Saturday, 31 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 4 Day Off

Started the day with the usual 20 minutes of morning walk, 20 minutes walk back...about 6800 steps. I could have had a lazy Saturday afternoon, but somehow I couldn't find my place. What do I do when I am feeling jittery? Obviously, trainers on, and go.

I started as usually with Arthur Seat ...

Power Walking: Fly a kite

then felt like I need to try something different. So decided in a snap second to  head towards Meadows...

Judging by my previous experience, the distance between Arthur Seat and Bruntsfield Links (the far away side of the Meadows) was a big no-no to walking.
Today I have discovered that this distance is by no means a no-no! Only 25-30 minutes of good fast power walking (not even jogging!) and i was there....who would have thought it's so close... and what a beautiful space. Play the slideshow below to see the beauty of the place for yourself, don't simply trust my words..

I have ended the day with a whooping 15620 feels so great.

The teaching of the day: never assume, test first!

Keep on walking! :-)

Friday, 30 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 4 Day 5

The last day of battle with steps of week 4.

20 minutes of walk from home to work seem so easy now, so natural, so 'this is the way the things go'...

I kept moving up and down, but was not able to actually do any power walking training as I felt too tired. I ended the day with 6850 steps.

Today I discovered something interesting. I was telling you a few days ago about an oatcakes having 57 calories....I just discovered the wholegrain organic oatmeal from Kalo...only 30 calories per cake. With two of them I really managed to calm down some rebel hunger pangs (I reckon I would have needed about 3-4 oatcakes for the same effect). A quick calculation shows I have 'saved' about 90 -140 calories just replacing the oatcakes with the wholegrain rice cakes...mmm I like this....

And yes, I have finally bought a new charger for my no more boring looking  posts (I know the content is awesome anyway) :-)

Keep on walking!...and start thinking about healthier options for the food you eat now.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 4 Day 3

I don't have any pics today: my phone charger got smashed, so I am out of battery for at least next 2 days...

As a real hero, today I decided to walk half an hour from Meadowbank to St. John's Church along Royal Mile - instead of spending the same half hour on a bus stuck in traffic. That worked, I've done lots of walking early in the morning and I wasn't late.

Unfortunately another pedometer let me's simply not possible to have after 30 minutes of intense walking (Royal Mile is quite steep in some places) only 1211 I have no idea how many steps I've had today, but for sure were a lot of them.

Am I right to say this post looks boring without pictures?

The teaching of the day: when you feel too tired, go for a nap....
Keep on walking!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 4 Day 2

I still owe you guys the new core exercises post...but I simply wasn't able to work on it (or anything else)...I have celebrated this amazing, beautiful weather by being out and walking all day long.

Power Walking: View on Nelson Monument 

Power Walking: View on Balmoral

Power Walking: Calton Hill

Power Walking: RBS building

I even managed to do a quick visit at National Museum and there were some nice posters about railways:

Power Walking: National Museum Poster 1

Power Walking: National Museum Poster 2

And on my way back home - my favourite yellow beauties smiling in the sun:

Power Walking: all we need is SUNSHINE!

Step wise: 10970 of those steps...but here is included only the run around Arthur Seat and my food shopping...why? because early in the morning my pedometer (and I didn't use any offensive word with it!) simply broke; so I was not able to count any step of my 3 hours of walking , sunbathing, window shopping, trying clothes [and buying none ;-)]. Mmmm, what a day!

The teaching of the day: get your vitamin D stock up and be happy ... just keep on walking!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 4 Day 1

What a beautiful day today: splendid sunshine, no wind, calm...heaven on earth...

Power Walking: Spring

4250 steps before the walking session.
I thought I'd go for a power walk, then I felt I'd like some jogging... warm up, and go. 
11 minutes of uphill jogging...that was really really challenging. After that...just flat and downhill. (Click here to see the route  - switch on Google Earth for a stunning view). And a sprint at the felt so great.

Ended with 10698 steps.

Cool down and stretch...a wee meditation...
Power Walking: Meditation...

Power Walking: Spring 2
we need so little to feel happy...[yeah, that is the endorphins talking :-)]

On the way home...some more awareness on the beauty of the nature...
Power Walking: Afternoon

The teaching of the day: keep it simple...just keep walking!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 3 Day 5

And here I am: at the middle of the 6 weeks training.

Only 3 more weeks to go.

Power Walking: The City of Edinburgh Council

Power Walking: The guys working @City Council really need to power walk :-)

Looking back, have these 3 past weeks made any difference in my life?
I am not sure weight wise as I am not going to check it until the last day.
But many other things happened:

  • I am already super aware of when I am lazy and I push (gently) myself to go out and move
  • I am using much less the bus, and if I have time, even if where I need to get is 30 or even 40 minutes away, I choose to walk the distance.
  • I arrange my day so it allows me or the 30 minutes of power walking or just fast walk while moving from one place to another.
  • I am more aware of what and how much I eat; tonight was the first time when I decided I should have a look on how many calories are in an oatcake..curious? well...this lovely low-GL product has precisely 57 of the calories. Not much for one oatcake, but I used to melt 5-6 oatcakes in only a few seconds; yep, this makes about 250-300 cal, or in Mia units - a muffin...and that's huge for me! Its 40 mins of intense power walking/jogging (when taking into account my rate of 60cal/10 mins). Not really willing to pay my greed and fast eating with so much effort. So even if my choices could be correct, I still have to work on the 'portion size'.
  • I am trying to make some dietary changes now. I would need to plan more and yes, learn some new recipes too.
  • Exercising regularly at decent intensity brings some good tone to my body, in a way the once or twice a week intense gym sessions don't seem to be able to do it for me.
  • I still have mood swings but I would say that the percentage of low mood is decreasing.
I end the first half with 5253 steps today. Not too much indeed, but tomorrow is another day.

Keep on walking!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 3 Day 4

What a long day today....
Started very early, at 8.30 already on the go...
What a crazy traffic now on Princes Street with those tram works... As I was in a hurry for a practical exam, the 20 mins it took the bus to get from Leith Walk to Shandwick felt like ages. On the way back it got even worse: more than 45 minutes for a journey that it should not be more than 30 minutes. At least I was no longer under time pressure.

Power Walking: Charlotte Square by night
By the end of this long and busy day: 9058 steps.
Absolutely knackered.
Need sleep.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 3 Day 3

Power Walking: Splendid Morning

Gorgeous springtime morning. 
The usual by now early morning 10 minutes - pure pleasure.
I've managed to put on pedometer about 7000 steps by the end of the day. 
But as I was unhappy with the number, I have made a big (never done this before) decision: go and buy my fruits from Morrisons (15 mins fast walk away) instead of Sainsburys (5 minutes of fast walk away)....yes, thank you for applauses...I know, this is what heroes are made from...from tough decisions at the right time....;-)
Now I can proudly share the final number: 9525

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 3 Day 2

First thing early in the morning: my oats with poppy and sunflower seeds, honey and cinnamon....nothing better as intro to my strong black mug of coffee.

10 minutes of fast walk and a third of my walking today solved.

On my way back home I decided to walk on a street I don't go too often...and these are views on Calton Hill from a less seen point of view...

Power Walking: St. Andrew's House

Power Walking: Robert Burns Monument

Power Walking: Cool houses on Calton Hill

Power Walking: Street without sidewalk

Power Walking: New Houses on an old brewery site
After a Zumba class in the evening with Elaine, I finished the day with (iuhuu!!) 13733 steps [ok, I haven't deducted any 10%, as the figure is too nice...a little white lie doesn't kill anyone ;-)].

Keep walking!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 3 Day 1

After another  good day off (i.e. yesterday) with 11588 steps, today ended at 10255 steps.

Long day, cold, grey, cloudy...but walking added a purpose unknown to me previously in this type of days when anyone would do anything but being out....

Power Walking: The Walter Scott Monument

Keep on walking! It's already a habit ;-)...

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 2 Day Off

Day off... beautiful day in Edinburgh....Sunny, light breeze, fresh clean air, birds singing....must go out and put some vitamin D under my skin.. 

Power Walking: Soleil, soleil :-)

Power Walking: Bright Day

I needed to check today how many calories do I burn on a treadmill, at 140 bpm, at top speed (7.5kph): according to the monitor there are 48 cal for 8.3mins and a distance of 0.89k; and those 48 cal include the basal metabolic rate....mmm, those muffins (ok, chocolate too) come at a very expensive price....

In short: sun bathing, gym, shopping...6029 steps in total...enough for a lazy Saturday...

Power Walking: Sunset

Friday, 16 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 2 Day 5

After my 4100 steps yesterday I have decided to do all my travelling today exclusively by walking.
No bus.
No taxi.
No bike (I don't have one anyway...).
Just good old walking.

Power Walking: Have you noticed spring is already here?

40 minutes of intense and nearly sweaty walking took me here:
Power Walking: Raining
then here:

Power Walking: Donald (or Donaldson ??) College

Ok, I admit I had no time pressure and I could afford to spend 40 minutes to go and 40 minutes to be back...but what else I would have to do with the time, other than lazy sitting on a couch, chair, sofa, bed, or similar...???

Early afternoon: 7540 steps...still some things to do I might score high [pedometer numbers wise! :-)] today....

Power Walking; Rainy Day

Yess... at the end of the day: 11333 steps....absolutely knackered...I think I'll sleep like a baby....

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 2 Day 4

Another busy was really difficult to achieve my 30 minutes.
I managed to get the usual 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon.
Some up and down on stairs....but that was pretty much all.

Power Walking: Night view on London Road

Power Walking: Flowers...:-) night view 
I couldn't believe my eyes when I've seen the final count: only 4124 steps....

Well, at least I do the 10 minutes of walking at 9.30 after a full day- does deserve some appreciation, right?...and yes, tomorrow is another day...the 5th of the second week.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 2 Day 3

Day 3 - cloudy, grey, cold.

I've done a lot of reading in the morning, so I started with half a day of sitting. :-(
Later my half hour of power walking took me close to this:

Power walking Wonders 1

Power walking Wonders 2

Power Walking Wonders (predictable, right?) ..3

I have put on the heart monitor today and it looks like this: after the intense phase, heart goes up to 147 bpm uphill-ish, and goes down to 108 bpm on the slow phase; when going downhill-ish heart goes to 138 bpm and to 100bpm at teh end of the rest phase.
Total: 3300 steps for 30 mins.

Then some going up and down, and taking another long walk as a substitute for a 10-15 minutes bus trip, managed to put on pedometer 9038 steps. Better than yesterday.
And one interesting fact: today was the first day when half an hour seemed a short time for walking.....

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 2 Day 2

Started the day with the usual by now 10 minutes of fast walk. 
Today I decided to watch with precision the number of steps: 1400 steps for 10 minutes.
I've seen this along the way:
Power Walking: Morning view
Then some other 15 minutes on my way back on Royal Mile.

Power Walking: Don't know what's this church called...

Power Walking: Royal Mile

About 6400 steps by 4pm.
But after that...hardly done any more steps..just going back and forth at normal intensity...about 8200 steps by the end of the day. Mmmm, that's pretty lazy.......

Monday, 12 March 2012

Power Walking: Week 2 Day 1

Yesterday, a non power walking day, I managed to put about 11.000 steps on my pedometer...

Early in the morning I got my mp3 ready with the week 2 audio files (130 bpm with 100 bpm). Around 3pm-ish I've started my session with the usual warm up and then...power walking, baby....

Wow, that was difficult, especially when going uphill. After 30 minutes continuous session I got to about 4000 steps, and ended the day with a total of about 8500 steps.

Power Walking: Technique

If you want to see in a more detailed manner how the power walking technique looks like, here you have some pictures:

Power Walking Phase 1
Start from a strong upright posture: shoulders relaxed, chest open, eyes looking straight ahead; elbows bent at 90 degree angle.

Power Walking Phase 2
Stride forward with left leg, land on heel, begin transferring the weight from right foot to left. While left foot moves forward, the right arm moves backwards (in opposition with the foot).

Power Walking Phase 3
Keep looking ahead while you kepe transferring the weight on your left foot.

Power Walking Phase 4
Transfer the weight of your body fully on left leg and end it with a good push from the right foot toes - this push is what generates your speed. Your body leans slightly forward while keeping the back leg straight. Use the arms to generate more momentum.

Power Walking Phase 5
Lift right foot and begin transferring it to the front. Right arm moves backwards, left arm forwards.

Power Walking Phase 6
Extend the right foot forwards, the toes raised, heel ready to strike; keep your feet pointing forwards. Swing the arms through the neutral position and start next cycle.

Nina Barough (2003) - "Walking for fitness, The low impact workout that tones and shapes", DK Publishing

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Power Walking: Warm Up

Before going for your daily 30 minutes of power walking, make sure you do your 5 minutes warm up.

1. Toe Raises

Stand with feet slightly apart, back straight and tall, shoulders relaxed.
Shift the weight of your body from the heels to your toes by pressing up through the ball of your feet. Come down, but don't rest completely on your heels, feel your foot arch as a spring that sends your body back up to your toes. Use your arms to keep the balance.


2. Knee lifts

Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Lift one leg bending from the knee. Keep a 90 degrees angle at the knee and aim to form a 90 degrees angle at the hip joint (between torso and thigh). Come down, lift the other knee. Make sure you keep your balance while the back is straight, shoulders down.

3. Butt kicks

Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Lift your heels to your bum, as high as possible, come down and lift the other leg.Your torso is slightly forward. Pay attention to your balance. Back straight, shoulders down.


4. Lateral leg swings

You can use a wall for support. Start from standing position and swing one leg forward and backward on the side, first with a small swing, then increasing until you get to your maximum range of movement in the hip joint. Change and swing the other leg.


5. Leg  swings - across

You can use a wall for support. Start from standing position and swing right leg by crossing over the right leg and then lifting it to the right side. Start with with a small swing, then increasing until you get to your maximum range of movement in the hip joint. Change and swing the other leg.


6. Lunges on spot

Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Can have your hands on your hips. Take a large step forward, the back leg sole rolls up to your toes. Push your weight down by bending both legs, and trying to create 90 degrees at knees joints. The knee of the leg forward does not go passed your toes. Lift your weight up by straitening the legs, go back to the start position. Repeat with the other leg.