BMH Online


Day 2, [the image is relevant to the post, not the day!]

There was ice today on my morning run, it seems the gritters weren't out last night, or they did a poor job. I doubt I'll go out on my bike today; I like to go out for a ride each day but not in slippery conditions. Years ago I had a run in with black ice whilst on my way to college; I'd just reached the brow of a hill when woosh, thump, off I went. I wasn't injured, physically, beyond a graze to the shoulder, and a scuff there to my coat, but psychologically... I had flash-backs of the falling sensation for the week and had to force myself back onto my bike each day (even though I got to college that day ok). Years on and I'm exceedingly wary at the slightest hint of ice on the roads; I become rigid and will slow to a crawl, and prefer to get off and walk.

I've been trying to keep/get my fitness up, and also my calorie count up too - some people try and cut the calories they consume (and rightly so if they don't need them), but I'm on the slimmer end of the scale and my Fitbit tells me I actually burn less on an average day than an average male "should consume". I also try and keep things steady and consistent because if I over-do things one day then I will often find myself on the back-foot the next day, with both energy, mood and focus. (I don't actually think calorie counting is necessarily helpful because I know people who do this but actually make no progress, but the act of counting is perceived as being part of their effort).

Last month's calories

Yesterday was a case in point; I did my morning run and later cycled (20 miles), and because I don't manage to do this routinely, and perhaps because of an unsettled night's sleep prior, I was feeling pretty worn out by the early evening. Getting the calories in in this state is then not easy either.

I also enjoy walking, although I don't do this as often as I might. Last week though I got out for one of my jaunts up Snowdon (highlighted by the green bar in the chart above), and ached nicely for the next couple of days because of it!

Aching is a satisfying result. Earlier this year I got into working out with my neighbour. He'd been hoarding various pieces of gym equipment but had made no progress into ever using it, so I have been counteracting that while getting an upper-body workout (I insisted we focus on that rather than legs). There is indeed something satisfying about aching the next day! It is only once a week and we have missed some (not my doing!) so progress is slow/slight, but there is also a social aspect which is a good thing because I don't get much of that aside from some hanging out in virtual spaces.

All these things are great for emotional wellbeing. They might not be a fix-all solution if you're heavily depressed, but getting out as much as you can and engaging in some physical activity that requires effort and gets you out of breath certainly play a part.