I’ve decided to knuckle down and get myself into shape. It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while but various things have made me delay for one reason or another. The main one lately has been my daily struggle with hayfever which has plagued me (and everyone around me – sorry for all the sniffing and sneezing!) for 3 weeks non-stop. Thankfully I’ve acquired an AMAZING nasal spray from the docs and there’s been barely a sniff since I starting using it a week ago. It’s genuinely changed my life!
I recently had a health check in work and it’s all pretty decent. My blood pressure was fairly standard (127/79) and my resting pulse was 58 (lower than I expected). My current weight is 72.6kg (that’s 11st 6lbs in old money) with a body fat percentage of 17.7% and total body water percentage of 58.8% – both well within the healthy range. My visceral fat (that’s the bad fat that wraps round your organs and is common around your belly) rating is 5 which again is fairly low and my BMI is 25.7 (slightly into the overweight category) but that’s mainly due to the fact I’m a short ass.
So overall, I’m actually in decent shape and my metabolic age came out at 27 which is 4 years below my actual age. Win!
Even though I’m in relatively good shape I want to improve my health further. The way I see it, I’m only going to get older and it’s only going to get harder to keep in shape. To that end, I’ve decided to set myself a mini-challenge and work on maintaining a healthy, but manageable, lifestyle. Something that I can carry on through my end-goal and for the forseeable future.
The health check equipment is coming back to work at the end of September which gives me 10-11 weeks to make some improvements. My targets are:
Weight: Increase to around 77kg
In 2009 I weighed in at 83kg after a few months of hefty gym work. Then I went travelling for a month and dropped to 78kg. I hovered around there for the last few years and then after taking up running more rigorously last year I dipped down to just 70kg at my lowest. It might sound odd that I want to put on weight, but I don’t feel I’m at my natural size. I’m used to being a bit bigger/heavier so I’d like to add a few kg back on (in good weight though!).
Body Fat: decrease to < 15%
There’s never a bad reason to shed a bit of fat is there? As I’m aiming to put a few kg onto my weight I need to be careful with it. No point in adding 5kg of fat is there?! Dropping my fat percentage should ensure the extra weight goes on in all the right places (hopefully).
Metabolic age: lower < 25
This is more of a fun test for myself. If I manage to hit the targets above and maintain my BP, heart rate and body water percentage this should lower itself automatically.
I’m not doing anything drastic, I’m just focusing on two things:
Food – to reduce body fat you need to watch what you eat. It’s not rocket science. I’ve been dabbling on and off with paleo this year and it’s something that seems to suit my needs quite well. High protein…good. Lots of meat…GOOOOD.
So I’m going to stick with this until the end of September which means no refined sugars and (almost) no carbs (I say almost because I’m going to allow my self the odd small portion if I’m going running, but limiting myself to a maximum of two a week and no more than handful at a time).
I’m actually allowing myself some dairy too which makes it more primal than paleo but this will also be limited to milk for protein shakes and cheese. Obviously I need some extra calories to get the extra weight but I’ve been monitoring my intake loosely for a few months now so I won’t have any problems there.
Exercise – this one is easy (in theory) too. I’m aiming for at least 5 workouts a week, ideally 6, consisting of at least one run/swim a week plus lots of weights in the gym. If I’m going to add some weight on I need to get lifting – but I also like running so that has to stay in my training (plus it’s easy to do if I’m away somewhere and can’t get to the gym!).
I’ll be hitting all areas of my body in the gym, especially as my dodgy left shoulder prevents me from overtraining upper body too much anyway! And last but not least, the dreaded HIIT will be back on my radar after a week or two!
So that’s my plan. It’s the first time I’ve really set myself a proper training target so it’ll be interesting to see how it works out. If I stick to it I should see the benefits, so hopefully in the next 2-3 weeks I’ll start seeing a bit of progress. Fingers crossed.