Saturday, February 16, 2019

Health - Incremental Progress

One of the reasons I left law firm life is that I was terrible of taking care of my health while I was working 70-80 hours per week at a firm. So how's it going? My health has improved in measurable ways--just received the results of my bloodwork from my annual physical and was so relieved to see that my numbers have normalized. While this is good news, I view it as having clawed my back to zero. Now it's time to see whether I can do a little better than average.

What is going well right now:

  1. Cardio. I enjoy cardio. Peloton has helped a lot with this (this morning I hopped on the bike for a fun, Diana Ross-themed 30 minute ride).
  2. Sleep. My struggle with sleep started in earnest in law school and amplified as I progressed through my law firm years. Due mainly to my reduced stress level in my new job, I've found that I'm sleeping more, dreaming more, and waking well rested.
What could be better:
  1. Flexibility. From my very first dance class as a toddler, I've been the most flexible person in the room, so this problem is relative to my own abilities. Spending so much time spinning on the Peloton without stretching regularly has tightened up my legs. I'm less flexible today than at any other point in my life.
  2. Strength. I can lift a heavy suitcase overhead, so it's not like this is an emergency, but I'm not currently putting any effort into building strength outside of my cardio routine. This is something that I want to change in order to prepare for optimal quality of life in my later years.
What is going poorly:
  1. Hydration. The core of this problem is my soda habit. A few years ago, I transitioned from regular soda to diet (important change since I drink 2-3 sodas a day). This was a step in the right direction. Today, I find myself cracking open a Coke Zero whenever I feel thirst, which makes it my primary source of hydration. That can't be good. And while I tend to feel like corporate America's marketing machine has seized on the need for proper hydration in order to sell sporty drinks and spendy water bottles, every doctor I've seen in the last couple years has commented that I'm dehydrated. I'm inclined to think this is a real problem.
  2. Nutrition. Let's be real. In my last year at the firm, my workweek dinner was a large Diet Coke and medium fries, procured from the McDonald's across the street from the Best Western where I stayed while in Dallas. Rock bottom. Things are better now, but I'm not thoughtful or intentional when it comes to nutrition.
What I'm going to try in order to improve:
  1. Flexibility. As a first step, at the end of each spin class, I'm going to roll into one of Peloton's on demand five-minute post ride stretches. I started this today and am optimistic it will become a habit in short order. As a more challenging second step, I'm going to try to complete one yoga class a week since this will help with flexibility, balance and strength. I plan to rely on Peloton's on demand yoga classes in order to avoid accumulating too many subscriptions.
  2. Hydration. Changing my habit is going to be difficult since soda is my main vice. I plan to start by pouring myself a glass of ice water each morning. (Embarrassed to say that I've been starting my days with a Coke Zero.) I'm also going to set a couple calendar reminders to prompt me to drink a couple of glasses of water throughout the day.
  3. Nutrition. When I was a junior associate, I bought a Nutrition Plan from Tone It Up. I read through it, but never got started. Since this is a resource I already have on hand and I just received an updated "Love Your Body" eight-week plan, I'm going to use it as a starting point for adjusting my habits. I plan to do more research and make adjustments, hopefully ended up in a better place. 
I could use help with:
  1. Strength. I'm not sure how to incorporate strength training into my daily routines and I'm not sure how to measure progress. Still brainstorming. If you have ideas, I'd love to hear them.

No comments: