100,000-149,999 SparkPoints 137,617

Exercise Adjustment?

Friday, March 19, 2010

I confess, I'm getting really discouraged when it comes to cardio. With strength training, I see progress--fairly quick progress at that, as I have been slowly increasing the amount of weight I can lift etc. With flexibility training, I can see progress--again, gradual, but not so gradual I can't tell. I can stretch farther than I had when I started. But cardio? That's a lot harder. Last summer, I saw progress, but since last fall when I got so sick, I got set way back and I'm still not even back to where I was last spring. In fact, I've been doing the exact same routine now since before Christmas.

Today I hit a new (since last fall anyway) record--2.1 miles, 271 calories. But my heart rate was way too high (190's--I know the machine isn't terribly accurate, but I was also struggling) and I felt terrible and couldn't breathe and in general was miserable. I should never have pushed it that hard. I was trying something new and on the one hand I hit a new record but I don't think the pay off was worth feeling so lousy. And while I was thinking of my time on my elliptical as "running" (though I knew it wasn't as serious a work out as running for real) I was disappointed to realize that I've been averaging only 4.6-5.1 mph. That's more like a fast walk or slow jog than really running.

I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't know why I can't seem to break past this, why I'm still struggling with exercise induced asthma (which wasn't so much a problem last spring, summer--I didn't start having real problems with that until last fall when I got sick.) I talked to my doctor about it and he wasn't concerned--he says just use the rescue inhaler. Which I will, if that's what it takes, but I don't like taking it. Maybe come summer, when the air isn't so dry, I won't have as many problems. But in the meantime, I'm driving my heart rate up much too high, having trouble breathing, and often feeling wobbly and ill by the time I'm finished. I'm really struggling at finding that sweet spot that gets the heart rate up (to healthy levels) and burns fat and yet isn't too much. I read about how working out is supposed to make you feel good--energized, etc. I don't feel good when I work out; I felt terrible. And it's making it harder and harder to get back.

So. I think I need to try something different. I wish I had thought of it earlier this week, because the weather has been so lovely but a cold front is supposed to be on route, but I'm going to stop using the elliptical for a bit---or at the very least cut back on it--and try just walking for awhile. It doesn't burn as many calories and I'm not allowed to run or even jog still, but maybe that will help break through this stamina/heart rate issue. Maybe it's time to lay off on the intensity and worrying about how many calories I burn in a week for awhile. If the weather is nice out, I'll try walking outside. If it's not, I'll try the treadmill, or run dance cardio DVDs at home. Because when what I'm doing feels like I'm just constantly slamming myself at a wall, it's time to try something different.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • KOMAL53
    Your health HAS to come first---don't push your body too hard---the goals you set yourself should be flexible and elastic.Keep a positive outlook---by overstressing yourself you may fall back instead of going forward!!!Take care---you WILL get there----take things as they come and just don't push too hard!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3967 days ago
    Good luck in finding a way to get those lungs stronger. Its hard, but stick with it.
    3967 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/19/2010 6:16:26 PM
  • 4CYNDI
    Mixing up the cardio is a great idea. Also doing something you enjoy rather than something "you have to do" will make the time not only go faster, but give you a better workout. I know a lot of people like the elliptical machines. I have used them with limited success before.

    Don't worry about calories burned as much as consistency. I know you have a goal of a certain number of fitness minutes a week. It says nothing about the "intensity" the exercise has to be at. You can lower the number of calories burned to recalculate your nutritional guide. It may or may not change depending on the calculations.

    Exercise should be a challenge not torture. Give yourself a break. With medical conditions it is always harder to bounce back. I am not where I was last spring either. Last year at this time I was consistently able to walk/Tae Bo for 40 - 50 minutes 6 days a week. Now I am (even before injuring my ankle) am only able to do 30 - 40 minutes 5 days a week. Mostly at a lower intensity. The reality is that I may never get back to that level. I will strive for it, but may never make it consistently. I will do what I can do today. I will build on it tomorrow.

    If you can, forget last year. It is over and done. Concentrate on building from where you are now. I like the idea of walking outside.
    3967 days ago
  • SAASHA17
    Hey Zanna,

    Each person is different...I hae it easier with Cardio but trying to grow in ST...but ur the its good..Dont give up but dont be so hard on urself too...dont exert urself at such heart rates and stuff...Its ok to walk some days and do the elliptical some days....just be careful and u will reach that stage...the weather is getting hotter and I am finding it hard to workout ...see i am the opposite..Just listen to ur body and be careful..why dnt u try this..3min elliptical, 2 min weights and 1 min abs... Do 4 circuits like this..and see how u feel..It burns more calories but u get ur rest intervals during ST and abs....

    take care
    3967 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4021974
    I usually love the elliptical. My perceived exertion feels low even when it gets my heart rate up, and the lack of impact on my legs means I never get sore. But I try never to do ANY routine to the exclusion of all others. Even if you feel like you're not working as hard, mixing in some walking can help make your progress on the elliptical come faster. Cross training really does improve your overall fitness more than doing only one activity I think.

    And don't discount the effect that a significant illness will have. I also have asthma, although It doesn't get triggered by exercise, thankfully. A physician once told me that the lingering mild inflammation that makes you so prone to having an attack can take 6 months to heal completely, so it's not shocking that you're still feeling it.

    Take it as slow as you need to. Even a slow stroll is still good for you.
    3967 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6072865
    hi Zanna, i guess its better to workout consistently and build your workouts,instead of pushing yourself and not able to perform better later,i am telling you from my personal experience. build up your endurance level and then push your self, i guess that will yield better and consistent results. try interval training, where you push yourself for couple of mins, then recover for a couple of min, spaced thr' your workout. you will feel challenged and at the same time not totally exhausted. you can do this even on a regular walk. give it a try. take care,
    3967 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

More Blogs by ZANNACHAN