P90X and other numbers and letters

I don’t know if you’d call it a health kick, but I’ve been trying to be healthier for the past few months or so. It started when I realized one day that I had been eating a lot of sweets, so I decided to download the My Fitness Pal app to track what I eat. I put in my age and weight and it keeps track of the calories I eat and the exercise I do on a daily basis. I can also use it to get my daily nutrition facts (how much fat, cholesterol, sodium, protein, calcium, etc., I take in.) It’s really made me more aware of what’s in the food I eat (less bread and cheese for me) and encourages me to keep up exercise. I’ve also gotten a couple of healthy recipes from a friend at work: brownies made with dates and sweet potatoes with goat cheese and roasted grapes. And I’ve been better about taking my vitamins — a multivitamin and Mega Red krill oil.

(Side note: Shortly after downloading the app, Pete and I joined my parents and Emily on a 17-mile bike ride on the Creeper Trail in Virginia. When I put the exercise into My Fitness Pal, it said I burned 944 calories. Woo hoo! Then I added the large mint chocolate milkshake I had. … 760 calories. Yikes.)

I’ve also been using my Zumba and Turbo Jam DVDs to work out, although that did fall to the wayside recently when I got busy with some freelance work. I love both Zumba and Turbo Jam, but then I heard about P90X.

The P stands for Power, the X for Extreme and the 90 for 90 days. I started yesterday and this morning it took me twice as long to get up out of bed. My back, arms and stomach were really sore. I’ve decided to post a weekly blog of my progress, but for now I’ll just say a little bit about it.

What I like so far is the variety. It’s not like, “OK, people, do 100 crunches, then we’ll take a 5 second break and do 200 push-ups!” The guy who leads the exercise doesn’t make any set longer than a minute, or maybe a minute and a half. Most sets are 30 seconds, and you’re always doing different moves. Yesterday focused on chest, back and abs. Today was plyometrics. According to Wikipedia, plyometric exercises “use explosive, fast-acting movements to develop muscular power and to improve overall speed. In other words, it’s exercise that allows muscles to exert maximum force in the shortest amount of time possible.”

You know when fitness instructors say to “grab a towel” at the beginning of an exercise? I usually don’t and just use the back of my hand when I need to. But today about a third of the way through, I had to pause and grab a towel. (Here’s an example of two guys following the video for plyometrics. And what’s with the Christmas lights in the corner?)

My goal isn’t to lose weight, but to tone up. I also drank my first protein shake today which wasn’t terrible. I got the chocolate flavor, of course.

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