So it began, my plan was set and this was the first week of exercise on my road to the unknown. Of course I’ve done exercise plans before, I think most everyone has at some stage of their life but this is the first time I’ve started one with the two issues I have, firstly being 18 stone and secondly not being able to breath normally after going up and down the stairs a few times.
I was feeling good though, 2 minutes wouldn’t be an issue and then I’d have a cuppa and some Weetabix. And that’s what I did. But I did feel it more than I thought I would, my legs burned because I went for it and my lungs got a fairly big wakeup call too, oh and my throat was burning as much as my legs were. I wasn’t expecting that, was I really that much out of shape? was the question I was asking myself. If I didn’t already know the answer to that my body was telling me it no uncertain terms. At the same time I also realised that this was something that I had to stick to, this being my exercise plan because if I didn’t, in 5 years’ time I was thinking I could quite easily be a basket case with no chance of redemption. Extreme thoughts I know but it’s what went through my head and it’s still what I’m thinking now.
And so on to the afternoon, this was walking on the spot for two minutes. I did this with my flip flops on and in my kitchen, which is a tiled floor. Again I went for it, but it was hurting the tendons on the back of my knees as I was doing it. This could be because of lack of use of the tendons but I think that’s unlikely. I think what’s more likely is the fact that I’m 18 stone and walking on the spot on a tiled floor is a bit more of an impact exercise than I’d considered. Tomorrow I’ll do it on a carpet floor and with my trainers on and hope for a bit less impact.
Along with doing with the exercises, the other part of the plan is to record the results, because if you don’t record the results you can’t know if you’re on the road achieving your goals.
For my exercise plan the first thing to record is my heartbeat, and I do this by taking my pulse on my wrist straight after an exercise. If I am working hard enough over time my heartbeat should lower as my heart gets used to exercising. The second thing I record is how well I can talk straight after exercise; this is called the Borg test. It’s a gauge of how well my lungs are working. There are three stages to it, at the end of each exercise I can either sing, talk or can’t complete a sentence. I record this on the chart I was given to fill in as s,t and cc. Again, as I do more exercise I am hoping that my breathing gets a little easier. This is the part which I’m not sure about though, as I mentioned before it is more important to me that I answer this than lose any weight.
So, Tuesday came and I did my two minutes on the bike with the same result of being out of breath – and needing water straight after to calm my throat down. Then in the afternoon I did the walking on the spot this time on my carpet to reduce the impact, but I got the same result and to be honest it was too sore to complete the exercise. I spoke with my friend about the issue I was having, and she said that for the time being I could replace walking on the spot with a second session on the bike. I was very happy with this as the bike is a zero-impact exercise so my tendons would be ok.
This change worked out well and I carried on with my exercises through the week, increasing the time as it said on my exercise plan. I did find it hard though, harder than I thought it was going to be, my legs were burning after each session and my breathing didn’t seem like it was improving at all. But I was increasing the duration of my exercises from 2 minutes to 5 minutes each session and I was thinking that at the start of the week would I have been able to do the 5-minute session? I think not and that made me feel like I had achieved something – I could see progress and could see that the plan I was given is a good one for me.
Above is a picture of my exercise plan that I was given to fill in after each session. The last two rows are what I had to fill in, my pulse and the Borg test or talk test results which as you can see are cc for all the sessions – which means that at the end of each session I tried to talk and I couldn’t complete a sentence. The heartbeat readings show that I was breaking myself in for the first 2 days on the bike, and then on the third day I started to push on a bit and I stayed between 128 and 138 for the next five days. I’m happy with these readings because that puts my effort in the vigorous range which is what I was aiming for.
So, I had surivived my first week and felt like I had achieved some thing – I exercised everyday and I felt a whole lot better in myself for doing it, now on to week two.