Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Is it exercise?"

Another question that frequently comes up when I'm talking taekwondo is "Is it really good exercise?", or "Is there a cardio workout involved?". My answer to this is usually nice and vague...."As with all things you do, you get out of it what you put into it."

I started Taekwondo back in March. At the same time, I also cut out all soda. I used to drink 1 can a day. I also cut out my 3-4 beers a week. I only have a beer a couple times a month now. I still have my other vices: ice cream every night and my coffee (usually a mocha) every morning. I now order non-fat coffee though.

My daughters and I go to taekwondo twice a week. The beginning of the hour is always stretching, various types of pushups, and various core muscle exercises (i.e. Russian twists, crunches). We then get going with exercises generally involving various kicking/punching combinations or single kicks and punches. This part ends about 25-30 minutes after the hour. Sometimes, we then follow that up with an additional 10 minutes or so of instruction exercises that can be quite strenuous or sometimes it is a little bit more relaxed. This is usually repetitions of something we're supposed to be learning for "muscle training."

The intensity of the workout is usually a direct correlation with who is teaching the class. Master Lee works us the hardest. By the end of the workout, I'm usually sweating quite a bit. I attribute most of that to the large amount of weight I have to move around. Sometimes when I come home, my muscles are aching. I've been doing protein an hour before class to help build muscle but I also hear that it's supposed to minimize the muscle aches. The protein bars are actually quite tasty compared to most I've tried. Oddly, i can't link directly to them. In the interest of full disclosure though: my mom sells them. Search for protein in the shop.

Since I started, I've lost 12 lbs. My goal is to lose another 12 more. I've hit a plateau in weight loss over the last month. I read an article recently (I tried to find it for linkage....couldn't) about varying your routine to continue to lose weight. The theory, or it could be fact, is that your body adapts to the routine and therefore conserves more rather than maintaining the new burn rate. If you vary your routine, the body doesn't know what to expect and revs up the calorie consuming engine. Now I just need to figure out how to vary what I'm doing in the context of TKD.

I'm going to also see if I can get a third session in per week once I get through a heavily scheduled October.

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