DDP Yoga: Round two.

I had the best of intentions and the worst of implementations when I first started doing DDP Yoga.

Through bad timing and excuses on my part, a routine schedule that should have taken me three weeks ended up taking a month or more. While I was still active outdoors during the late summer and fall, this routine fell by the wayside under the “I’ll get to it later” category. After a sedimentary winter and warning signs of weight starting to creep up, it was time to get going on something again.

So here I am, relatively back at square one. It’s been a week since I started and I’m doing my best at keeping up a schedule for it. Heck, my last workout was at 11 pm just so I could say I did one that day! If I can stick to a three times a week schedule (like I should have done in the first place), I should be on track.

Another difference this time is I signed up for their support page at TeamDDPYoga.com, which has the claim of “The best damn support group in the world!”. When I first signed up for the page I got several welcome messages, one of them even from DDP himself, and later on the infamous Arthur Boorman! While the response has been impressive, it’s also been incredibly overwhelming, almost to the point of information overload. It’s like having the knowledge of the planet at your fingertips, but not knowing what questions to ask. Eventually I’ll get there, as my eating habits could still use a lot of work, or at least focusing in the right direction.

But for now, establishing the workout routine is more important.

New Texas A&M Study: Geocaching Improves Physical and Mental Health

Now, this is old news to me, as someone who’s lived what the study was studying. But, it’s great to have an actual “study” backing up what those of us who participate, already know.

http://blog.geocaching.com/2013/11/new-texas-am-study-geocaching-improves-physical-and-mental-health/

1,000 Geocachers volunteered to be part of the first ever major study of geocaching and its effect on health. The 14-month Texas A&M study called Geocaching for Exercise and Activity Research(GEAR) launched in January of 2013. The first set of results from the study were presented on November 5 at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Boston.

Each of the participants were given devices to track their movement and a logbook to record their level of geocaching intensity. The first results showed the effects of regular geocaching. Researcher Whitney says, “The GEAR study has identified an association between geocaching and improved health.”

Another researcher, Garney, goes on to say, “GEAR participants who report geocaching once a week or more are more likely to meet national guidelines for physical activity and are more likely to report good or very good health status compared to those who geocache less frequently.” In addition, research showed that geocachers reported fewer days of poor physical and mental health compared to state level data.

Follow Geocaching on Instagram for more epic and inspirational geocaching pics http://instagram.com/gogeocaching

These findings are still preliminary, but nevertheless we’re excited about them. The study concludes in early 2014 and final data will be analyzed and presented later that year.

Any other Geocachers have the same experience? Please share yours!

DDP Yoga Review: Week One… ish…

You feel like this too?

You feel like this too?

So this has been the new “project”. While I know that I haven’t followed the program as scheduled, I still what I can when I can. Which is my I call it Week One-ish. So this review isn’t really about results as it’s in first impressions.

DDP Yoga was originally known as YRG, or Yoga for Regular Guys; this was my first exposure to it a few years back. I liked the idea of yoga (stats show that stretching alone can increase muscle strength by 30%) but I wanted something that provided more of a workout, and without all the fluff that usually goes with yoga. I happened to be walking through our local library one day and there was DDP’s book out open on the shelf. It wasn’t some ex-wrestler pushing Yoga that got my attention, it was the forward that was written by none other than Rob Zombie himself! Written very bluntly and plainly in Rob’s style and his experience and impressions. Rob aint no fluff kind of guy, and even he was impressed with the workout it gave. Hmmm… maybe there is something to this? The interest lasted briefly and then passed along like many other things. It wasn’t until Arthur Boormans video came out that I started looking at it again more seriously.

The Program stats with what’s called the “Diamond Dozen”; 12 positions that are what DDP calls “the core of DDP Yoga”.  This segment of the DVD is about 36 minutes along and is essentially a practice run, helping you get down pat these positions that are used routinely throughout the program. I had my heart rate monitor on for this one, and was just over into the 120 range, which for me, it just inside what they determine to be the “Fat Burning Zone”. This is calculated using 180 beats per minute, minus your age (the high end), and then subtract another 20 (the low end of the range). I had a good sweat sheen happening, despite ample time to rest in between positions. I figured the more structured routines could be interesting if this is just the warm up.

After a couple of times doing this first video, you can move on to the next part called “Energy”. This one is about 21 minutes long, and is the first full-on routine. I will full admit this one really had me sweating good! I thought I would be able to do most of the positions, but instead I had to use the modified positions. With how I was shaking, I’m finding a lot of muscles not used in a long time! I could really feel it later in my shoulders and abs, which were doing more support than any major work themselves. It’s really focusing on building core and support muscle groups.

If this is just the start, this could be an interesting ride!

Look what came in the mail!

It's here!

It’s here!

It finally came! Now, to set a start time and get to it! Heard lots of great stuff about it and seen some amazing testimonials. I like the idea of DDP Yoga; giving the benefits of yoga without the fluff, and with the workout I’m looking for. Finally decided to bite the bullet and get it. Doesn’t look like much, (considering what I paid) so here’s to hoping great things come in small packages!

Stay tuned for more…

Back of the "Extreme" DVD. Nice!

Back of the “Extreme” DVD. Nice!

The view from up here…

You know there’s a shift in your habits when it’s now a hard decision trying to decide what you want to do for exercise that day!

I decided to tackle a mountain I’ve climbed once before (figuratively and literally) when I started Geocaching. Id been up to one of the higher ridges to do a Geocache a year before, but missed another one further up the hill, due to lack of fitness at the time, and also a 3-year old in tow. Since then (according to the map on Geocaching.com) two more had been placed on the mountain. So, I decided to go for a climb!

Looking North

Looking North

Now here’s a tip for any new Geocachers: study your terrain and read about the caches before going after them. This can provide you information on the best way to get to a cache, or if it’s a puzzle cache, try to figure out the location before going to the location on the map (often, it’s not there, or even near there). Despite having some experience myself (315 caches found and counting), I did none of this. Conquering the mountain again was my quest on this day. Climbing the steepest part of the ascent was a lot faster than the first time I tried; a mix of being in better shape and no young child in tow! I was at the hill top and decided to check the coordinates of the mystery cache. 284 metres from my location… at the bottom of the hill.

Well crap, that might have to wait for another time.

Looking East

Looking East

I carried on to the top of the mill and the cache that was located in the area. I got close to the coordinates, but decided to check out the one a little further down the hill. Problem was, the hill was a steep decline to the bottom. I could go down, but getting back up was going to be a long climb, and I had time constraints. came across a fellow coming up the other side of the hill who gave me some directions on the trails that are on the mountain. He told me he’s climbed the mountain every day for two years and lost 50 pounds! Good on ya! Anyway, had I got the cache at the top first, I could have  descended for the other one and took a trail at the bottom of the hill to get back to my vehicle. I really didn’t want to get that cache and then climb back up the hill again for the first one. Oh well, at least I now know a better route from the bottom to get the other caches! Next time I’ll return with my bike.

Looking South

Looking South

Sometimes my Geocaching excursions turns out to be more of a “scouting mission”, to survey the terrain and to return at a future date. Today was one of those days. I only got one cache I was after, but I discovered an easier route (and a new trail!) to go after the other two.

But in the end, finding the cache was just a bonus. In a way, we all have our own mountains to climb. Sometimes, it’s not the goal at the end that’s important, it’s the fact you made it to the top!

Bones from an old abandoned Orchard.

Bones from an old abandoned Orchard.

Torn…

You know there’s a big change in your life when your biggest decision of the morning is whether or not to go for a run, or a bike ride!

Due to spending too much time mulling over it, the bike ride won out, but also because I did some work on it the night before. Installed my GPS mount so I can track distance, time and heart rate with a monitor. Tackled the same hill again and while I did get further up it (properly inflated tires help!), it still won. Kept a brisk page walking up the hill and managed to keep my heart rate in the low 140 range. Rest of the ride went well, especially with properly inflated tires (did I mention I inflated the tires?)!

Damn things wouldn’t even show pressure on the tire gauge. No wonder I was struggling last time!

Off to the Doctor’s today for the 3-Month progress report!

Pedal… Pedal…

Instead of running, I decided I wanted something different and hauled out the bike today. I got it, might as well use it! Kinda wanted a change from a run anyway. Any movement is still movement.

Decided on a road path that I’ve driven many a time and seemed fairly quiet… once I get on to it. Getting to it is the catch.

I figured that since I’ve been running for a few weeks now, that this should be a lot easier of a bike ride than the previous one.

Silly me.

While running uses similar muscles, biking definitely works those muscles in a different way! I can see the challenges behind the Ironman now. Funny how your perspective of a hill changes when you have to pedal up it as opposed to driving up it. I hate to say that the hill won this round, made it up only about half way, but walked the rest until I got to a spot that didn’t have as much of an incline to it and got pedaling again. At least I was still moving. Made some good progress until I got to a part where the incline got steeper so I had to drop a gear on the front derailer, and it didn’t move. Dropped the shiftier right to the bottom and no movement. Are you frikkin kidding me? Looks like I better break out the cable lube on the next day off. A good kick with the heel eventually freed it.  I had set a time limit of half an hour for the ride, so after about 15 minutes I found a spot to turn around. That’s when I discovered the downhill grade was all the way home! More coasting than I had planned, but I’ll call it the “cooling off” period. Took a look at he front tire and noticed how wide it suddenly was. Ugh… idiot. First time in almost two months I’ve ued the bike, think I’d be smart enough to check the tire pressure? Of course not! No wonder I’m struggling. I can only imagine how flat the rear tire looks. I’m sure on the last hill I warmed up the brakes. Looks steeper in this direction!

Made it home a little earlier than I had planned, but still got off of the couch.

I’m torn though for which felt like a better workout. Biking is a lower impact, but I didn’t feel like I worked as hard as I did after a run. I’m sure my leg muscles will have the final say on this. Still, good to break up a routine. I know I get bored doing the same workout over and over again, so maybe it’s good to have something to break up the cycle… with a cycle!