Thursday, 30 June 2016

First Half of 2016 - health and fitness

I write these posts for posterity. My numerical approach to health and fitness has been criticised by close friends and family members as being 'obsessive', 'too structured' or 'too numbers-oriented'. However, having recorded various aspects of health and fitness over exactly two and half years, I believe that this 'if you can't measure it, you can't manage it' approach works.

My father's longevity is a signal that investment in one's health for old age now is worthwhile. If my father, 93, can live a full, independent life, mentally and physically on astonishingly good form, so can I. Incidentally, the habit of logging daily data in a spreadsheet is something that I have genetically inherited from my father!

Genes are a part of the answer to an active, healthy old age, but so is diet and exercise. I'm sure my mother could have lived a lot longer had she ate less cake and did at least some exercise - both her older sisters are still alive, aged 91 and 94.

So then - my half-year in numbers.

H1 2014
H1 2015
H1 2016
Paces walked (total)
Distance walked
1,525 km
1,580 km
1,560 km
Paces walked (daily average)
Sit-ups (daily average)
Alcohol (units/week average)
Portions fruit & veg (daily average)

The walking total for the first half of this year was brought down by a poor performance this month, where I ended up doing a total of 24 TV and radio appearances, and was driven across town by taxi from studio to studio. But still, the magic figure of 10,000 paces a day, every day, has been exceeded for two and half years.

A big big thanks to Michał Borzyskowski from Australia, a regular reader of this blog, who has been extremely inspirational on the fitness front. His e-mails to me on various aspects of fitness have convinced me to return to press-ups (or push-ups); I'm now back to being able to comfortably do 25 in one go; my target is to be able to do 30 - and to do that twice a day every day, along with my regime of 100 sit-ups twice a day. Michał has also convinced me to buy a bar for pull-ups/chin-ups.

I've installed the bar across the frame of my bedroom door; at first, I was totally unable to pull my body mass up using the strength of my arms. Now I can do four chin-ups; this exercise is very useful for building up muscle mass, which will decline into old age. The more you have now, the longer it will take for it to waste away.

Healthwise, other than a few sniffles in April I have been totally well. Long may it continue.

This time last year:
Venus, Jupiter - auspices

This time two years ago:
Down the line from York

This time three years ago:
Cider - at last available in Poland

This time four years ago:
Despondency on Puławska

This time five years ago:
Stalking the stork

This time seven years ago:
Late June lightning

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