter is much worse than in the summer. At least, in the summer, I am relatively more active. During the winter, I just lay around most of the time. And it showed when I got back on the cardio equipment. The first two days, I wasn't even able to keep up my entry level treadmill routine of 25 minutes at 3.8 MPH at a 6% grade. The 15 minutes on the horizontal exercise bike was rugged and the mere five minutes on the elliptical almost finished me. I did a few basic weight machines but didn't overdo it. This was the worst start back at the gym after a lay-off ever.

The third day was rough too, but I realized when I got home that I had forgotten my BP meds, including my beta-blocker. Fortunately, Thursday and Friday were somewhat better. Today, Monday, the start of the second week, things seem to have kicked in. The cardio workout, while having a long way to go, is quite acceptable and I am running the full weight routine and adding weights daily.

As I get older, I can't afford missing workouts. It's harder to get in shape again and the ups and downs aren't good for me. I need to get the weight down because that will improve my blood pressure and my blood sugar. So I need to be sure that, even if I am just home for a day, I need to go to the gym and do something. We'll see how I keep up with this as time goes by.

No comments: