Holiday exercise – worth the effort!

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Just one of the magnificent sunsets

I’ve just returned from a very relaxing fortnight in Tenerife – somewhere that enjoys a warm sunny and dry climate virtually the whole year round.  It has a very obvious appeal to us at this time of year when the temperatures drop, the evenings draw in and the heavens open!

It is inevitable that I’ll eat more when I am away and move less.  When I am at home, I an stringent with logging all the food I eat and keeping tabs on my calories.  At home there is housework and daily chores.  I may not move far, but I move little and often.  At this time of year I’ll also spend hours at a time raking leaves in the back garden.  Our mature oak tree keeps me busy with my rake.

On holiday, I use my wheelchair more – the place we stay is at the top of a long hill.  I can be in my wheelchair for 2/3 hours a day, depending on what we are doing.  But I can also spend many hours sitting on a sun lounger and soaking up the rays whilst enjoying a good read.

I can usually expect to return home from this holiday having gained 7 – 10lbs.  This  year, I was determined to  try and minimise any gain, as I am determined to get to 9 stone at some point during the year.  My lowest weight was in 2014 when I saw 9st 3lbs on the scale.  Since then, I have bounced about a but with my weight, but never allowed it to creep above  around 10st 10lbs.

One of the things my sister (who accompanied me on the holiday) encouraged me to do was to take my gym ball, which can easily be inflated and deflated.  Of course, it also meant taking the foot pump.  I packed this non-essential item really not expecting to use it more than once or twice.

However, on the first morning of the holiday, I sat on the ball and carried out my regular routine of warm up stretches and then a 40-45 minute “bouncing” session, when I swing my arms wildly to music.  I can get my heart rate into my “peak” zone (above 140 bpm).  It was so lovely to be outside, watching the sun rise, listening to the birds and enjoying the idyllic surroundings.  I quickly realised that this was something that wasn’t a chore – I was on holiday with plenty of time to fit in my exercise and it really set me up for the day.  My stretches do help to limit my pain and keep everything flexible.  I concentrate on my neck and back.

I’ve just totted up the various numbers which I logged on my Fitbit:

I “bounced” 60,729 steps.  Earned 6,062 calories.  Spent a total of 17.5 hours of my holiday exercising.

What’s even better was that my weight gain for the fortnight was just 3.8lbs!  Incredible!

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View out of the gym “window”
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My “gym” for the week, getting myself warmed up

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