Monday, January 20, 2014

This May Kill Me: Yoga / Kettlebells

On my mother's side of the family, every single person over 40 has diabetes except for one aunt.  Seeing how they suffer (and die) from diabetes has lead me on a quest pretty much my entire adult life for how to beat diabetes.

I try to stay away from refined / processed sugars and carbs.  In college I stopped putting sugar in my coffee and still drink it black.  I don't drink soda.  I know about the glycemic index, and avoid foods that will spike my blood sugar levels like the devil.

But........  I love to bake.  I love to cook.  I LOVE to eat.  One of the reasons I don't want to become diabetic is because I want to occasionally be able to eat a Krispy Kreme donut or have pasta, or (ahem) a slice of chocolate cake.  And I've gained a few pounds since college.

Those sensible precautions are really just the basics.  I'm still on the look-out for the magic bullet that will somehow let me dodge the train-wreck that is diabetes.

So I was PUMPED when Jack told me about the news he recently heard on NPR: lifting weights and doing yoga may significantly reduce the risk of diabetes!!!
Women who did muscle-strengthening and conditioning exercise more than 150 minutes a week lowered their diabetes risk by 40 percent
Adding in aerobic exercise helped even more. Women who did at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise and 60 minutes of muscle-strengthening exercise weekly reduced their diabetes risk by two-thirds

Within an hour I had found the report, read the study, and ordered a 5 lb kettlebell and workout DVD.

I'm currently doing a 30 Day Challenge where I drink a fruit smoothie for breakfast and have a salad for lunch to improve my health and hopefully loose some weight.  I've also been using a treadmill for 30 to 45 minutes 5 days a week at a very brisk walk.

After reading that study my NEW PLAN is to treadmill for 30 minutes each day, followed by yoga for 30 minutes on Monday / Wednesday / Friday, and a kettlebell workout for 30 minutes on Tuesday / Thursday.

My thought when I devided that plan was that since I currently have the upper-arm strength of a wet noodle, trying to jump into doing weights 5 days a week would kill me for sure.  I was thinking yoga (which I have never done before) would be a nice relaxing break between kettlebell workouts.

Um................................... Yeah, about that.

I did what could be loosely called yoga today for the very first time.  It's crazy - it's at the same time really difficult and also one of the most relaxing things I've ever done.

The first video I tried they called out all of these weird poses that you were supposed to snap into instantly, but I had no idea what they were talking about.  By the time I had unbent from the last attempted pose, gotten a look at what the lady on TV was doing, and started to try twisting into that shape they were onto the next thing.  It was maddening!

The next video worked better - it was something basically like 'Easy Yoga For The Extreme Beginner Who Seriously Knows Nothing At All' and it was just my speed.  I certainly can't do all the shapes they want you to squish into, but I can at least attempt it before they move on to the next pose.

And then, halfway through today's yoga session the UPS truck came and delivered my kettlebell.  Dude... 5 pounds is WAY heavier than I thought it would be!  I have a sinking feeling that if I found super-easy-yoga challenging then the kettlebell workout will probably kill me.

So if I manage to stick with this program I'll either end up RIPPED........  or dead meat.  I guess time will tell.

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