I hate warm weather, but the one thing I like about summer in New York City is the ability to ditch the treadmilll and run outdoors, which is exactly what I did today. 5 miles in 52 minutes burning up a total of 960 calories. Not bad for my first run, but to be honest it was a lot tougher than I expected. The sun was brutal and with the muggy 88-degree weather my heart rate remained in the 168 – 172 bpm range the entire run.
It felt great after I was done, but I was a lot slower than I thought I’d be. (Still, it was a nicer debut than my first outdoor run last year.) By mid to late June I hope to be at 6 miles and keep building from there till mid-October when I do my final outdoor run before the winter weather arrives.
I hit the half-point mark in my mission to do 12 consecutive, non-stop wide-grip pull ups. Today I was able to do 6 reps! Earlier this week I did 4 reps at the pull up station at Equinox (which is a lot wider and T-shaped than the pull up station I have at the gym in my building). I’ve also been able to do 50 consecutive push ups for the last 3 chest exercises I’ve done. So overall, I’m hitting my goals (or getting darn close to them) slowly, but surely.
The NYT published an interesting story yesterday about foods that claim to be healthy. A perfect example is Cheerios. TV commercials claim that eating Cheerios can lower your cholesterol because it has fiber. While Cheerios may have fiber, the amount of Cheerios you’d have to eat to see a positive effect is insane. The article continues by saying that all these foods and drinks that are marketed to us as being nutritional, really aren’t.
Ultimately, I believe your best bet is to buy food that is fresh and as natural as possible. In other words, get fresh tomatoes instead of a can of tomatoes. Get fresh apples, instead of artificially sweetened apple juice. I understand sometimes you just have to buy canned food, but in those cases, always read the labels. Knowing what you eat, knowing how you fuel your body, is just as important as the exercise you do every day.
Last week (with an injured hand) I was able to do 50 consecutive push ups. This week (with a recovered hand) I could only squeeze out 45. Needless to say, I won’t be content until I do 50 consecutive push ups for two chest workouts straight. On the flip side, I did 3 very strong wide grip pull ups at Equinox yesterday and today. It felt really good doing those pulls ups — my arms felt strong like grappling hooks and with each lift my chin went way over the bar. I might’ve been able to squeeze a fourth, but I decided to “hold” my weight up after the 3rd pull up and slowly bring myself down.
So this week I’m taking aim at the magic number 50 again and I want to see if I can do 6 wide-grip pull ups at my gym at home. 6 would be the halfway mark to my goal of doing 12 consecutive wide-grip pull ups!
Another interesting health article in the New York Times this week. New research may suggest that “people who regularly work out don’t need to worry about consuming fructose or other sugars. In certain circumstances, they may even find the sweet stuff beneficial.” Here’s why.
Your liver stores glycogen (energy), which is depleted during long, intense workouts (this is why people start to “fade” during intense workouts). If you want to replenish your energy, researchers have concluded that fructose-sweetened drinks are twice as effective as glucose-sweetened drinks in stimulating the liver to recover. Now this isn’t a green light to sugar load, but it is interesting for marathoners and people who perform very intense workouts.