Sunday, July 2, 2017

#1902 three things: breakfast, hiking and closing the circles

1. Breakfast. Today started a bit unusually. My sister Lizzie had a two hour layover here in Salt Lake for a flight to Detroit (where she is visiting a friend). She asked me yesterday if I wanted to meet her at the airport and hang out a little. I said I'd bring breakfast. So this morning I hit McDonalds for a couple of breakfast sandwiches and bottles of water and met my sister around 9:30. We sat outside - it was warm, but it's a dry heat - and ate our breakfast and chatted. It was fun and different and I was glad to be there.

2. Hiking. What is the difference between a hike and walk? Is a hike just a walk, but with elevation? Maybe, but it also has to do with the type of terrain. A walk is mainly in urban areas on concrete or asphalt. A hike is on a more natural path or trail. (I always wondered.) Today the temperature in the valley was around 100 degrees and I really wanted to go for a walk. MT suggested we head up to the mountains where it was bound to be at least ten to twenty degrees cooler. We settled on hiking above the Alta ski area around Albion Basin on a trail known as Catherine Pass. I was looking for a hike that was fairly easy, that I hadn't done before and that was around three miles total.

We ended up hiking about 2.5 miles round trip. There was still some snow on the trail, and when we were pretty close to the top there was quite a big patch of snow to cross and I didn't want to do it. The trail was a pretty steady climb, not steep, but definitely steady. There was an elevation gain of nearly 850 feet, so going up I was huffing and puffing and stopping fairly often. On the way down it was a matter of watching where I put my feet and staying upright. The knees held up great and I felt good overall. The hike took us about an hour and 45 minutes (I'm slow).

MT was right about the temperature. It was in the low to mid 80s, so it was still warm but the breeze sure felt good. When we were coming back down, the afternoon storm clouds were gathering over the Wasatch Mountains. We made it back to the car just as some raindrops sprinkled the windshield. As we came down the mountain back into the valley, the sun was still super hot and the temperature was, in fact, 102 degrees.

Here are a couple of pics that MT took:

 I am standing on snow on 2 July.

I'm not sure why this photo is kinds of filmy. I think MT put his finger on the lens and it smudged.

3. Closing the circles. I got an Apple watch through my work. We have a healthy lifestyle program called Vitality and they offer an Apple watch as an incentive to exercise and better health. I had to pay $57 for the set-up. Each month I have to pay $13 or less, depending on whether I achieve the healthy activity goals that have been determined for me according to my height and weight. 

There are three goals which are represented by circles on my Apple watch. The smallest circle represents a "standing up" goal. You may have heard that sitting is the new smoking. My fun new watch tells me to stand up every hour, if I haven't already, and it keeps track of the times that I stand. My goal is to stand up 12 times a day, so once an hour for 12 hours. It seems like it should be easy, but when you're watching a movie, for example, you probably don't stand up in the middle of it when you're in the theater. Overall, it is an easy goal though.

The second goal is represented by the second biggest circle. It is a 30 minute exercise goal. The activity doesn't have to be all at once, but throughout the day, you should rack up 30 minutes of activity that gets your heart beating faster than normal. 

The third goal is the biggest circle and the most difficult to complete. It is the move goal which differs from the exercise goal in that it monitors the amount of active calories that you burn and also the total number of steps you take in a day. You may have heard that walking 10,000 steps/day is good for you. I don't know for sure about that, but it is a target to try to reach. If you are walking 10,000 steps, you're not sitting around, right? The tricky part of the third circle is the amount of active calories being burned. I don't know how the watch figures it out, but I'm going with it. My goal is 650 active calories, which is a lot because I'm a big girl. It takes effort for me to burn that many active calories. There are some days, like when I'm at the gym, that I succeed pretty handily. Other days, like yesterday, were much harder and I found myself marching in place in my bathroom at 11:30 trying to get the last 15 calories burned. (I did it!) Today my active calorie total was a smoking hot 1,378 calories and I think 1,200 of them were burned during the hike. So that's awesome. 

How does this all relate to paying for the watch? Well, every time I close my circles, I get 10 points from Vitality. 10 is the maximum number of points you can earn each day. During the month, I have to get 250 points in order to pay nothing for the Apple watch. As you know, there are 31 days in July meaning there are potentially six days that I could slack off and not get the points . Since I have some a couple of trips planned this month, I cannot afford to do much slacking which is why we went for the big hike today. It is possible to get just five points from Vitality, but those little five point workouts don't count toward the 250 points. GAH! So much pressure! And I have to do this for two years?!? 

The upside is that potentially I will lose some weight from all this activity, or at least possibly some inches. As I've said before, you can work out all you want, but if you don't control what you feed yourself, you're not gonna lose the weight. Exercise has lots of great benefits, but weight loss is mostly about what you eat. 

This post turned out to be a little longer than I planned, but you're caught up with what I'm thinking about tonight. 

Happy July everyone!

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