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Riches of Commons and Kings

So I tried an experiment this past week. I've finally got my gymn routine back to where it was before the car accident. Except I'm dropping off the squats. My knees can't take my own weight plus 380 pounds anymore, and when I do the 3x30, I feel it when climbing the stairs, generally for as much as four days afterwards.

So, instead, I've upped the cardio (ski-like machine) at the beginning of the workout to 45 mins, 1000kcal, or 3.5 miles, whichever comes last. I have always had a high heart rate, so I normally go from standing at 95 to cruising at about 155-180 bpm in seven minutes and stay there for the whole thing, which comes in intervals. I usually hit my second wind at around 30 minutes, during which my heart rate settles at around 165-175.

Then the experiment: There still isn't much local produce available, so I tried eating processed food for a week before today. Stuff that comes in packages with a long shelf life. Stuff with words in it that require a doctorate in xenobiology to understand the function of. Not a lot of it. One meal a day, usually dehydrated soup that has all the nutritional ingredients in it they tell you to have, but also all the preservatives they'd rather you not question.

When I got on the machine today, I immediately found the workout much harder and tiring than it was the week before. And here's the weird thing: my heart rate stayed at a solid 135 for the first ten minutes. Only after I had worked into a heavy sweat did the heart rate rise to near it's normal level, but I didn't break 160 until about 30 minutes in. My second wind, when it came, was considerably more lift than I normally get. I suspect that my blood pressure was much higher during this routine than it had been the week before, since I had such trouble with the workout.

My only explanation for the gap is that I sweated out some of the stuff that makes processed food so deadly. So it makes me hypothesize that perhaps it's the rarer salts and the salt-like compounds in processed food which is playing havoc with the heart's regulatory system. In short that it's not the sodium chloride per se that does the blood-pressure damage, but the interaction of all the other sweat-able compounds in processed food that conspire against you.

So, I'm definitely going back to the Pollan mantra of eating food instead of nutritional ingredients.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 18th, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
That's some solid cardio you have going on there, sir.

And there are plenty of other leg exercises you can do if squats are bothering your knees so much, or as you shed more weight, you might even be able to add light squatting, granted the knees cooperate.

re: eating--Any time I have eaten just to keep my stomach from growling and not paid attention to how clean I should be eating, I have paid for it in terms of indigestion and performance.

And Lord help when I break down and have some fried food. I become a gall bladder attack waiting to happen and an absolute sluggard for several hours.
May. 19th, 2011 07:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, at first I thought "this is a little much," about the cardio, but after a few weeks, I started to crave it. It must be endorphins. But the secret is music. Without some tunes to push me along, it's not going anywhere. With the right mix, I can do a half-marathon, chubby tho I be.

Sorry to hear about the gall-bladder thing, tho. That's really bad stuff, that. I get gout when I combine heavy stress with beans, but I'd much prefer that pain to gallstones. At least I can slap some Voltaren on the foot when it starts to ache and the attack won't get severe, but there isn't an ointment for ejecting a stone...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )