2016: My Year in Fitness – life+running

2016: My Year in Fitness

2016 Fitness Recap

  • Started a dog walking routine. Barney’s never liked walking. We found out that he barks when we are gone, and every resource says to try wearing out your dog with exercise before trying anything else. So, we did. This involved bribing him every few feet with treats to get him to keep walking. Eventually, Barney and I were walking a few miles a day together and he seemed to enjoy it. Walking changed his behavior — he is much less anxious. It’s cold now, so we sidelined our routine due to arthritis.
  • My fitness was less routine. I used to do a daily workout that made me sweaty, sore, and tired. Instead, this year I set a 30-minute daily goal to move, and stuck to it — except during the most stressful times. Most workouts this year were walking, which is the activity I finally realized I enjoy most.
  • Shorter workouts. I didn’t have time to work out when I was in school, but when I did I made it count. I did a lot of GPP Fitness workouts, which usually last less than 30 minutes.
  • Less running. Long walks took the place of long runs as my creative refuge. Moving my feet helps me solve problems. I can’t run for hours anymore (my knees thank me for that), but I can and will walk forever. I looked at the last few years of my running (on Runkeeper) and it looks like I’ve averaged about 200 miles a year, so I guess this year I didn’t run fewer miles than usual — just less often.

    2016 miles ran: 
    2016 running miles

    2015 miles ran: 

    2015 miles

    2014 miles ran:
    2014 running miles

    2013 miles ran:
    2013 miles

  • Lots of outdoor time. I spent a lot of time outdoors walking, hiking, planning, and thinking about things. In fact, I do most of my hard work outside while walking and hiking. All of my great ideas are born there.

    2016 runs (green) + walks (yellow) + hikes (red) distance:
    2016 fitness

  • Quit doing monthly massages and chiropractic care. This wasn’t by choice. My chiropractor moved away in 2015, which coincided with the loss of my good insurance. My last massage was in April before I moved, and I haven’t found somebody here yet because of the cost and our budget.

Goals for 2017

  • Make fitness part of the daily routine. I will keep move 30 minutes daily rule, but I should probably get in the habit of doing the gym after work. My work insurance reimburses me $20 (of the $26  U of M gym membership fee) a month just for using their facility eight times. And I get 150 points of the 400 I need to earn via their wellness program to qualify for the cheap insurance rate. The problem is the St. Paul facility is a joke (unless you swim, which I don’t), so I work out in our fitness room at our building when it’s not packed. Long story short: I really miss the Iowa State facilities.
  • Try to hit my step goal daily. I set my FitBit step goal higher than the recommended 10,000 steps because I consistently hit 20,000 steps the last time I had a FitBit, which was the last time I had a job (read: wasn’t sitting around the house all day). I forgot that I used to walk to work, and I can’t do that now. Barney and I were hitting the goal, but he won’t walk. I would walk over lunch when I would be walking him, but I play with him instead because he’s kenneled the rest of the day.
  • Keep up the dog walking routine. Sorry, Barney — when warmer weather hits, we are going to get back at it.
  • Run more frequently. I’m setting monthly running goals based on my current average mileage. In January I am planning to run 15 miles. I used to run 30 miles a week! I don’t want to get back to that mileage — ever — but I would like to get back to running maybe 10 miles a week healthily.
  • Make yoga part of my fitness. I hate yoga when I’m doing it, but I always am thankful I did it when I’m done. I am looking for a studio that offers hot yoga and does punch cards so I can go when I want vs. a membership since I’ll never go enough to legitimize a membership purchase.
  • Strength train regularly. I will go back to doing six different strength training exercises (of my choosing) after a walk or run.
  • Stretch daily. I’m going to try to do this before bed.
  • Restart chiropractic care and massage therapy. My chiropractor that I used to see in Ames actually moved here, so I’ll be seeing him again soon. I have a gift card to Massage Envy, but I think if I go through a chiropractic office, I might get my insurance to cover it, so I want to research that.


What are your fitness goals for 2017?

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