Exercise and Illness / Weight Update

If you are a long time reader of this blog (or went back and read the old posts), you may remember that I was training for the Flying Pig Half Marathon in 2009. The first two months of training went surprisingly well and I posted about looking forward to walking 8.5 miles. But, that turned out to be a mistake. Here’s why.

That very cold and snowy Saturday morning, I had the beginnings of a chest cold. Because I was so set on doing this walk, I didn’t bother to check to see if that was a good idea. I thought I should just suck it up and do it. I figured the adrenaline would get me through and it did to a point. The problem was that I drove that cold even deeper in my chest. It totally wiped me out for three weeks or more and that was even after I got some prescription meds to combat it. And that was pretty much the end of my half marathon training.

So the rule of thumb on exercising when sick is this. If your cold or whatever is affecting you from the neck up, you are okay to exercise. It may even help loosen up your congestion. But, if your illness is from the neck down, don’t exercise. It only makes you feel worse and can, like with me in 2009, makes things worse for your illness too.

I bring this up because I got that cough that’s going around the Cincinnati area lately. At first, I just thought it was a cold and used some over the counter medicine to treat the symptoms. But, about a week into it, the cough got worse and I would go off on coughing jags that wracked my whole body for as much as five minutes at a time. The last time I had that sort of cough, it was allergies so I switched to allergy medication. That helped some, but I still couldn’t sleep at night without the need to cough violently waking me up. After two weeks, it was time to see the doctor. Two prescriptions later and orders to rest all weekend later, I’m finally recuperating.

Through all this, I talked with Lori, my trainer at the Y, and she confirmed the “neck up / neck down” rule. As I’ve been recuperating, I’ve slowly been getting back to the pool at the Y, but I’m taking it easy. I definitely don’t want to have a repeat of 2009.

On the plus side, being under the weather and pushing lots of liquids has helped with my weight loss efforts. Though the Twitter widget on the right hand side seems to be having troubles again, I can say that I’ve lost another two pounds so I’m down 23.4 pounds since mid-July.

Best part? I’m wearing my wedding rings for the first time in months (if not longer). That is a truly wonderful thing!


It’s Free Friend Week at R.C. Durr YMCA Next Week

Do you have a friend who you think would like the YMCA, but would like to try it out first? If so, you’re in luck! Starting this Sunday, it’s FREE FRIEND WEEK at the R.C. Durr YMCA. You can bring a friend to the Y without having to use one of your guest passes. Sounds like a great pre-Halloween treat to me!


P.S. I’m officially down more than 20 pounds! It feels pretty darn good!

Inspiration at the Pool

Unless you are a regular member at the R.C. Durr YMCA, you probably don’t know that it is a designated training and testing site for the Navy SEALs. SEALs, which is short for Sea, Air, and Land Teams, are the Navy’s main special operations force. As you can see from the video on this web site, the training is rigorous and demanding.

Almost every day that we’re working out in the pool, we can see the SEAL wannabes being put through their paces by their military fitness trainer, a petite blonde woman with a pony tail. She is amazing to watch in action. One day, she’ll make them swim the length of the pool and then jump out to do about 50 or so sit-ups. Then, it’s back into the pool to swim back to the other end and then 50 or so push-ups, sometimes with lying on top of them to add more weight to their efforts. Today, she had two of them carrying what seemed to be heavily weighted bags. They had to run with them across their shoulders or do deep lunges down the hall way. Tom saw them on the way and mentioned that they didn’t look very happy about this exercise. I would imagine that some of these SEAL trainees have nightmares about blonde pony tails!

While the SEAL trainees are one type of inspiration, our pool buddy Nancy is another. When Nancy first started coming to the Y, she had to use a walker to get herself around. She couldn’t use the steps to get into the pool, but rather had to be lowered into the pool via a special chair they have for members with mobility issues. She told us that what got her to the pool was an incident where she fell in her home and couldn’t get up. I’ll always remember the look on her face when she told us that it took six firefighters to get her up. That was it. It was time for a change.

Change doesn’t happen over night and it didn’t for Nancy. First, she was able to use the stairs to get into the pool. Then, she was able to switch from the walker to a cane. Now, she doesn’t even need the cane. According to her last weigh-in at her doctor’s office, she lost 80 pounds. And she knows she’s lost more because she has recently needed a smaller size of pants. She’s taking less medication now too.

Change like that isn’t easy. She works out at the Y six days a week. She put her health first and it shows.

Whether it’s a young person training to be a part of one of the most decorated parts of the armed forces or an older person like Nancy (she always calls us “young uns”), there are so many stories at your local Y that will inspire you.

As we say at the R.C. Durr pool, come on in… the water’s fine.