85. Feeling pumped

I headed up to the gym as planned today to ride the recumbent bike.  It’s not my favourite piece of equipment because I always feel that I am getting short-changed on the workout as my upper body doesn’t seem to get as much movement. After today, I will never believe that again.  What a workout! 

I had planned to ride 10 miles, figuring that was 16 km (or near enough).  For me, that’s a stretch on an exercise bike. Still, the sun was shining (potential hurricane or severe tropical storm due to land this evening). I figured that there were 3 days of bad weather predicted, so at some point over the next few days, I was going to have to get on the bike.  I chose today. 

The display confused me – I mean, there was a heart rate monitor, but I never found the metal grips where your heart rate was measured.  Also, another fellow was in the gym, and he kept on talking on the phone. However, because he was behind me, I didn’t know if he was talking to me or not – very strange.  Regardless, I managed to work out how to do a program, and by 5 minutes, I was bored.  The sun was shining right in my eye, so I was glad I had worn my sunglasses. Nevertheless, I was determined not to quit. I decided I would do 8 rounds of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval training).

A literature review (fancy word for when a bunch of academics study all the studies that they can find on a topic and summarise the results) found that HIITs have several advantages including improving oxygen saturation, reducing blood pressures and resting heart rates, fasting glucose levels, reducing body fat and waist circumference.  The study focused on overweight and obese people, which, as I am technically classified as overweight, is good for me.  There is also plenty of research about the positive effects of HIIT for brain plaques and tau tangles (fancy things that – when in excessive amounts in the brain – lead to dementias). Still, if you want any more of that, you’ll have to google it. Most of the original studies on this were in rats and mice, but there is now research in humans to indicate that HIITs help reduce plaques and tau tangles in the brain.  All I know is that walking around the complex does not get the blood pumping through my brain; thus if I want to be the 90-year-old kayaker, I have to have a healthy brain. 

Today I managed to get the blood pumping through my brain 12 times.  8  through HIITs and 4 times when I was just trying to push myself.  I completed my 10 miles in 45 minutes and was ever so grateful when the bike went into cool down mode.  After I finished the HIITs (most were 1-minute hard ride, 1-minute rest, a couple were 45-second hard ride, 1-minute rest) I still had 20 minutes left on the bike. I pushed through it using the “5-minute” rule (or at some point the 5-second rule 😊) and just as I was almost done the darned bike made me work even harder!  I was decidedly unimpressed to have a 2-minute hard ride at the end (thus the 5-second rule).  I did it, though.  Oh, and for the record, when you have to push yourself on the recumbent bike – all of you moves! 

When I got back to the apartment, I noticed something cool.  I have lost weight.  Technically, as I don’t own a scale, I have no idea if I have lost weight, but I have hollow patches and more flabby skin.  Cheers to flabby skin 😊

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