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Elsfaire's 1st Quest: Improve endurance and fitness


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Hi everyone!

I am new to Nerd Fitness, but I just LOVE the website - great info presented with a great sense of humor. I do well with eating and some other lifestyle habits, but fitness has always been a struggle for me. It has been even worse since I had surgery on a torn meniscus a year ago.

 

Main Quest: Improve Endurance and Fitness
          Specifically, I would like to be able to go for a hike, paddle, or whatever moderate activity I am doing for an hour or two without getting exhausted.

 

Specific and Measurable Goals:

         -Exercise at least 5-6 days per week, alternating cardio (interval training) and strength

         -Eat at least 2 meals a day containing 50% vegetables or fruit

         -Go out for 1 or more extended activity sessions each week

 

Side Life Quest: Finish creating my online healthy pregnancy classes and get them live

 

Before:

Not doing pics, sorry. :rolleyes-new:

I am 5ft 6 and currently 133 lbs. I spent a decade hovering around 118, so it would be nice to get that back, but it is not my primary goal.

 

My fitness level is currently so bad that I get winded walking up our driveway (rather steep, about 150 ft long). :grey: I did the Beginner's Body Weight workout yesterday. I only got through 2 circuits, but am still sore today. *sigh*

 

Motivation:

I want to be able to do the activities my husband and I enjoy comfortably, and in a way and at a pace that is fun for him as well. It is more fun when it does not feel so much like work!

 

Let's do this! (Our challenges)

 

-Elsfaire

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Thanks, Twilight!

Trying to get started even though the challenge officially starts Monday. Definitely have increased my fruits and veggies, and am actually mostly paleo now.

Exercise is harder- missed exercise yesterday, except a bit of stretching. Today did some yard work as "exercise," and my legs are sore. I am SO glad to be doing this! I am excited to be increasing my endurance and building my capacity to do activities longer. :)

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"The next 6 week challenge starts next Monday the 24th!" actually refers to February, but it's a great idea to get started now! I found it much easier to stick with my challenge because I started a Battle Log and got to know the forums for a month or so before getting into it.

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Yeah, I just realized that they meant February a couple of hours ago. I could not figure out why so many people were saying they started late... Embarassing!

 

But, I am going to stick with this AS IF it is my first challenge. Maybe the "big bosses" will decide to count it, maybe not. If not, it is good practice, and it will keep me on track so I do not fall off the wagon before even starting. :redface-new:

 

Update:
Got through 3 circuits of the BBWW today. I took a bunch of short breaks, and I am doing girly knee push-ups, but I got through all 3 cycles. Yay! Now I am wondering if I should stick with BBWW every other day until I am able to do 3 circuits without breaks (and full push-ups), or if I should mix it up with Star Wars (padawan level) or Angry Birds or something else. Thoughts?

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I really benefited from working on things on my own for a couple of weeks before the current challenge started. I feel as though it really helped me to stick with the challenge, especially around weeks 2 and 3 when so many people seemed to vanish. :\

As for your workout, you know your body and how to motivate yourself! If you feel that switching between them would be good, it probably is. I'm just getting started on this whole fitness thing though, so I'm far from an expert. I'm sure there are threads around here somewhere (the Programming forum?) that go into detail about the pros and cons of switching up your routine.

Nothing wrong with "girly" knee push ups! Good form in half push ups is better than bad form in full push ups any day. Keep at it!

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But, I am going to stick with this AS IF it is my first challenge. Maybe the "big bosses" will decide to count it, maybe not. If not, it is good practice, and it will keep me on track so I do not fall off the wagon before even starting. :redface-new:

Nothing wrong with that! On the opposite, we'd rather have people begin immediately when they arrive, that's exactly the aim of the level 1 forum. Do your best for these 2 weeks!

 

Update:

Got through 3 circuits of the BBWW today. I took a bunch of short breaks, and I am doing girly knee push-ups, but I got through all 3 cycles. Yay! Now I am wondering if I should stick with BBWW every other day until I am able to do 3 circuits without breaks (and full push-ups), or if I should mix it up with Star Wars (padawan level) or Angry Birds or something else. Thoughts?

You can keep using the BBWW for a long time, as long as you use harder versions of the exercises. But people usually switch program, to learn new exercise and to fight boredom :P

 

Nothing wrong with "girly" knee push ups! Good form in half push ups is better than bad form in full push ups any day. Keep at it!

Gnnnniiiiii... Don't make me show my "I hate knees pushups" card :P It's a correct exercise itself but it's not half pushups or not even a pushup variation to me. I'd rather give it a name like "Knee balance exercise" or maybe "rock your boat" (I'm really imaginative at naming things ^^).

 

I think the problem with knee PU (and why it doesn't translate to PU) is because it mimics the PU movement without training some essential muscles, PU are not only for the arms, they also makes your chest, core and shoulder work hard. But the core and shoulders are a bit forgotten with knee PU, so you can do as many as you want (even 3*20!) when you'll try a full PU, something will say "Nope". Because even if you have the biceps, if the rest of your body is weak, you won't be able to do one.

 

I don't remember what core exercise  is suggested in the BBWW, but I usually suggest planks on you hands and toes to train your shoulders and core. Also incline PU instead of knee PU and eventually negative PU (just going down as slowly as possible) to learn how to control your muscles. Anyway, if you want to know, I also started with the BBWW and my pushups were... wall pushups. :D

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Nuala, level 13 Robot mistress of pain, Assassin Guild leader

 

First journey: The Rise and fall of an Assassin

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13

Second journey: Crawling back

#1

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I think the problem with knee PU (and why it doesn't translate to PU) is because it mimics the PU movement without training some essential muscles, PU are not only for the arms, they also makes your chest, core and shoulder work hard. But the core and shoulders are a bit forgotten with knee PU, so you can do as many as you want (even 3*20!) when you'll try a full PU, something will say "Nope". Because even if you have the biceps, if the rest of your body is weak, you won't be able to do one.

 

I have definitely noticed this. I can do half push ups just fine, but my core isn't engaged nearly as much as with full push ups. I've been working on strengthening it this whole challenge, which is why I can now actually do full push ups ... I've noticed that folding my legs to add weight to my upper body improves the core workout for half push ups than if I leave the lower half of my legs flat on the floor. Hmm! Thanks for your input! I'll keep thinking about how to get to 100% full push ups for my own workout. :D

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Thanks for the feedback, guys. I kind of had the same thought on knee pushups and am transitioning to incline. My old knee injury likes them better, anyway.

Update:

Yesterday I did the BBWW again- managed to complete 3 circuits with fewer and shorter breaks, and 2 of the sets of pushups were incline instead of knee. Yay!

Today, did 90 min of fast walking while visiting a friend. The good news- able to talk (mostly) the whole time. The bad news- this has been the first time I exercised 2 days in a row since crashing the challenge. Earlier, glute and arm muscles were too sore the day after BBWW to want to do much.

I feel good about making progress. I do not see myself doing all the tracking Steve/NF recommend, though. I know from past experience that I do not stick with a lot of written tracking for long. Hopefully, I can find a way to keep track of incremental change without needing to write (or click or type) a lot. :)

I will be so ready for another challenge when the next official one starts! :)

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Hi there!

I like your motivation! It is great to be able to do things with your significant other, and both being able to enjoy it equally!

I'm doing the BBWW as well, it is really a super workout. 

 

Congratulations on making progress! 

FLUCTUAT  NEC  MERGITUR

 

 

FUELED BY PALEO

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Sore muscles are a great sign! No pain no gain! : ) 

I understand the tracking thing! It's tough, but it's one of the best ways to show progress!

Even if you're not writing everything, if you write down what exercises your able to do, for example, today you write down you were able to do 10 knee push ups, by the end of it maybe you'll be at 25 full push ups a circuit, you can see how long it took to get to that point, and that's cool. : ) 

 

Whether you do or don't you've got this! As long as you're moving just keep kicking butt!  : ) 

Dwarf : Adventurer

 

[LEVEL: 0 | STR 0 | DEX 0 | STA 0 | CON 0 | WIS 0 | CHA ]

 

http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/46150-second-attempt/

http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/46154-nightangelpunks-combat-periodical/

 

 

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.†
― 
Bruce Lee

 

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Love your motivation and positive attitude! Keep up the good work! 

 

As for tracking, I used to be really terrible and only track one or two workouts before forgetting about it. Then I started challenging myself to do at least one more rep of one exercise each workout. Now I'm addicted to seeing my numbers go up.  :smile-new:

Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's more like a cha-cha.

Member of CNF: TOS

 

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Thanks for the encouragement- it helps!

Today was a double-dip day: i warmed up with a short yoga routine, then did BBWW, and hubby and I hiked some very hilly terrain later. It is not fair that I still got out of breath more and faster than he did, even though I have been exercising and he hasn't been. But, I know it was better than if I had not started the challenge, so it is ok.

My modified paleo is ok- I am not cutting carbs at all meals, just grains (have been dairy free for 16 years, so nothing new there). I think my daily serving or 2 of root veggies needs to get a bit smaller though. Not sure. If I have no carbs at breakfast at all other than fruit, I feel like I need a nap by 1pm. I do better with a big pile of carrots and apple slices with my morning protein.

So that is it for now. :)

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@Twilight- it has been a strange winter with lots of places getting more snow than usual. If it helps you feel better, you may be laughing at me this summer when we have reached our 20th day over 90 degrees... ;)

Update:

Yesterday was essentially a day off from exercise. Have already done 30 min of yoga today, and plan to do BBWW later, too.

(Mostly) paleo eating is going well. Even made myself some paleo pancakes when I made regular pancakes for the rest of the family. :)

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Awesome! That's great that you made yourself a paleo alternative! It's so very easy to slip away from paleo with other treats rocking around! 

 

I'm glad that your challenge is going well :) Have you thought about where/what you'll do for your next challenge? :) 

Assassin Guild Leader  Trainee

 

STR: 2 | DEX: 2 | STA: 2 | CON: 3 | WIS: 3 | CHA: 3


Current Challenge: Vengefulpear Revives!

 

Level 1

 

 

High Score:

Level 7 STR: 14 | DEX: 10 | STA: 1 | CON: 12 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 4

 

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Thanks for the encouragement! I am actually pretty used to preparing different foods for different people in the family. We are all gluten and dairy free, I have a few miscellaneous allergies (most of which are eliminated on Paleo diet, ironically), and my husband is vegetarian with a number of food allergies. It is a new way of cooking, though!

 

Exercise has not been very good the last few days. Sunday I never did do the BBWW in addition to yoga, and yesterday I only did a short yoga routine, too. Today, I FINALLY made sure I set aside time to do the BBWW. DH (darling husband) wanted to take a walk, so I did both. I feel like I have backslid a bit. I have noticed that about my body in the past - I can build a small amount of fitness pretty quickly, but if I miss more than a couple of days I lose it quickly, too. :grumpy:

 

@vengefulpear - I have not really thought about the next challenge yet. It will be my first full challenge, so I thought I still needed to do it here. Though, apparently there are not a lot of strict rules on the subject. :peaceful:  I do not feel like so much of a noob anymore. :joyous:

 

What I am really not sure about is what type of exercise will help me get closer to my goal of being able to do pretty much any activity I choose for at least an hour or two without getting exhausted and needing to quit. I like to try just about anything - in addition to more regular activities like hiking, kayaking, and biking, I have been skiing, horseback riding, wakeboarding, climbing/rappelling, and caving. I would love to do more things (or do them more often), but I often spend the time trying a new activity just being nervous because I am in such bad shape. I am kind of thinking the best place to start might be with strength, with some interval training for aerobic fitness and a bit of yoga for flexibility and relaxation.

 

Thoughts?

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I feel like I have backslid a bit. I have noticed that about my body in the past - I can build a small amount of fitness pretty quickly, but if I miss more than a couple of days I lose it quickly, too.

 

I feel that, too. I feel as though I've stagnated over the last month or so, which is why I switched to the advanced BBWW and started swimming. My body got used to the excercise I was doing, so I had to step up to keep seeing the results I want to see. Still, if you keep at it (excercise), you will see a benefit. Even a little bit of exercise regularly is better than none. I've also noticed that just BBWW was enough to improve my strength and stamina, so your question about what type of activity will help you get closer to your goal could be answered with that, too. Just getting started will be a big help - you can focus on specific skills once you're in an excercising groove. Your idea sounds like a good one to me, but I'm a newbie, too!

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(…)

What I am really not sure about is what type of exercise will help me get closer to my goal of being able to do pretty much any activity I choose for at least an hour or two without getting exhausted and needing to quit. I like to try just about anything - in addition to more regular activities like hiking, kayaking, and biking, I have been skiing, horseback riding, wakeboarding, climbing/rappelling, and caving. I would love to do more things (or do them more often), but I often spend the time trying a new activity just being nervous because I am in such bad shape. I am kind of thinking the best place to start might be with strength, with some interval training for aerobic fitness and a bit of yoga for flexibility and relaxation.

 

Thoughts?

Sounds like you want it ALL. :D

Maybe Rangers? 

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FLUCTUAT  NEC  MERGITUR

 

 

FUELED BY PALEO

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Maybe I do kind of want it all - that is a bit of a problem I have, lol. That was why I picked Adventurers for my guild icon thing - I thought that they were the ones to do a little bit of everything. I think I need to read up and explore the guilds more. Maybe I will end up guild-hopping. :highly_amused:

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You have actually 2 "a bit of everything" guilds. The Adventurers and the Rangers. Adventurers are a little more diet and habits creating focused where Rangers are more into mixing a variety of workouts (typically crossfit-like)

 

Then you have the specialized guilds:

- Warriors: specialized in heavy lifting

- Scouts: moving long distance (running, biking, swimming....)

- Monks: martial arts

- Druids: Yoga, Tai chi, meditation

- Assassins: everything else body weight. Strength of course but also circus (silk, trapeze, pole, slackline...), gymnastic, climbing... I tend to think that assassins are the "Do all the things" of the bodyweight training. We all want to be strong, flexible and skilled :P

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Nuala, level 13 Robot mistress of pain, Assassin Guild leader

 

First journey: The Rise and fall of an Assassin

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13

Second journey: Crawling back

#1

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Thanks for the clarification, Nuala.

 

At this moment, the only thing I know for certain is that I do not want to be a Warrior. The idea of heavy lifting has zero appeal to me.

 

I think I have until the end of the NEXT challenge to figure out where I belong, at least for awhile. I went back and read the rules again today, and it seems that I need to do another Rebel challenge before choosing a guild. I started just before MARCH 24, not February, so I will only have completed a little more than 2 weeks at the close of this challenge. That is ok - I think doing a full 6 week challenge will help me figure out a bit more of what I like and what my strengths actually are. Since I have never been fit (well, at least not since 3rd or 4th grade), I do not know what will drawn me. That is probably a large part of my "little bit of everything" mentality. :tennis:

 

This has been like a "trial challenge" for me, which is great. I feel like I am starting to understand the process, how to set fitness goals that I will keep, how to use the message boards (very important!), and so on.

 

Goal check-in so far (for practice):

Goal 1: Exercise at least 5-6 days per week, alternating cardio (interval training) and strength

I have been doing fairly well with this one, exercising 8 days out of the 13 since I crashed the challenge, some of them doubled up. I have only done walking so far for cardio, though, not interval training, and there was a stretch of 3 days with no exercise at all (15 minutes of flexibility yoga does not count for the purposes of this challenge). Though I did have some days when I did more than one kind of exercise. Grade so far: 75%

 

Goal 2: Eat at least 2 meals a day containing 50% vegetables or fruit

Though I had not set my goal as eating paleo, that was actually what I was working towards and I have switched to a mostly paleo diet (Do sweet potato chips count? They make for a really tasty taco salad). Because of this, It has been easy to eat at least 1 meal daily with 50% vegetables or fruit. I may need to refine this goal more, though, because I think I am meeting the 50% mark in more meals than I am perceiving. I mean, what else am I eating? Vegetables, some root vegetables, fruit, nuts, and meat. Grade so far: 85%

 

Goal 3: Go out for 1 or more extended activity sessions each week

Though my extended activity sessions have only been walking/hiking so far, I have twice gone out with my husband or a friend for 90 minutes or more. Score! Even better, I was able to keep up with them while only getting somewhat tired. Grade so far: 100%

 

I need to get an exercise session in tonight. It will probably be stretching and stationary bike, because my knee with the partial menisectomy is really bothering me today. Guess I can do intervals on the bike. :tongue:

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I think the problem with knee PU (and why it doesn't translate to PU) is because it mimics the PU movement without training some essential muscles, PU are not only for the arms, they also makes your chest, core and shoulder work hard. But the core and shoulders are a bit forgotten with knee PU, so you can do as many as you want (even 3*20!) when you'll try a full PU, something will say "Nope". Because even if you have the biceps, if the rest of your body is weak, you won't be able to do one.

:D

 

Haha, loved how u explained.. it makes complete sense! *doing pushups right now to test*

 

Hey elsfaire, welcome to the challenge! You know, there's something awesome about doing something like this, on a different period.. cause you'll feel like something more 'ongoing', not a thing with beginning and end defined.

Those weird things can do miracles with your mind, specially about creating habit and routine.

First Quest! 5k Running (2014 not completed)

[Now] Do you wish to play again? (x) Yes ( ) No

 

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 Worst Weight: 82Kg (180 lbs)

  Best  Weight: 71Kg (156 lbs)

Actual Weight: 77Kg (169 lbs)

 

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Looks like you're putting these couple of weeks to great use! I'm with you, coming in late to this challenge was a good intro and set-up for the next one. Here's to an excellent final week, and I look forward to seeing you for a full 6 weeks starting on the 14th!  :joyous:

Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's more like a cha-cha.

Member of CNF: TOS

 

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