Monday, January 20, 2014

Getting Back Into Shape For Upcoming Hiking Season and Health...

      The Holidays have been good to me in many ways this past year, but they have also left me with some excess baggage.  Eating way too much food and drinking way to many adult beverages have taken their toll and with hiking season quickly approaching it is time to do something about it.
     Almost every blog post or gear review video that I see focuses solely on getting the pack weight down to help one overcome those steep inclines, take pressure off sore knees and feet and ease the burden of carrying a heavy load.  What about all that extra FAT that we carry around our belly? Sure...hiking will help me lose weight over time, but it will also make my hikes a little more challenging and cause a distraction from what I'm really out there doing - ENJOY MYSELF!!!!
     This fitness journey I am about to embark on will not be one of vanity, but one of getting in better health and shedding the extra pounds that I won't have to carry while out on the trail. Now that I am part of the "40+ Club" it is even more important that I take good care of myself and live a cleaner lifestyle (while not sacrificing FUN).
     So what does this all mean for someone who might be reading this? A "Yeah Good for you for getting in shape"? My intentions are to allow anyone reading to learn from what I am doing, what I find successful, what I find does not work and hopefully get a little feedback in the process that will help me attain my goals. I will be placing my diet, workout regimen and progress under the "EXERCISE" tab of my blog. I will try and stay diligent with updating it daily and will be completely honest - even when I falter.  I will post a weekly Progress report as to my weight loss and fat loss as noted by the scale pictured above. I do not have access to calipers so I will be relying on the "Fat Content" sensor on the scale. I know this is not the most accurate way of measuring, but it's what I have and should do well for my purposes.  The real success will be measured by how loose my now tight and difficult to button pants get :).
     How am I going to accomplish this goal? Through diet, exercise and cardiovascular training!!!

This is a highly personal option and you will have to work the numbers for caloric intake for yourself based on your own personal body.  The steps that I took to come up with my diet plan is as follows:
1: Figure out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). There are many calculators out there for you to choose from and they range in complexity.
2: Figure out your lean body mass. The best way to accomplish this is through the use of calipers, but since I don't have access to them I am simply using my weight minus the % body fat that my scale provided. As I said my method is not 100% accurate, but it will suffice for what I am trying to accomplish.
3: Decide what you are trying to accomplish.  Are you trying to lose body fat? Do you want to gain muscle? Do you want to maintain your lean body mass and just shed the fat? Once again this is a highly personal decision and this will dictate which direction your diet will take you.
4: Design a diet that will encompass 5-6 small meals a day.  They should be low in fat obviously.  Count all the calories that you put into your body during the day as they ALL count.  That dressing that goes on a salad needs to go in there, the sugar that's put in the coffee.....EVERYTHING!! 
Decide on a work out program that works for you.  Remember...if you don't enjoy doing it the less likely you are to stick with it.  I prefer to lift weights for my workouts, but that is not to say aerobic exercise, yoga, circuit training, P90x.....aren't good choices. 

I would recommend doing at least 20-30 minutes a day.  This is the key to shedding that nasty fat!!!!!  I have never been a big fan of staying on an elliptical or treadmill for extended periods, but it's a MUST to get success.  Once again this is a highly personal decision when it comes to what type of cardio you choose, but Get er dun :)

     As I said....this is how I am going to go about doing this.  This is not the ONLY way, it may not be the correct way, but it's what I will be trying to stick with for a while and see what the outcome is.  I have had success with it in the past, but it is hard to stay consistent and true all the time.  I am as much a student as a teacher when it comes to this and hopefully by me documenting it here I will be more diligent, help others learn from my mistakes and hopefully learn a bit from others in the process.

I will be posting my diet plan under the "EXERCISE" tab soon. Remember this is what I designed for my body and personal goals.  If you choose to follow something similar to this you will need to adapt it to your body.
This mornings weigh in was as follows:

January 20, 2014 - Weight 227# - Body Fat 31% (OUCH - TOO many beers)

Wish me luck!!!! I'm gonna need it!!!!

Happy Trails!!!