Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.

Ernest Miller Hemingway, American novelist, short story writer, journalist (1899-1961)

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“To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise.” – Gene Tunney, American professional boxer (1897-1978)

NOTE: This will probably be the first and last Sunday post, but I just had to schedule one for Sunday because I’m brimming with ideas and excited to be back to sharing them to the world.  x enc

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An issue that I’ve struggled with all my life is my endurance.  My muscles rarely get to feel the sore and satisfying feeling of a good workout because my breathing hinders my progress.  Running can be a struggle because sometimes I feel like I can barely breathe.  I never really thought much about it and would just take a minute breather in between, but then in the recent months, something strange happened.

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For about two hours a day, five times a week, my friend and I exercise at the gym.  Along with daily cardio and ab routines, each day is targeted to a specific part of the body, e.g. Monday=legs, Tuesday=shoulders, etc.  While the framework is the same, our routines are different, as we have different body goals – here are some of our differences.

What I do

  • More cardio and abs
  • Reps catered towards endurance
  • Lower weight classes in consideration for my noodle arms

What my friend does

  • More time spent on the target body area
  • Reps catered towards strength
  • Higher weight classes because I am the only one who has noodle arms

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However, three months ago, my friend would comment on my blue lips while we worked out.  At first, I didn’t think much about it, as I didn’t feel any other symptoms.  As a side note, I suffer from migraines and tend to get bad cases of vertigo.  A little while later, I would get dizzy during my workouts, and was unable to tell if I was standing upright or if everything was perpetually sideways.

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Fast forward to the visit to the doctor’s office, he put me through a stress test and other evaluations to see if there was a problem.  My results all came clear – I was pleasantly surprised to find out that in terms of health, my heart was like a professional tennis or basketball player.  Just to be safe, he also checked my oxygen absorption, and my absorption percentage actually went up during exercise.

He concluded that I probably just had an endurance problem, something that I already knew.  This made me frustrated because how could I condition myself when my breathing couldn’t sustain my workouts?  It was like a case of the chicken or the egg and I wished that I could get a concrete answer.

The doctor’s solutions were to spend each day, workout day or not, practicing breathing exercises.  He even recommended tai chi because the movements encourage practitioners to open their lungs.  He also suggested that whenever I felt dizzy or tired during my workouts to pause and spend a few minutes practicing my breathing exercises.  From his words, it was clear that there wasn’t one quick solution, and it would take a while before my endurance would improve.

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Denouement: Looking back, I understand why I wanted an easy solution, considering as this was a problem I had all my life.  However, I also laugh at myself because the first rule of working out is to keep in mind that results don’t happen overnight – it’s a journey, and fixing my breathing endurance issues also fit into that category.  Though if anyone has a solution they recommend, I would love to hear a few because I am lazy 😏.

xoxo,

the girl who like a good workout

IMAGE CREDIT: Houston Indoor Rock Climbing Gym & Activity Center

Because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars…

Jack Kerouac, On the Road (1957)