people, rocks, sourland mountain

  • Aperture—ƒ/4
  • Credit—Khürt L. Williams
  • Camera—NIKON D5100
  • Taken—14 April, 2017
  • Focal length—24mm
  • ISO—100
  • Shutter speed—1/800s
Ben Brooks recently wrote about his new form of exercise that combines a backpack and hiking.

Rucking is a military thing, but the civilian form is detailed well by GORUCK here. And while I’ve never done a challenge, nor do I have much interest in them, this seemed like a great way to work out. I can be outside, in nature getting fresh air, the walk to the area is short, and I get to wear awesome backpacks. Basically, this was tailored to me.

Interesting that the top two definitions of rucking that I found with a Google search are the ones on GORUCK. I did not find a dictionary definition that includes the use of the words exercise or training. However I found a link on military.com that added a little more context.

For many, the term “ruck” is a new word. Defining RUCK is difficult to someone who has never moved out with 50+ lbs in a backpack for many, many miles. The definition can be as simple as walking around with a backpack on a hike or as difficult as moving fast with all your military gear, loaded for bear, over rugged terrain, infiltrating to your objective. But the terms ruck, hump, or forced march, all really mean getting your gear from A to B in a backpack.

My first impulse after reading this, is that this form of exercise most likely appeals to mostly male real men type civilians. I know I am stereo-typing, but according to this Men’s Health magazine article “rucking” is an excellent form of exercise for “guys”.

For the average guy, a 30-minute walk burns about 125 calories, according to the Compendium of Physical Activities. But throw a weighted backpack on and take that exact same walk, and you burn about 325 calories, also according to the Compendium of Physical Activities. Just wearing a backpack with some weight in it makes walking incinerate nearly three times the calories! Think about that. Let’s assume you take three, 30-minute walks each week. If you begin wearing a weighted pack, you’ll burn 31,200 more calories over the course of a year. That’s the amount of calories contained in nine pounds of fat.

I love hiking. Perhaps the next time hike the Sourland Mountain, I’ll be carrying a weighted backpack. Should be easy to do once I load it up with water and diabetes supplies.

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I went into my appointment with my endocrinologist with a defeated look. I had downloaded and charted the data from my Accu-Check Aviva and I didn’t like what I saw. I gained another pound and my BG readings are all over the map.

The diabetes monster is beating me. He has escaped his cage, has clawed and chewed his way into my life in a way that makes me feel like the battle is lost. The monster’s fangs are huge and his attacks brutal.

How do I defend myself? What do I do to push the push the monster back into the cage? Where do I start?

I know I must do these things:

  • Exercise
  • Eat lower carb

Exercise

I get up at 6 6AM so that I can get ready, eat breakfast, and be out the door to work by 7:30AM. I’m not willing to sacrifice sleep to exercise in the morning. But getting exercise is a challenge for me. I live in the North Eastern USA. Summers are hot (above 27ºC) and humid (over 80%) and winters are cold (-4ºC) and humid (snow, freezing rain). I especially hate winter. Last winter, I think it snowed everyday. I had very severe seasonal affective disorder. I found the weather depressing. I am not willing to exercise when the temperatures are in the extreme.

Exercising at lunch time is doable, if I drive (about 10 minutes) away and find somewhere safer than the area where I work. I stopped walking around outside last year after a gang shooting occurred a few blocks from where I was walking. Bullets are not conducive to health. But driving to somewhere safer means sacrificing lunch time. I hate gobbling my food. If I am only allowed a limited number of meals in limited amounts I want to savour the experience.

I could exercise after work. In the summer I have daylight after I get home (around 5:30PM). In the winter, I am lucky if I see sunlight when leaving the office. On winter mornings, I don’t see sunlight until after I get to the office.

Low Carb Diet

I am not sure what a low-carb diet means in an absolute sense but I know what it means for me. It means eating less than 120 grams of carbohydrates per day. But how much less? 100 grams per day? 90 grams per day? Even less?

I am considering going on a diet of Soylent. I have a package of Soylent in the basement1 and I think I could cut my caloric and carb intake by eating half the recommended daily serving. That’s about 1000 calories per day and 114g of carbohydrate per day. Hmm … that doesnt’ seem low-carb.

Perhaps I could ingest 1/4 of the Soylent serving per day. Can I be healthy on 500 calories per day?

The monsters roar is deafening and I can barely hear myself think. How do I avoid being eaten alive?


  1. I had pre-ordered and then cancelled for a full refund, but the vendor still delivered the product. It was too much hassle for them to have me return the package so I got to keep it.