Changing My Views on Exercise

Prior to my health scare last August 12, I sustained a neck strain from overexercising. This has prompted me from cutting back on the exercise and since my almost-stroke I haven’t gotten around to exercising one bit.

One of my goals this year was to get in the best shape of my life. I’ve lost 25 pounds to date, my body fat is under 20% and my metabolic age is younger than my biological age (I know, I’m bragging a bit here. Sorry.) By all accounts, I’m healthy. Even my blood work during my hospitalization says I’m healthy. Still, it would be nice to get my body fat closer to 10%, and getting a six-pack along the way.

Which brings us to my problem: my injury had not fully healed and as a side effect of my TIA, I really can’t go back to the same exercises I was doing before without risking further harm to me.

While my doctor put no restrictions on me whatsoever, I have to be smart going about doing strenuous physical activities. Inasmuch as I want to get toned muscles, I have to think about the long-term effects of pushing myself too hard.

The exercises I used to do prior to my injury were high intensity interval trainings (HIIT), which lasted less than half an hour. I did that everyday for three months, and I was happy with the results. As with any exercise program, the further I got along, the more advanced the exercises were. Despite the fact that the exercises were harder, I pushed myself to my limits. Unfortunately, I reached my limit and am currently paying for it.

Despite these, I’m still determined to have a regular form of exercise. I still hope I’d be able to do HIITs in the future, maybe even lift weights again, but until I feel that my body can take the extra pounding, those would have to wait.

I’ve decided that to have a clean break, I’ll forgo exercising for the rest of the month and ease my way into exercising at the start of September, all the way to the end of the year. These will be my goals:

  1. Improve breathing.
  2. Improve heart health.
  3. Improve balance.
  4. Be more flexible.
  5. Improve muscle strength.
  6. Run a 5K between 25-30 minutes by November
  7. Run a 10K between 60-70 minutes by December

I know some of these goals are vague, and may not be measurable. But I believe that these will be important for me to ease my way back into high intensity exercises again. In my pursit of a six-pack, I kind of lost myself and lost patience. Now, I’m smarter. And I realize that I need a stronger foundation this time.

Right now, I’m deciding between Tai Chi and Yoga. I’m leaning towards Tai Chi because it appears to be less stressful, and the literature I’ve read so far hits on all of the goals I stated above. I still need to read up on Yoga. This might boil down to whichever requires the least effort to start on (i.e. club memberships, training schedules, etc.) Until then, first update would be on September 5.

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