April 14: 15-minute workout with Tabata

fitfor15in15

Two days ago this tree was just in bud, and now look at it! It was humming with bees

This is a new workout I’ve found which involves Tabata. What on earth is Tabata? It’s a version of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and you can read more if you’re interested here and here.

Jessica Smith, whose workouts I have done previously here, here and here, put this 15-minute routine together for the shape.com website. I did it tonight before bed, which was probably a bit silly because now I’m a bit sweaty. I couldn’t do the plank/push-up thing on my feet – had to drop to my knees. And I still can’t really get my knees up to horizontal when jogging.

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In December, I planted some bulbs and they’re starting to blossom. It’s a mixed collection of tulips and unknowns (to me!)

Doing fitfor15in15 has made me much more interested in my health. By looking for new routines for you and me, I occasionally stumble on some other interesting stuff too. Such as this:

Taiwanese research conducted over a 12-year period on more than 400,000 people found 15 minutes of exercise a day increased life expectancy by three years. Published in The Lancet in August 2011, Dr Chi-Pang Wen, lead author of the study, said, “The 30-minute a day for five or more days a week has been the golden rule for the last 15 years, but now we found even half that amount could be very beneficial. As we all feel, finding a slot of 15 minutes is much easier than finding a 30-minute slot in most days of the week.”

I hear you brother! (Sorry, we finished watching “The Killing” Season 2 (American version) tonight and the character Stephen Holder says brother, or bruvva, all the time. He’s in my head.) More people than I can possibly imagine are putting in their 15 minutes a day. In cases like this, it feels good to be part of a pack.

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The tulips in the self-pick garden plot are starting to sprout!

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This pink beauty was the best of the first blooms I saw

Yesterday’s dinner on the 5:2 Diet was huge – a massive salad in a bowl I would normally use for four people. I actually got bored of chewing – couldn’t finish it all! Without dressing it was a bit dry, but I plowed through as much as possible, before the whole thing just became a bit tedious. Leo finished his in record time. Maybe I didn’t have the energy to bother?! No, seriously, I felt fine and the first day of the 500 calorie plan was a success.

Today, I met my friend Leonie in the city on her lunch break and what did I order? A salad! The 5:2 Diet research did say people tend to eat healthier on the five days when you can eat whatever you want. I’m part of the pack again. But I did have fettuccine carbonara for dinner … and a chocolate rabbit ear for dessert. 🙂

If you’re thinking about doing the 5:2 Diet, this could also be a good resource for counting calories in food. Have a poke around the New Health Guide website. And there’s always Google, mentioned yesterday. But don’t worry, there’s no chance of this happening to me!

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This yellow tree is in bloom in the big farmhouse garden

In an attempt to make me even more accountable, I’ve decided to add a new section at the bottom of every post. It will highlight things from the four main themes of fitfor15in15 that have happened that day.

  • Physically Fit: 15-minute workout
  • Mentally Fit: finished a book and finished season 2 of “The Killing”
  • Nutritionally Fit: Muesli, salad, pasta, chocolate, tea
  • Minimalism: bought a Diva Cup, at last, to cut down on waste. I hope it works/I like it
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I’m trying to minimise what I throw away as a contribution to this

Wishing you a wonderful day.

March 13: Lots of tripping doing 30 minutes skipping

Another Friday the 13th rolls along and, thankfully, I’ve stayed out of trouble again.

After yesterday’s run, I thought I’d keep the pace high by doing 30 minutes of skipping on the terrace. It’s going to take me years to master the art, but jumping around in this stop-start way is the only way to learn (check out the video from my previous skipping day to see how it can be done by an expert!).

It’s really noticeable that when my concentration’s gone I can only manage a few rotations before snagging my foot on the rope. But when I focus on something in the distance, with my head and neck at the right angle, then it can be a good few minutes before anything goes wrong.

Previously, I’ve only ever done 15 minutes of skipping, but knew it was time to go harder. I stopped after 15 to kick the football with my neighbour’s daughter for a few minutes in the sun, then resumed the final 15. That little break probably helped a lot.

Happily, I can report there’s less tummy bounce happening these days. Well, one would hope so after 10 weeks of daily exercise! It’s been an amazing experience and I’m so glad I’ve stuck with it.

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Worked up a bit of a sweat!

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Bit misty, but thankfully not as windy as yesterday

Today has been a day of study. I had to let go of one of the online courses – the nutrition one – because I fell too far behind, but I hope to pick it up again in summer, because I find the topic very interesting (and luckily it’s free!). So now my full attention is with the Body Matters course, which is all about exercise and how it … um, well … affects your body, believe it or not.

One of the lecturers, Dr Steven Blair, stated inactivity and low fitness are the major public health problems of the 20th century. Dr Blair (and others) say 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise – such as walking – is required per week in order to maintain a healthy fitness level. Or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise. Of course, nutrition is important too. He said too many people have a positive caloric balance on too many days – ie we’re consuming more than we’re burning. Factors include increases in sedentary jobs and transport options. We sit more at work and can be delivered closer to the door. He also has the scientific proof that you can still be overweight and fit, and that your fitness level is much more important than your fatness level.

I won’t rabbit on too much, other than to say it’s been a very productive day and I’m looking forward to catching up on the rest of the course (I’m about two weeks behind already!). All good stuff for being mentally and physically fit in 2105.

Also, if you missed it, here’s another little post from today about woodpeckers.

Wishing you a wonderful day.