Let’s talk about buzzwords, specifically these two words, low impact, as they relate to exercise and fitness in general. Low impact refers to an activity that will not sever your spine, liquify a kidney or cause one or both legs to fall off. I’m kidding there, a little, but seriously there are really 3 low impact exercises: walking, swimming and cycling. Without the interference of an outside force it is almost impossible to hurt yourself doing any of these activities. As long as you start slow and work up gradually to the level you wish to achieve. Let’s say on day one you walked 100 yards and every day after that you walked an additional 100 yards. You would literally run out of daylight before you reached the limit of your endurance. It would take you two and a half weeks to get to a mile a day, which would take you about 20 minutes. At the one year mark you would be walking about five hours at a time, probably less because you will be walking faster now. I don’t know how slow you would have to start out swimming to do the same, maybe 20 or 25 yards but it is interesting still.
I know for a fact that cycling endurance has one limiting factor above all others, that is how long you can stay in the saddle, that can only be trained so much. Cycling uses fast twitch and slow twitch muscles, fast twitch for slow, out of the saddle climbing and slow twitch muscles for the continuous quick pedal turnover of long, flat stretches and down hill portions of the ride. Early on I thought that it was peculiar that fast twitch muscles were used in the slower uphill parts of the ride but it was explained to me that out of the saddle stomping on the pedals was similar to weightlifting in the method of muscle recruitment. Rapid pedal turnover is accomplished by simultaneously pushing one leg down while pulling up with the other, neither one a maximum effort, just quick and repetitive, therefore the recruitment of only slow twitch muscle tissue. Here is the key to longer(more fun) bike rides: if you have to climb a hill, stay in the saddle and get a slower gear, more pedaling less rolling, rather than coming out of the saddle. When you stay in the saddle you force your body to use slow twitch muscles which recover quickly, when you use your fast twitch muscles, they only recover with sleep, once they are gone, they will stay gone until morning. As long as you keep the blood flowing through them by pedaling, the slow twitch muscles will recover with a minute or two of reduced effort or coasting. I don’t like to stay on a bike more than 10 miles at a time, I take frequent breaks, and then I can enjoy the ride. In my favorite ride of the year, the HH100, there are 14 rest stops in the 100 mile course and I stop at every one. It is a major rush to finish this ride but there is no prize for ‘died trying’.
Temperature during this ride was 95F/35C. This is training for the epic HHH century ride at the end of August.
2 granny smith apples(206 cal.)
1/2 cantaloupe(75 cal.)
1 cup water
Put water in blender. Core apples and blend on medium until you have an applesauce consistency. Halve the cantaloupe, scoop out seeds, cut in slices and then peel, make chunks and add to blender. Another 20 seconds on medium speed and you should be ready to go. This will fairly fill the blender jar. I usually drink one large glass of smoothie right then. I keep 2 quart plastic cups in the freezer with about 3 inches of ice in the bottom for ice water during the day, filling one of these up with the rest of the smoothie mixture makes a brilliant agua fresca!!
4 oz. fresh spinach(28 cal.)
4 oz. avocado(180 cal.)
5 oz. cucumber(16 cal.)
1 oz. sunflower seeds, finely chopped(165 cal.)
4 Tbs. Italian dressing(120 cal.)
I am here to tell you, this is yummy! I split the avocado and then scored the inside, turned the skin inside out and viola! Repeat for other side and you’ve peeled and sliced an avocado and not made a big, green mess. I have a cutter for shoestring potatoes, I used the smallest blade and made spiral spaghetti out of the cucumber, it looks really cool. 4 tablespoons is too much italian, maybe half that next time.
8 oz. cooked chicken thighs(472 cal.)
2 Tbs. Sweet Chili Sauce(200 cal.)
Had to cook off chicken thighs for coming week, too lazy to actually put together a meal. On the up side, the chili sauce is amazing, it really tastes good on lots of stuff. A note on chicken thighs: the place I shop has chicken thighs for $1.27 a lb. in 5# plus trays. The yield on skinning and boning your own thighs is right around 3:2, for every 3 pounds you bone, you get 2 pounds of boneless which works out to just less than $2 a pound, much better than the price if the store does it, $3.68/lb.
A quick tutorial on deboning chicken thighs. Pull the skin off one side. With a thin, sharp blade follow the attached skin and cut away the extra fat on both sides of the thigh. Next, there is a small piece of joint and tendon left behind when they separate the joint on one end, that end is usually flat. Looking down at the flat end place the point of the knife to one side of the small piece next to the bone and with the blade facing away from you cut under the piece at an angle outwards. Do the same on the other side of the joint and you will have cut out a triangular bit with the small bone and most of the tendon, pick it free and discard. Run the knife blade down the thigh from one joint to the other and with the tip of the knife, start scraping the meat off of the bone until it all comes free. You may have to cut around one of the joints to free the thigh entirely.
Late night snack
chicken, peppers and rice(leftovers)(447 cal.)
Take that dog for a walk, do about a mile and relax, you’ve earned it.