Fitness Update: Heat


We haveĀ  been having some hot weather here is the Kansas City area, not enough yet to make us think the rest of the summer will be hot, but enough to expect this to be one of several spells of heat we are likely to get.

In non-fitness posts I have mentioned starting gardening again this year, and our unique corn growing method. I’m not going to discuss the growing method here. I’m going to make an observation about corn, and then, make it fit into fitness.

My dad told me that corn grew to maturity in a certain number of “degree days”. Corn grows when the temperature gets to a certain point, I think around 60, and then grows until the temperature is too hot, after 90. The number of growinh days where the temperature stay in that range are the degree days, and a certain number of them is required for maturity.

So a day can be either too hot orĀ  too cold for the corn to grow. On a hot Illinois day, when it creeps to night, you might walk into a corn field and hear it crackling from the growth. All the pent up energy collected during the day, when it was too hot to grow, is being made up during the night, when it is finally cool enough.

My fitness for people note is that heat, or cold, should affect our ability to make the gains, or the performance we expect from workouts. I have noticed that I need to wear a sweat band virtually any time I am outside doing anything anymore. The performance of my body does well keeping up with the heat, but it does so by a VERY efficient and prodigious use of my eccrine glands to perspire.

Make sure you adjust appropriately for the temperature, and that you don’t get stressed when system like the eccrine glands are doing their duty to regulate your body’s temperature. Getting nervous about this natural and beneficial process makes you both physically and psychologically more stressed and less productive.

So I have, for example, been taking jogs, interspersed with short runs and walks, that keep me working out but put the heat level where I want it. It determines my pace of the day. And thus endurance is better.



Fitness Update: Bicycle anecdote


Since I don’t bicycle to work on a regular basis anymore, I don’t have that part of my usual fitness regimen to keep me active.

But I did get the encouragement from talking to one of y Madrigal singer friends, who has apparently taken up a similar fitness regimen — or like me possibly also a practical economic regimen — of riding a bicycle to work.

While giving him a lift from rehearsal home yesterday (carpooling is always a good economic and environmental idea), we got to talking about his latest bicycle leg bruise, which brought up the whole topic of cycling.

What came of it is how hard it is to get started. You have so little relative stamina at that point. But if you just keep going, soon you find out that you are climbing long hills without stopping that a short while ago would have had you walking and stopping several times.

We also discussed the benefit and handicap of computer and mobile app route makers. Google Maps sometimes gives really good, and sometimes really poor, advice on what routes to take.

But overall, the encouragement was to keep at it, and to keep learning about the better ways of doing it.


Fitness Update: Schedule tweaking


Life has too many distractions, but all events are moving forward, if not as fast as planned. Working on a schedule keeps things moving. Though I have decided that I need to get up an hour earlier if I am to have any productive morning time.

When your morning starts slipping, the comic song lyrics from the Wizard of Oz become too much of a truth sometimes:

We get up at twelve and start to work at one
Take an hour for lunch and then at two we’re done
Jolly good fun


Fitness Update: to the work


This week saw several members of the family take on seasonal employment with Worlds of Fun. I put this under fitness because it will mean miles of walking this summer, and good planning on what to eat.


Fitness update: turning signals and staying in your lane


Today’s Fitness update is going to be a very short vignette from this morning. I was out with the dog on the bicycle giving him his daily excursion when I came up on Parvin Road and a detour sign because of construction. I never could see from either end up going around the detour what was being constructed but that has nothing to do with the vignette I want to share so that is all I am going to say about it.

It was on the detour which was on a side street that was paved like a side street but was heavy traffic like a Main Street that I came to a stop sign. There was a car coming up from behind me and a van up on the left. It was a two-way stop so the van had the right of way but it stopped.

I signaled for the driver to go; he signaled for me to go; I signaled for him to go. The car behind me was ready to try to pass me so I went to prevent him from taking the spot and blocking me from getting out the intersection at all. When I got over to the driver I said you don’t have a stop sign. He said but the other car is in the middle of the street so I couldn’t get by it.

The driver of the van should have had his turning signal on so I knew that it was safe for me to turn. The car behind me should not try to pass me in the center of the street when coming up to a stop sign where I need to make a right of way to everyone else access. The van driver was correct that the other car was blocking his way, but it wasn’t blocking his way until he didn’t go.

Today’s Fitness update is a public service announcement for motor vehicle drivers on proper etiquette and legal rules for interacting with bicycles on public streets.

Fitness Update: A run for the (insert choice of word)


Well, the attempt to schedule last week has paid some dividends. I am waking up at the same time, not that I haven’t gone back to sleep right after on occasion. Mornings still seem to be starting late and getting done long before the work I intend to accomplish in them. Yet the regularity of the morning dog exercise in getting back online.

What I need to do now is find the spot for some weekly running in the schedule. Taking an hour to walk the dog via bicycle hasn’t proved conducive to running afterwards. I am not certain how conducive it would be to try running before taking out the dog (which would entail getting out without the dog noticing — a dubious prospect).

Of course, our current cold spell with snow (in April) isn’t helping to encourage my getting to a run yet. We will see if the magic mixture of opportunity and determination will show up this week.