A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Archive for the tag “Physical exercise”

Mid-life Crisis or Needed change part 2

As I promised in my post I would provide updates on Saturday.

I didn’t make it to actually work out at the gym this week, due to a stuffy nose. However I quit using the elevator when going up 4 floors or down 5 floors, so I definitely got in my Stairmaster work this past week. Monday a friend and I went for a 15km power walk, which is longer than what I will be running. Tuesday and Thursday were days for stretches, a bit of weightlifting. Wednesday and Friday were mainly filled with getting life’s chores out of the way, however I did do about a 5km walk each evening. So I can’t give you much in the way of stats, except to say I am now at 92kg. I thought I had done better than this as my waist lost about 3 cm this week, but then I remembered muscle has a higher density more than fat. This evening will be another power walk, and Sunday my day of rest. Monday back to the treadmill and stair climber.

For some more reading try:





Midlife crisis or long overdue change? (Warning graphic image)

Yesterday I wrote I finally went to the gym, to start preparing to run either a 5km or a 10km run later this spring. The good news, I survived and even had some helpful tips from one of the staff at the YMCA. The bad news I’m not in as good shape as I thought I was. I have incorporated walking and cycling into my daily life, however I need to do more, if I want to be healthier.


So the above picture shows me on the treadmill. I  aimed to keep my target heart rate in the 125 -135 bracket for 30 minutes for the first week. Yes this is lower than the maximum recommended on the page I linked to, however I wanted to make the full half hour, and not fly off the back of the treadmill on my first day. Knowing the heart rate zones for your age is important, so the first few days, I’m watching it more closely than I will once I get into the routine.

The starting stats:

Weight  93 kg

30 minutes average heart rate 132 beats per minute

average speed 4.2km/h

calories burned 227

So yes I have a ways to go, but I knew that going into this. I will post each Saturday, starting February 23, about my misadventures and successes. Also I challenge all you other couch potatoes, office chair pilots, and remote control operators to join me in getting back into shape.

As The Buddha taught “We  are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy  follows like a shadow that never leaves.”

So live in the present, don’t plan to exercise in a tomorrow that never comes. It’s fitting that I am posting this on Valentine’s Day, for what better gift can you give the loves of your life, than a healthy you?

“By ourselves is evil done, By ourselves we pain endure, By ourselves we cease from wrong, By ourselves become we pure.

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path: Buddhas only show the way.” from the Dhammapada.

The Buddha is giving advice on our minds, however it can also apply to the actions we take with our bodies. We think about getting in shape, we talk with our friends and loved ones about getting into shape, however we need also do it.

When is the last time you walked?

This post is going to be part Buddhist, part health, part fitness, part environment, and a dash of this and that. I need to state this is from someone who lives in a country where the car is still considered the only civilized method of getting around, I will let you decide if it applies to where you live or even yourself. As Buddhists we learn to practice walking meditation, as well as silent and chanting. Many people here join a gym and power walk on a treadmill, this after they drove to the gym. Others stroll along the seawall here in Vancouver. Search Vancouver seawall, but I’m not responsible if you decide you must visit here, to experience it in person 🙂   But when it comes to getting around the order for most is car, then public transit, bike, and lastly walk. Unless you have a physically active job, you probably spend a large part of you day at the desk. Do you take regular stretch breaks, at lunch is it downstairs to the cafe in your office building? When was the last time you walked 1km to do an errand? The average human walks at about 5km/hour so even in a city that km walk should be less than 20 minutes, with lights and dodging other people. Contrast this to going to the parkade, hoping in you car, add the time it takes to get out onto the street. If you have one ways downtown chances are at some point your circling the block. Lights add delays, then its find that elusive parking spot, fumble for change for the meter, or pay a couple of dollars for a quick in and out visit. Walk to the place your going, then repeat to get back to the office. Total time about the same, and if you hit heavy traffic, maybe longer than walking. Sitting in your car you burn about 88 calories/hour driving, walking you will use Walking at 5km the same person would use about 230. Now I will leave the carbon footprint of each activity out, but if your curious, I’m sure you can find out. At home need a quart of milk, and the store is only a couple of blocks, walk it, and take along 1 reusable shopping bag. One bag means less impulse items will fit, as if your like me you never get only the one item you went for. However I am buying less, and eating less processed foods. So you with two quick trips you just burned off an extra 300 calories, used a litre or two less fuel, and left the air we breathe in a cleaner state then if you had drove. Now if you actually are in the moment, while walking you may run into an old friend, or if your single, you never know who you might bump into, maybe that almost perfect person is just around the corner. I know some who practice a silent chanting while they walk, however if you are new to chanting while walking, or have forgotten your walking skills, as in watching for lights, posts, cars, maybe just concentrate on getting to where you are going for now. The little extra exercise will be good for your body, and that is something we are to be mindful of as Buddhists. Your not harming others with unnecessary pollution. You may have the chance to help an elderly person across the street. So why are you still reading this, you should be putting on your shoes, and walking some place. Metta

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