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Thursday, May 14, 2009

My New Favorite Workout

Exercise is a habit. If we enjoy exercising, it's easier to stick with it.

My favorite workout right now is the Ocean Speed Circuit. At 6:30 am, nearly 100 people from my triathlon club gather in Santa Monica to swim in the ocean. We swim out to a buoy, swim back to land, run a few hundred feed on land from one cone to another, and then get back in the ocean and do it all over again.


It's a great workout -- getting into the ocean, diving under waves, and running on the sand definitely gets the heart rate up. Swimming in the ocean always reminds me that I'm from the Midwest -- I am not entirely confident swimming under and over waves, and with the quick entrances and exits from the water, my ocean swimming has improved.

And really, what better way to start the day than a dip in the ocean?

Here's what it looks like from a traffic helicopter.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! That was so cool! You guys kick ass. -victoria

In other news -- I sort of had an exercise question that you can ignore without offending me. I had a BMI of 24 at the start of the year. I started working out with a personal trainer, kept a food journal, etc. and GAINED 15 lbs. in 3 months, bringing my BMI up to 26. Ugh. [And no, of course it wasn't muscle: my waist got bigger, and anyway, a woman not taking steroids couldn't possibly gain 15 lbs of muscle in 3 months.]

Getting FATTER was obviously NOT the result I wanted from all those hours of strenuous exercise, but I found that no matter how hard aI tried to control my eating, those strenuous workouts made it impossible to control my hunger. I HAD to eat before working out (or I couldn't complete my workout), and I had to eat after, too, or I collapsed and couldn't be productive the rest of the day.

Even though I chose healthy whole foods and avoided sugar, white flour, junk food, and alcohol, still, the trainer pushed me so hard that I had no control over my appetite.

Since rigorous exercise was making me fatter, I quit the personal trainer, cut back on my eating, switched to running (5 hours/week, at a 4.5 mi/hour pace), and quickly lost 14 lbs. My BMI is back down to 24 -- not "slender," but a lot better than a BMI of 26 -- and I dropped a dress size.

If hunger leaves me too weak to complete an hour run, I run a shorter distance and walk back, but I never allow myself to increase my calories. And it is working.

So, this is what I learned: If you have excess fat on your abdomen, stop exercising (or exercise much, much less) and cut way back on your calories.

The thing is -- no medical professional would ever advise this course of conduct. They all say, "If you're overweight, exercise more." But what if exercising more makes you eat more and gain fat? Have you ever heard of anyone GAINING fat when they increase their exercise, and LOSING fat by exercising less and eating much less?

Kate R said...

Ok, you've "convinced" me. I've been so nervous to do the Speed Circuit, because of the forced diving beneath the waves. However, if you're nervous and still do it, I know that I can. (Yeah, I say that until I see the damn waves, then I freak out!)

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