Friday, May 2, 2008

Biggest Loser Finale

Our Biggest Loser week ended on Tuesday. I averaged 4 hours of workouts each day, and I brought intensity to them. On Wednesday, I only worked out 2 hours, and I felt as if something were missing. Alas, real life continues around me--work, writing, chores and errands, kids' activities, church, classes, and the like--so it will be difficult to get those long workouts in on a regular basis.

Some things I learned:

The recommendation to get 30 minutes of activity each day is fairly bogus for healthy people. In the days of hunting and foraging, our bodies would've moved much more, and we still have essentially the same physical design as our forefathers and foremothers. Even when I was obese, I enjoyed working out. It seems my body always knew it should be in motion.

It can be okay for a healthy person to take their workouts to what most people would considered an extreme level. Perhaps I would've run into injuries if I'd continued, but I believe that listening to my body would help me to avoid that.

Prolonged exercise creates feelings of ecstasy. In all likelihood, this had a lot to do with the fact that I stuck with activities that I loved. The positive mental attitude, along with the brain chemistry initiated by exercise, was a winning combination.

Sleep problems can be alleviated by giving the body the level of activity it craves. This may not be true for everyone, but I found that I fell asleep faster, and slept more deeply and consistently during my Biggest Loser week. I woke up refreshed and without the aid of the alarm clock.

There's enough energy to go around. I'm sure that eating a Raw diet, including green superfood smoothies, contributed to my quick recoveries and tolerable levels of soreness. I had plenty of energy left to accomplish other things. I took an occasional nap, but that's nothing new for me. Obviously my body was able to do the workouts and still complete my other tasks. I'm no Superwoman. Though I was a slim teenager, it wasn't because of any effort on my part. I didn't get into running until I was in my 20's, and started weight training after that. I'm not physically superior in anyway to the average woman. If I can do it, most anyone can, given time and planning.

I encourage everyone to push your body and see what it accomplishes. Don't be ridiculous and try to curl 20's when last week you were curling 8's, but do look for ways you can diversify, intensify, and even extend your exercise. Book a few sessions with a trainer, if you don't know how to do it safely.

Our modern culture is so incredibly sedentary. Even if I spend 5 hours working out, I'm spending at least 8 sitting down (driving, teaching, writing, surfing the internet). Going forward, I'll continue to workout about 2 hours each day, but I also plan to include at least one Biggest Loser day each week. Just for the sheer joy of it!


HiHoRosie said...

Good for you! I agree that when I've been more active and feeling good I fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly (as if that's possible for me as I do to begin with).

yardsnacker said...

Agreed! :D

Lisa, aka Pixywinks said...

I so want to get more active. I can't wait to get to go back to Bickram Yoga. That felt so good!

Pixy Lisa

Michelle J said...

More activity = less stress and feeling happier! At least for me it does! I am a runner and it simply is a part of my day now. It's like taking a shower everyday, its something you just do!! Great post!

HiHoRosie said...

As always, thanks for your kind comments. Hope you're having a great week - weekend is almost here! :)

Sarah said...

Yes, sleep does wonders for forcing you to listen to your body! Last fall when I was running lots, I was rather annoyed to find myself falling asleep by 9pm. (Usually I'm a night owl). :)