Saturday, January 15, 2011

I Hope They Have Ice in Paris....

Had my last Superfit session today before I leave for France. It was an early morning one, and my alarm went off in the middle of an REM cycle (I can tell because I was solidly in the middle of a dream), so I couldn't really eat much because my stomach was upset, so I couldn't go all out. But I didn't wimp out, either, which I think is good. I got up when I didn't want to, and I went in when I didn't feel like I could do a good workout, and even though I couldn't kill it, I put forth a worthy workout. I feel like this bodes well for future marathon running- I imagine there will be many days when running 8 or 15 or 26 miles won't sound like anything I want to be doing.

And I listened to my body, and sometimes stopped a few reps short if I could tell it wasn't going to end well. I only moved up to Red (Yellow-Green-Blue-Red-Silver-Black 1-3) on Thursday, so that would have been acceptable even if I was feeling quite chipper.

Read a very interesting chapter on using temperature to help shed fat and build lean muscle, in The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman (full disclosure: links to books and products are associate links, but I honestly just link them so you can see what I'm talking about, not as a prod to buy them. Though I would generally recommend them). We tend to think of weight gain or loss as a simple connection between calories eaten and calories burned through exercise. But we forget that they body spends energy in other ways, including heat. So if you cool your body, especially with water and/or around the neck and upper chest/back area, your body works to heat it up, as well as immediately resorting to fat stores for energy rather than sugar reserves. And if you do a cold shower or an ice bath, which will result in shivering, it activates some sort of upper muscle layer, and all test subjects showed an increase in lean muscle mass. So, as I write this, I'm sitting in a recliner with an ice pack perched under by upper back/lower neck, with the Green Bay-Atlanta game on behind my laptop screen. And apparently I'm burning fat and calories. The science seems to all check out, so this could be an excellent addition to my diet and exercise changes in my quest to be at a better running weight. We shall see how my body responds.

Thought I'd toss out a quick snack that I use sometimes:

  • Brown rice cake (I prefer mine w/ sesame seeds on the top, but this variety is surprisingly hard to find
  • Peanut butter (Jif types work better than the natural kind, unfortunately)
  • Chia
Just take one or two rice cakes, but a thin but not too thin layer of pb (less fat with less pb, but it's also pretty much the only flavor this gets), then liberally cover the top with chia. Nom away.

Talk to you from France!

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