Wednesday, January 04, 2006


As the new year begins in earnest, I've been working at keeping to my new schedule and my resolutions. My progress isn't quite what I'd hoped, but at least I'm moving forward.

On the workout front, I'm only keeping track of the time I actually spend working out, as opposed to just hanging out at the gym, or taking notes in the dojo, or getting ready to work out, or resting between exercises, or talking, or...avoiding working out. I try not to do that, because my time is limited, but I've found that it's all too easy to get distracted while at the gym or dojo.

Update regarding workout times:

A couple years ago, we decided to encourage a higher level of physical fitness among our martial art students by getting everyone involved in the President's Challenge. Once each week, they would turn in log sheets detailing how much time they had spent exercising, and how vigorous the exercise had been. We, in turn, would log it all on the website.

We began to suspect that our students were overestimating their level of activity when we would read log entries that listed our entire class time as "vigorous exercise". Wait a moment, I had to tell some of our students. First of all, no one spends the whole class time involved in constant physical activity. At the very least, you have to subtract the time spent on the "Sensei Talk" at the end of class, and any other time where you were not actually involved in activity. Also, stretching is hardly vigorous exercise. Neither is watching a sparring match. (What we were too kind and diplomatic to point out is that a beginning white belt who is just learning stances, how to make a fist, and the proper form for the basic kicks usually isn't doing anything "vigorously" by any stretch of the imagination.)

So, with my handy-dandy workout watch, I am trying to avoid any similar pitfalls. If I'm not actually working out, I'm not logging minutes towards my goal.

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