June 24, 2008

Summer Fitness

I thought about this about 30 seconds ago, and I figure I should act on it before pussying out because I've been telling myself this since spring break. This summer, I'm going to set out some fitness goals to ensure I stay active and maintain some sort of resolve in my daily activity. That said, I'm intend on reaching the following by the end of the summer (and I post this for two reasons: to solidify my goals so that I actually follow through with them and so maybe you could set some fitness goals for yourself as well to stay in shape, especially because you have a lot more time now than you did throughout the school year):

  • 70 pushups (As of 5 seconds ago: 46)
  • 30 chinups (Currently: 25)
  • 30 pullups (Currently: 22)
  • 5:25 mile (Currently: 5:40)
  • Running 12 miles at once, preferably in between 1:15 and 1:30 (Currently: unknown. Haven't maxed out since cross country season)
  • Weighing 145+ pounds (Currently: 137 ± 2 pounds)
I guess that's all for now, but I think/hope posting this will push me a little harder to continue pursuing these goals by the time school starts (and to keep me in shape to maybe make my last year of cross country worthwhile...and maybe to try to keep up with Eric for a change. He's getting too good for his own good (that is to say, too good for my self-esteem haha)). As of now, I intend on updating on this journey every two weeks or so. That way, I can kick my own ass if I'm not making progress.

While I may/may not be inspiring you to make fitness goals for yourself, check out "An Enduring Measure of Fitness: The Simple Push-Up," by Tara Parker-Pope, one of the more prominent Health and Well columnists for the NYTimes. In the article, she discusses the prominence of push-ups as the most frequently-used measure of fitness; however, even beyond that, push-ups are an extremely good measure of fitness, physically speaking. She says,
The push-up is the ultimate barometer of fitness. It tests the whole body, engaging muscle groups in the arms, chest, abdomen, hips and legs. It requires the body to be taut like a plank with toes and palms on the floor. The act of lifting and lowering one’s entire weight is taxing even for the very fit.
Obviously, I wouldn't swear by pushups, but they should definitely build a good portion of the foundation of any workout routine, so get down and give me as much as you can do. Then strive to double that if you're anywhere less than the 20-25ish range. Might sound impossible, but you can do it. Trust me. I'm the kid who couldn't run a full mile without pausing for a break just 3.5 years ago. Now I'm pushing to run 12 straight. Aim high. You got this.

Get healthy (and stay there),