Health and fitness update

by Russ Roberts on March 23, 2012

in Health

As long-time readers know, I decided to change my diet and fitness regimen six months ago. A lot of factors encouraged me to do this but I would single out reading Younger Next Year at the suggestion of a friend, along with the De Vany podcast and his book, The New Evolution Diet. On the diet side, I stopped eating potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, sweets, and desserts. I eat mostly protein, non-carb vegetables, and a reasonable amount of fruit. I snack on nuts. On Friday night and Saturday day, in honor of the Jewish Sabbath, I have some bread and dessert.

On the exercise side, I went from no exercise, to working out six days a week. The six days are three days of cardio and three days of weight-lifting. I began the cardio on a stationary bike, typically riding 45 minutes with every 5th minute consisting of an intense spring. On the weight days, I did 2 minutes of warm-up on the bike, then 6 minutes of Tabata high intensity interval training–20 seconds of all-out sprinting then 10 seconds of rest–12 cycles all together.

For the weight training, I do leg curls, leg extensions, leg press, chest press, cable row, barbell row, lat raises, curls, ab crunches. The weight that I’m able to do comfortably has increased dramatically. I had never lifted weights before.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve changed my cardio routine, hoping to run a 10K at the end of April. I realized somewhere along the way that riding a stationary bike and getting my heart rate up to 130 or even 140 in the sprints doesn’t really get you in shape. It works your heart. But when I tried to run two miles, I realized how far I had to go. It took me about 28 minutes. That’s not really running. After two weeks I’m down to 22 minutes but it’s still very hard. I’m hoping to start 3 miles next week. I last ran a 10K in the early 1980s. I think my time was around 54 minutes. Hoping for 66 minutes or less this time. I can see my 28 year-old self at the finish line, already cooled off asking me what took me so long. I’ll tell him he may be faster than I am but he has so much to learn…

In the first two months or so, I lost 20 lbs. That has stayed pretty steady. I’ve been as low as down 22. Right now I’m down 18. Wouldn’t mind losing another ten pounds but they seem a little stubborn. Maybe I’d have to give up my weekend treats or eat fewer nuts or citrus, which I eat a lot of and oranges and grapefruits have lots of sugar.

More importantly, I’m not starving at meal time. I’m never really hungry. My energy level is high throughout the day. My clothes feel better on me. The best thing is that I’m taller. Really. I stand straighter since I started exercising and lifting.

I had a physical two months into the process. Biggest change was that my triglycerides were way down.

Hoping to keep it up for a long time. Blogging on my progress is one way of keeping myself on track. Thanks for listening.

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