Monday, February 25, 2013

At the Homestead Update - Health and Fitness Mostly

I abandoned the 10 foods challenge after a week.  It was plenty for me and I still don't regret it.  I'm glad I gave it a try, as I'd been wanting to, but I'm also quite glad it's over. 

Anthony and I have been going for weekly bike rides together.  We don't ride together more often because he is a much stronger rider than I am.  Our once a week rides are work for me and recovery days for him.  It's been a lot of fun, though.  Sundays are my favorite day currently with our Sunday morning pancakes, a bike ride and Thai food for dinner, which is a pattern we're settling least for two more Sundays, then Davan comes home!  Yay!  At which point, we'll establish a new Sunday pattern, still anchored by our Sunday morning pancakes, though, of course.

I tried to go back to running last week.  My ankle went right back to where it was after the marathon.  To say I'm not pleased about this is an understatement.  Here's the thing:  It's been 5 months.  It should be better.  Perhaps it really is a stress fracture and I keep not letting it heal.  That's my best guess currently, but the fact is that it doesn't really matter.  Whatever it is, it's not getting better with me constantly testing to see if it'll not hurt when I run this time or when I jump this time.

I could go back to the doctor and get an MRI, but I don't think that's the way I'll go.  We have a really high deductible plan and it's my fervent hope that we won't make our deductible this year.  An MRI would blow that out of the water. 

I've decided that what is called for is more ardent dedication to letting it heal.  For at least a month, maybe two, I will not run at all, even to cross the street, and I am going to take a break from martial arts.  I can go to class and modify or work separately, but the fact is that I don't.  I hate going to class and not participating fully, so I do stuff I shouldn't.  Thus, a break.

I'll just have to be super mindful at work.

Meanwhile, though, Anthony and I each took the President's Fitness Test to see where we are and, while we both did fine - Anthony is an animal in aerobic fitness, I do well in strength and neither of us feel below the 50th percentile in anything - I was not thrilled with my aerobic fitness in particular.  I'm in the 70th percentile, which doesn't seem too bad, but then I looked VO2 Max charts to understand that number.  My number is 36.9, which, depending on what chart I look at is something like "fair" or "above average".  Sure, sure, that's all okay, I guess.  I want better.  I want to be "good" at a minimum, or, you know, even maybe excellent.  I'm a little competitive.

I'm making it a goal to improve there.  Thus, I need to find time for bike riding and/or swimming because walking just isn't getting me there.  I walk Ranger all the time and my results still don't thrill me.  So, now I need to walk Ranger and ride or swim at least a few time a week.

I also need to stretch more.  My flexibility was my lowest percentile ranking, which came as a surprise.

I'd be happy to improve all my results, frankly.  I'd love for my over all to be 90th percentile eventually.  Anyway, we're going to retest in a couple of months. 

To keep me honest with changes between now and then, here are my results.  Keep in mind that women do modified push ups.

Congratulations! You scored above average on 4 of the 4 elements of the adult fitness test. Keep up the good work! Remember to be active every day and work to maintain a healthy weight.
Congratulations, your aerobic fitness estimate is consistent with a lower risk of health problems associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It is still important to continue or possibly increase your physical activity level to maintain and improve your aerobic fitness and health status.

Fitness Component  Test Event               Your Results                  Your Score
Aerobic Fitness*      1-Mile Walk           13:25                              70%ile
Heart Rate   165
VO2 Max     36.9

Muscular Strength    Half Sit-Ups            46                                  80%ile
Push-Ups                                                  30                                  90%ile
Flexibility        Sit-and-Reach                  18                                  60%ile

Overall Score (based on percentile average)  75%ile

Body Composition   BMI:23.0   Normal
Waist Circumference   29

*Normative data for VO2max are based on a population that is 20 years of age and older and are re-printed from the 2006 Physical Fitness Specialist Course and Certification Manual, with permission of The Cooper Institute, 12330 Preston Road, Dallas, TX 75230

When evaluating your performance on this test, you should look at your results on each of the tests and consider how the individual tests contribute to your overall fitness. Your percentile scores are based on normative data, which represent the average achievment of people in your age group
performing the test. For example, if your score is in the 75%ile (read as 75th percentile) that means that 75% of the scores among people your age fall below your score. In general, the better you score on each test, the more fit you are. On the other hand, it is not necessary to score at the very highest level on all of the tests in order to be at reduced risk for a number of diseases. Scoring poorly on one test may help you identify specific fitness activities you need to do to improve your fitness score on that test. However, this does not mean you should ignore the fitness activities associated with the tests on which you performed well. Your goal should be to score well on as many of the fitness test items as possible, maintain your fitness level in those you did well, and improve the rest.

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