They’ve done it! Our courageous, enthusiastic Star journos have completed the four week MoveMe exercise trial. So what were the final results??
Our little experiment has come to an end, and what seemed a bit full on in the beginning has turned out to be a fun challenge. We recently had our final fitness test and the results confirmed what I had already been feeling – fitter, lighter, stronger. At least a little bit anyway. While the scales at home may not have had great news, the testing we did with Monique was much more efficient and showed, amongst other things, what muscle we had gained and fat we had lost. This was a relief as I had begun to think the whole “you must be putting on muscle” thing was a nice thing people said to you along the lines of ”you must have a slow metabolism” or “perhaps you have big bones”.
Considering the short duration of the trial and the various injuries along the way I’m pretty satisfied with my results and it’s good to know I’m on the right track. I can feel the difference from when I first started and the best part of this experience for me is that I’m now looking forward to exercise. I’m not a fitness nut just yet but I’m happy to try new things and these days I hardly ever worry about passing out or breaking a hip.
I will miss the added incentive of the trial and the support from Ruth, Monique and the group but I’ve learnt a few things about my exercise personality that might make continuing easier. For example, I’m not a great self motivator but I do enjoy being in a team and having a fitness buddy (thanks Samantha!). I’ve learnt that exercise needs to be fun for me, which is probably why I haven’t tackled a bootcamp or spin class during the last weeks. Boxing, on the other hand, was a really positive experience and I’m looking forward to longer, warmer days for taking on a spot of tennis.
I still haven’t figured out how to make exercising at home work for me, which is a big disappointment as I really do think it’s a great solution for time-poor, house-bound people and I also have all that dusty fitness equipment lying unjustified in the garage. But I have hope. I plan to continue on, with the aim of retesting in six-months time. That will be the real test – to see if I can make this a lifestyle change once the novelty’s worn off. Apparently it takes anywhere from two to eight months to make a new behaviour automatic so by then I’m sure it’ll be a breeze. We shall see.
Having just completed what has easily been the most low-key, minimal-effort exercise regime in the history of such things, it would be fair to say I wasn’t expecting huge results. And that is exactly what I got – small improvements across the board. I am 1.2kg lighter, my strength test results have improved and my body fat percentage is lower. I have another 300g of muscle working away somewhere, my oxygen intake has improved and I did not feel like the Indian rubber man after the final rigorous testing at the University of Otago last week.
Amazing the difference an extra 30 minutes of walking five times a week can do so there are no excuses for not keeping it up. Having always been a bit of a boom-or-bust fitness person, I think having a basic fitness habit like a walk every evening, including a few stairs and hills is a good thing to have.
Being given the chance to actually monitor the improvements in the laboratory has been a really useful exercise so thanks for the opportunity go out to Ruth Zeinert at MoveMe and to Monique Francois and everyone also at the University of Otago who was involved. We have all been “invited'” to come back in six month’s time for the same set of tests so there will be nowhere to hide if I slip off the fitness wagon between now and then.
My legs didn’t feel like jelly this time round. And I didn’t take as long to recover. I felt great after my final fitness test. My results had improved in my strength test, my VO2 max test and I even put on a couple of kilos of muscle. Now I just have to keep that up. My plan is to continue with my exercise regime but to step it up a little more once my knee and ankle start behaving and allowing me to. I will mix it up between boxing, going to the gym and getting outside for a walk/run and some fresh air. I will be buying a pair of hot pink boxing gloves once I get sorted so Laura Hewson and I can get our boxing on. Boom!
Well the famous Star fitness trial is finally over and surprisingly I didn’t let the team down. I’m actually quite proud of myself. My test results showed an improvement in every area. My muscle mass was slightly up, my fat was down and I had lost a few kg. I also improved in the strength and VO2 max tests. There is still a long way to go but I think these results have shown me that I can make a difference to my fitness and it isn’t actually too difficult. I wasn’t in the gym every day or doing 10km runs in the rain. All it took was more walking, less using the lift, and eating a bit less and a bit more healthily.