Change in thinking

I’ve been thinking (‘course this is the whole point of the blog — to share what I’m thinking, whether it’s worthwhile or not, so I hope you are all just fascinatingly interested) about exercise.

Partly this is due to the fact that I am trying something new, called CrossFit, which is interesting and challenging and actually having visible effects on my muscles. There are lots of good ideas behind CrossFit, which I am not going to try to explain, just go read the website. The one that attracted me the most is the variety of exercise, since I know that my body has been getting too accustomed to what I was doing, and therefore I was getting less benefits, and the fact that it challenges me, which I was trying to do with my running more, but not really feeling a strong benefit. Although in looking back, I think there was one, it just wasn’t enough, because I was still depending too much on one type of exercise.

So I’m getting variety and challenge, and good benefits — and the weirdest thing is I don’t feel like I’m working hard enough.

This is not because the exercises themselves aren’t hard; I’m doing scaled down workouts as it is, and although I’ve already had improvements, I’m certainly challenged enough as it is, in that sense. No, the problem lies in my own habits of thinking about exercise. My usual time period was an hour or so of exercise, and an attempt to burn a load of calories, according to what my HRM could tell me. I always wanted to hit a minimum of 300 or so, and the more the better. I had — have? — this mental requirement that to have any serious effect on my weight and/or my muscles, it had to be over 500 calories per session. Yet when I do a workout like this morning’s WOD, even including warm up time, I only used 35 minutes and burned only around 200 calories. I went ahead and walked another 25 minutes to cool down and crossed the minimum 300 mark in my head, but I’m not really sure that was necessary. Some cool down, yes, but not that much. Yet when I checked my weight, I have continued to lose a little bit of weight since I started this. (I just hope that trend continues.) This timing thing baffles me. Am I having that strong an impact on my metabolism?

Personally, I will be happy to adjust my thinking, especially since I’ve been playing with the idea of being able to add in what I had lost the time to do before in my exercise routine, which is some yoga. Since I feel the strong need for some stretching of muscles, especially as they strengthen, then this will come in very handy in the long run.