Jogging vs. weightlifting: Fight!

Last year I did the ol’ diet switcheroo, dumping fast food and junk food in favor of lean meat, veggies and low-fat snacks. The chief aim was to reduce my slightly-elevated blood sugar so I was no longer pre-diabetic. The diet has had side benefits, chiefly in terms of reducing me from a porky 187.5 pounds to a more svelte 150ish pounds. I then decided that the next step was to exercise more so that my skinny muscles would become toned and I’d have more energy and all that.

After mulling some choices, I settled on dumbbell exercises for a few reasons:

1. A set of dumbbells is fairly cheap.
2. I can work with them at home — no need for trips to a gym.

It turned out I pretty much also needed:

3. An exercise bench.

I never really committed to the exercises much despite getting the dumbbells and bench. Initial motivation in any new activity, especially one that requires, you know, actual physical exertion (and isn’t sex) is difficult to manage. But eventually I laid out a routine based on a book I had purchased and that’s when I discovered the bench I bought is too short and cannot be lowered quite enough for someone of my height. Crap. While I have found another bench that might work, it got me thinking that maybe I ought to consider other forms of exercise.

I have my bike and will probably ride it a few times a week. While not as good an exercise as some, it has the benefit of not being too hard on the joints. There is swimming but my lessons in January convinced me it will be a good while before I am comfortable enough in the water to consider swimming as an exercise instead of “not drowning”. And then there is jogging.

I was a decent runner back in junior and senior high. I was also about 16 years old. I’m now at the “consult your doctor before exercising” age and face the prospect of injuring myself if I don’t do things right. But I have been investigating running — looking at programs that ease you into it, scouting jogging trails (to avoid the pain of running on pavement or concrete) and looking into getting fitted for a good pair of running shoes. I even bought the current issue of Runner’s World and not just because the model on the cover is smoking hot (that was only 50% of the reason at best). So I think I may try this jogging thing out and see if my knees suffer a thousand agonies or if it goes a bit better than that. More to come!

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