Staying Healthy – progress update

A couple months ago I started a “healthy” thread with a discussion about Staying Healthy on the Road, the topic that should be near and dear to most of us involved offshore  and in particular to road warriors.  I guess it’s high time to take the stock of my advancement on the path to better health. Bottom-line-upfront: the progress has been somewhat limited. Nevertheless, I made some progress and am going to continue till I reach my goals. Here where I’ve got myself so far –

  • BMI – I started at 31.6 and assuming 7 lb loss am at 30.6. That still puts me in dreaded “Obesity” category (Normal weight = 18.5-24.9, Overweight = 25-29.9). The good news is that less than 5lb will move me to an Overweight category, I’d say not so bad. Check yours using a BMI calculator.
  • Resting Heart Rate – I consider this is a very important metric. Three month ago I was in “Below Average” group with RHR around 78, today I am in “Average” group with 72. This is a huge step forward. See where you should be at here.
  • VO2max – pretty important metric as well. See Maximal Oxygen Consumption Test (VO2max). I was at 29.47 and am now at 32.14, and that moved me from “Below Average” to “Average”. Not too bad for a couple of months.

  • Weight Management – I started at 220 lb on a medium frame. My height of 5’10’’ puts my ideal weight at something around 165 lb. I lost somewhere between 5 and 10 lb, which is more than a drop in a bucket but a far cry from my target loss. It would not be reasonable to expect to lose more than 15 lb in a couple months, I did hope for solid 10 lb rather than seeing scales bouncing between 210 and 215 depending on day and what I had for dinner. I don’t think that I truly lost more than 7 lb.
  • Waistline – I started at lose 40, I’m now at lose 38 / tight 36. I guess this is good progress as well.

How did I make it here?

Diet. So far not much to be proud of. I reduced my calorie intake, limited meats, and reduced dairy products, but not consistently. I would go for a week on a complete vegan diet and then pig out at a friend’s party or in fast food joint. This is probably the main limiting factor. My plan for the next couple months is to stick to low calorie / low animal food / low fat diet.

Drinking. Even though I’m Russian drinking has never been important to me and I think it would do good to completely stop hard liquor and limit intake to couple of glasses of decent wine a week. I am almost there already.

Exercise. I am averaging 4.5 hrs in a gym a week. That’s about 4.45 hrs more than just a few months ago :) Mostly cardio – I’m at week 4 of my c25k program. It was supposed to be 7-8 weeks for the entire program, but it obviously is going to take me at least twice or, more likely, three times as much. I’m doing 8 min drill abs exercises 3 times a week. Will add arm drills for next couple months.

Now a little bit about technology – using exercise apps. The lolo run app I mentioned last time did not work out for me. As it turned out the app is not designed to get you running 5K but instead walk-running (a big difference for me) and it gave too much control to me – with a promise– listen to your body, it knows better. My body doesn’t know better, and as a matter of fact if I would listen to it I would be alternating between feasting on gourmet food and staying in bed. So after 3 weeks I switched to Zen Labs (free!) version of C25K. I found it much more in tune with what I am trying to accomplish.

The app suggests that it only takes 8 weeks to glory, well, not in my case, first two weeks were easy, third one was OK, but I could not make exercise for the week four for at least 2 weeks, and then after a couple 4th week days, fall back to week 3. Just too hard, problem could be in speed of walk / run or maybe just in very poor start state. Doesn’t matter, for past two weeks I’ve been making it through the week 4 exercises, maybe one more week and I’ll move to 5th.

Lolo’s ABS app is very good and 8 min drill is not at all easy. After being with it for a couple of months I can certainly recommend it.

That’s it for now, will update in a couple of months.

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