Friday, May 8, 2015

Fitness Friday!!

One of the things I set out to accomplish this year is to start living a healthier lifestyle. That includes more exercise, more veggies and less processed food. I don't usually talk about this stuff on the blog, but lately these small changes are a big part of my day to day. Pinterest is usually my go-to site to look for new healthy recipes (check out my healthy living board and my food board here) and I'm slowly incorporating more vegetables to my everyday recipes, like beef and brocolli on rice or asparragus pasta salud (both delicious!!).

Before jumping in to healthy recipes and workouts, I thought I'd use this first post to tell you guys about myself, fitness-wise.

When I was in second year of uni, I was really good about doing exercise. I started to go running at the beginning of April, starting with about 15-20min about 2-3 times a week with my roommate, but slowly managed to do 40-45min from Monday to Friday. That for me was a great achievement. However, the years passed and days got busier and I got lazier, to be honest. Exercise was probably a 3-4 times a month sort of thing. I did do a lot of walking but not very many heart-pumping activities.

When you're young you don't usually give health too much thought, but suddenly I was diagnosed with two problems. First, hypothyrodism (I will tend to gain weight) and varicose veins, grade II. The first of the two is currently under control and without symptoms, which is great. It will progress over time but as long as I have my regular check ups everything should be okey dokey.

However, the second one is really what got my thinking about exercise more often. I first started noticing darker, greener veins on the back of my calves when I was about 17. Nothing major, just a little green spot. It was when I started working my first Summer job the following year, when it got worse. I was standing up for over 6 hours, so my veins started to show even more. That said, they still weren't very bad. But over the last 2-3 years things have gone from bad to worse. I'm not too bothered about the vein showing, so much as I am about the pain and water retention (edema) in my left leg.

There's nothing I can really do to make these veins go away but there are things I can do to help and stop them from getting worse:

1. Exercise! Which is why I'm writing this post, to share my fitness progress with you. When you move your leg muscles, it helps pump the blood back up to the heart and stops the blood from accumulating in the lower body.
2. Medication. I do take medicine for my veins from April until the end of Summer, which is when they get worse.
3. Hot-cold showers. I like to end my showers with some cold water on the legs to get my circulation going.
4. Lifting my legs as often as I can.
5. Not sitting down or standing for long periods of time. I like to get up every hour or so and give my legs a bit of a shake.

The next thing I wanted to share is my weight fluctuation throughout the year. My average weight is around 54,5-55,5 kg and has been for the past 3 years (I'm only 1,62m tall). But when Winter comes around, and with it cold weather and rain, I tend to exercise less and eat more. So I usually gain around 2kg by Christmas. When Spring is back two things happen: I realise I've gained weight and also realise I've gained about a kilo of water retention. With warmer weather, we usually go out more, take longer walks, eat healthier, greener meals and around July I seem to loose all that extra weight and am back to about 54kg. This never-ending cycle has been going on for the past 3 years. Yes, guys, THREE years. And this year isn't any different.

So, with all that said, I'd like to share my fitness goals and progress for this year. I started about 2 weeks ago and for now I'm doing pretty well with exercise: 30min of eliptic bike, 3-4 times a week. Veggie-wise, we've been adding brocolli and asparragus to a lot of things lately, as well as parmesan cauliflower, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, sweetcorn, etc.

I mean, come on, look at this heatlhy dinner I had on Tuesday:

Turkey, asparragus and potato. Yum!! And for dessert: pineapple!

I'm still not sure how often I'll keep you updated, whether it's once a week or once a month but I will update!

I'd love to hear from you guys, if you're getting bikini ready or if you've already switched to a healthier way of living. Please share your experiences and opinions in the comments below!!

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