In Other News, Exercise STILL Sucks! - December 6, 2008

I see that I have not posted an update for two weeks. What I have been doing instead is updating the Current Status section to the left. For those of you that only check updated postings, I should probably summarize the last two weeks of mini updates here in a post. As you recall, I committed to start exercising, and I expected not to enjoy it very much, despite all the assurances of all you skinny exercise-lovers out there.

A co-worker convinced me not to try the somewhat lame health center at the office. I went over during the morning to check it out. They have one of everything - universal gym, free weights, dumbbells, elliptical machine, rowing machine, standard bike, recumbent bike, treadmill, and a couple of TVs with cable, VCR, and DVD. Also they have a set of scales, blood pressure monitor, body fat estimator, and other miscellaneous devices. As I noted, it's OK, and the price is right. Nothing spectacular, and the elliptical machine was broken. My co-worker pointed out that our identification cards include one for access to the Air Force Base, and that we are allowed to use the fitness center there. He raved about how nice it was, and offered to accompany in my journey of discovery without pressuring me. I figured, what's the harm? It's on the way home, and the price is right there, too!

We went over after work on Monday before Thanksgiving (which is always on Thursday, for you non-US types). The place is enormous. Locker rooms, shower facilities, and two full-size basketball courts surround a fit-food court, spinning room, and lounge area with an indoor rock climbing wall. Upstairs a spongy track with two lanes for runners and two lanes for walkers encircles the basketball courts, martial arts center, free weight and strength machine area, and aerobics area. The aerobics section has between three and ten each of the latest, most expensive machines, and several of each type - treadmills, upright bikes, recumbent bikes, elliptical exercisers, and at least three kinds of stair-steppers. There are also rowing, climbing, and other machines, including a fearsome looking automated "Jacob's Ladder." My buddy introduced me to a couple of the elliptical machines - one hurt my lower back and one didn't. We also tried the recumbent bike, for about 10 minutes each. The next night we did 15 minutes each on the non-hurting elliptical and an different recumbent bike. On Wednesday I was on my own, and did 30 minutes on the first recumbent bike. All of this was attempted at very low resistance levels.

I took Thursday - Sunday off (both work and exercise) for the Thanksgiving holiday. For the main day we hosted another couple and dog-sat for some other friends. So surrounding the feast were four adults, five dogs, and six bottles of wine. It was a long and enjoyable day! We ate well, and far less than usual. With no sugar, white flour, pork, shellfish, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and natural/organic on the rest. We had a (free range, organic) turkey, stove-top (organic) dressing, homemade gravy (with cornstarch), root vegetables, two green organic salads, organic green beans, whole grain bread rolls, and butter. And my wife managed to make a whole grain pie crust and surprised us with both apple and pecan pies, sweetened with honey. All most excellent!!!

Monday saw a return to work and exercise. Alone again (as I prefer), I experimented with the same machine, and dialed in the settings for a 25 minute workout plus a five minute cool-down. It has a built in heart monitor, so after I input my weight and age, the monitor established heart rate zones for me. I was able to keep in the desired zone (94-145 for me) for about half the time. And it was absolutely brutal, even at a low level similar to the previous week. I went home, ate dinner, and went to bed exhausted. Wednesday was better, with 22 minutes in the zone, and Friday better with 25 minutes in the zone. I developed a sore spot in my tail bone area, so I need to watch that over time. Maybe switch to another machine type now and then. In any case, I seem to be getting the job done, and for the record, I am NOT loving it! My plan is to increase to four days next week, then five days for following weeks. If the machine works out, I will probably buy one to use at home - probably in the mornings. The last thing I want to do after a long day at work is go exercise, but the price is right for now. Morning workouts mean showering in the gym, which is a logistical nuisance, so we will stick with the program for the short term.

In other news, many of you have been curious about the diet, and it may be a big factor in battling recurrence of cancer. The problem is that I don't know what works and what doesn't. If I continue to be successful and stay cancer free, here are the things that could be contributing, and it could be any one, or several in combination that does it:
Surgery to remove tumors (TURBT)
Bio-immuno therapy treatments (BCG)
Diet - avoid carcinogens or potential carcinogens (pork, shellfish, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, fertilizers, hormones, etc.)
Diet - avoid cancer feeders (sugar, simple starches, white flour, processed foods)
Diet - consume cancer fighters (green tea, cruciform veggies, dark greens, dark berries, cabbage, soy, chocolate, turmeric, etc.)
MCP - Modified Citrus Pectin, a chelating agent (to remove metals from the system)
Exercise - 20+ minutes per day of elevated, aerobic heart rate (4-5 days/week)
Deep Breathing - cancer hates oxygen
Prayer - the power of God (should not be discounted, as many studies have proved a "positive attitude" is strongly correlated with cancer fighting!)
Blogging - having a place to summarize thoughts and rant occasionally may improve attitude also!

And in other news, I still want to do book reviews on at least 4 diet books and maybe a couple of others. Once I get the exercise timing and routine dialed-in, there may be time for those!

In still other news, I may be able to maintain the exercise, but it STILL sucks!


TK said...

Something that helps the time pass is good tunes (not the news or other TV, which can raise blood pressure the wrong way!). If the gym doesn't have good tunes, an Ipod (the Ipod Shuffle has a nice, easy-to-use, small clip) works well. Yes, using the treadmill with 'Born to be Wild' playing may seem contradictory - but think of the visualization opportunities...

New Age Guy said...

An iPod is essential. Get a good hard-driving playlist and float with the music. Bad to the Bone -- which you introduced me to, oh-so-many years ago -- is a start. Move on to dance/club music, played in druggie clubs to which you would never go (nor me, for that matter)is terrific. As an example, go for David Guetta's PopLife CD. Other general stuff for this play list includes Joan Jett and the Beach Boys. I've got 427 songs on my exercise playlist and I could go on.... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Good job, Steve. Once you begin to see results, you will be more encouraged to continue. Sounds like Kathryn is doing a fantastic job taking care of you too! Keep up the good work. This is the hardest time of the year to stay on track.

John6.54 said...

I agree with you 100% about the diet... I have bladder cancer and had 3 tumors removed and just finished my 4th BCG... I already figured out that food dyes, especially red40 (it's in almost everything), was the biggest culprit that caused my cancer among all other FDA approved food added poisons... When I only eat organic, no burning, no urgency and no blood...