Getting Some Exercise

So I have now added some exercise to my day. My goal is to do at least 30 minutes a day. I have trouble walking or running without pain, and, I can’t get to the gym every day because it is a 40-minute drive. So, I am using a piece of home gym equipment called the life-rider.

I think several version of this thing has come out over the years. It first appeared in the late ’90s. I first heard of it after I read a book written in 1996 by Covert Baily called, Smart Exercise. I remember the late-night infomercials of the SportRider, and how Bailey emphasized that low impact working of large groups of muscles in the body at once was key. Of course, back then, I was running and didn’t feel I needed a low impact exerciser. Plus, I didn’t have the money to buy the thing.

Now is a different matter. I’m much older and everything hurts. I can’t even ride my bicycle at this point, though that’s mostly because I really don’t have a safe place to ride. However, I need to exercise more than ever.

I have started using Life Rider by HealthRider. It’s the same machine from the ’90s. I acquired it from a friend a few years ago who said his mom had one in the garage that no one was using. He gave it to me. I later found out that she was upset about him giving it away. I really should send her some money for it. She let me keep it even though she was upset, and I was grateful.

It really is a good exerciser. It gets the heart rate up. It works a lot of large muscles in the body at once, just as advertised. It works you hard. It is not easy to keep it up for 30 minutes. Maybe when I am strong enough to do it without stopping I will be more willing to take my bicycle out. For now, however, this will do.

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To The Gym Today

So, I went to the gym today for the first time since 2015 I think. I didn’t do much; some chest exercise, shoulder, and back. Then I did 20 minutes on the elliptical machine.

too_muchIt was weird watching all of the younger guys in the gym. Many of them were using too much weight as indicated by their horrible form. I remembered myself at their ages working out the same way. Eventually, I hurt my back, shoulders, and irritated what doctors call degenerative disc disease.

Today, I was careful about only using enough weight to stimulate my muscles. I only used the machines; no free weights. I did not want to come out of there with any un-natural pains. I only wanted to do what my doctor wanted me to do. Get a little exercise.

Woman Doctor cartoonMy new doctor is a little intense. She scares me a little even. Every time I see her, I get the impression that I am just a little closer to my own demise. She is very driven to make me healthier. I guess I should be grateful, but, like I said, she scares me a little bit.

So, I don’t know if going to the gym is a thing for me yet. I am almost always in some sort of pain. Making it an everyday thing, or a 3 day a week thing would be difficult for me. I want to. I just don’t know if I can. I may be able to do some walking, but even that can be difficult at times. Then again, some walking or other exercises may be what I need.

Missing Youth

I read a great post the other day on Heart To Follow.  The post was called, Acceptance (aka It’s Better To Humour Yourself Than To Have Someone Else Do It For You). It was about accepting yourself and not worrying about what others think about you. She had come to the realization that she was not ugly, and that she looks good. I agree with her.

I used to think I was ugly when I was young. Then when I was older, like Sam, I realized that I was not ugly and that I looked good. Now I’m even older and I know for a fact that I am quite ugly, but I don’t care. These days I mostly care about being healthy.

I still care about the way I look. And I know that I’m not that ugly, but youth had its perks. Every time I go to one of my daughter’s ballgames I long to be able to run without pain. Though, no matter how healthy I am, I will not be able to run without pain ever again. Youth. I took it for granted when I had it; just like my son and daughter do now. I never doubted I would be able to run for as long or as fast as I wanted, ever. However, at 54, and have degenerative disc disease, running is not an option. I can’t even do many of the exercises in the gym that I used to do.

Youth is powerful. So, if you still have it, enjoy it. I never ate healthy when I was young. I developed some not so healthy habits in that area. I drank too much alcohol and I only exercised enough to keep my job in the Navy. Youth is the only way I could do that. Now I couldn’t pass a physical fitness test if my life depended on it. Ironically it sort of does.

I do get as much exercise as my body will allow; mostly walking. I also do some exercises that only require my body weight. I do what I can do. The weird thing is that on the inside I still feel young. On the outside, there is just pain. As I have stated before, aging is not for cowards.

So for sure I truly hope for that new body that the apostle Paul was talking about. I long for youth again.

Increasing Pain

A few mornings ago, just before waking up, I found myself in sleep, praying for death because of the pain in my lower back. I have only prayed for death one other time, which I will not tell about.

In the last couple of weeks, I have been experiencing a lot of pain in my back. It hurts worst in the morning when I first wake up. It hurts throughout the night which is why I don’t get much sleep because I’m constantly waking up and changing positions. But then at some point, I get so tired that I do actually fall into a deeper sleep and don’t move for a long while. That’s what causes the most pain.

I have had a Tempur-pedic mattress which did not help much. I now have a Sleep number bed, and it is no more help. I’m not saying that these are not good products. I’m saying my condition has become more than a good bed can help.

I don’t know what else I can do. Pain meds don’t seem to help, so I don’t them very much. Needless to say, again, pain has slowed my efforts in the gym. However, at least this time I am eating better. I can also still walk without much difficulty.

 

20 Weeks In

Working out in the gym

I have been working out in the gym for over a week. It has been 6 weeks since my neck surgery. It feels pretty good. I haven’t had any real issues with pain.

I am trying to work as many large groups of muscle at the same time as possible. I want to stimulate as much muscle growth and fat burning as possible. I was fat in my early 20’s, and when I started lifting weights seriously the fat just seemed to melt away quickly. Hopefully, it will work pretty much the same way in my 50’s.

In my 50’s however, the exercises are way more difficult than they were in my 20’s and 30’s. I like working out. It’s just harder now. And everything seems to be happening so slowly.

Every time I see myself in a pic or in a video it’s hard not to be discouraged. On my body, 30 lbs of weight loss are not visible. Right now only my determination and a certain amount of anger keep me going.

Current Workout Schedule

Monday: Legs
Tuesday: Chest
Wednesday: Back
Thursday: Shoulders
Friday: More legs (different tactics)

The Gym

Body_Coach_Dumbbell_set_10_kgI have been feeling really good for several weeks now. I have been thinking of going back to the gym, or maybe some exercise besides walking, that does not require weights.

I learned my lesson  a few years ago. I really am aging. I won’t over do things again. I know what to do, and I’ll do it correctly this time. Besides, I still have all the pains I’ve been complaining about for the past couple of years. Some of them I created the last time I went to a gym.

I am confident I can work out without furthering any previous injuries. I just want to take advantage of how well I’ve been feeling lately.

Until I do I will continue walking.

Dealing With My Pain Issues

I went to the gym today. I did things I probably should not have been doing. I did bench press and military press, and a few other things. I couldn’t resist. I don’t want all this work I’ve done since summer to go to waste. I have worked hard and I don’t want to quit. After doing a light workout with the weights I did my usual 45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine.

I am in physical therapy for my shoulder pain. The pain had steadily increased since the summer. Finally it got to the point I had to see a doctor about it. Of course they start with x-rays, physical therapy, and if that doesn’t work, maybe shot of something that will relieve the pain. Finally, if none of that works, perhaps an MRI, then surgery to repair whatever is causing the pain.

While in the navy I don’t remember ever having a shoulder pain. It was always my back. And I don’t remember ever hurting my shoulders. They just started to hurt one day, before I ever went to the gym, and continued to get worse.

My hope is that they can be strengthened through PT, and no surgery will be required. I was really on a roll getting in shape. I would like to see it through to completion.

No Go on the Full Body Workout

Well I did my best, but I can’t handle the workout schedule I tried to keep this past week. I am sore in ways that don’t feel like they will heel, even over the weekend.

First of all I think it takes too long in the gym. It take a lot of energy. The second time you do it in a weeks time is very painful, even though you’re doing different exercises. For me this pain was a motivation killer.

The system I was using was working. Maybe slower than I would like, but, it is working. So I will be going back to my normal routine next week.

Trying To Stay Healthy

I was back to the gym today after missing three days last week. It was rough, but I actually got some good work done in my short chest workout. I just couldn’t seem to muster the energy last week. I had some minor cold symptoms which kept me inactive pretty much throughout the weekend. Fortunately it wasn’t the flu or anything. I haven’t had any problems continuing my 45 minute cardio workout everyday. I seem to be in pretty good shape, despite various pains in my body.

Trying to stay healthy can be a little difficult. It’s more than going to the gym, eating right, and doing your cardio. Germs are everywhere, so I’m alway washing my hands.  Especially in the gym where there are so many people, and since I got a new cat.

I haven’t had a pet in probably 20+ years. I found her at an Arby’s parking lot. She was about 4 weeks old. I don’t know if someone dumped her there, or she was born somewhere nearby. I didn’t hear any other kittens. I heard Ricki Kitty crying underneath one of the decorative shrubs around the building. She was alone. Anyway, I don’t know if I have any cat allergies. I don’t think I do. And I know that Ricki Kitty isn’t sick. She has been thoroughly checked out.

Other than that I’m not around that many little kids who are usually exposed to all sorts of germs in school.  In the gym there are sanitary wipes to wipe the equipment before and after use if you like; And most everyone uses them.

I have been very vigilant because it almost never fails that when I start working out something happens to stop the activity in its tracks. Sometimes I hurt my self, or, one of my many painful areas flair up. Or, maybe I’ll get sick for a couple of weeks with a cold or something and afterward it just becomes very hard to get yourself started again.

As I said before my immediate goal is to complete a year of work in the gym. Not that I am going to stop after that, but in a year’s time I should make some great progress. I look forward to showing those before and after photos, and of witnessing my own success. After a year I will, of course, continue to stay in shape. This is a life style change for me.

I am now in week 17 and I have lost 17 pounds. In general I am feeling better but my doctor tells me that my insulin levels are high. I’m not sure what to do about that. I do not want diabetes. My cholesterol levels have come down to nearly normal and my blood pressure is normal. So far I am healthy overall for the most part. I intend to make it better and keep it that way.

16 Weeks

15 weeksWell I am in the 16th week of weight training. I work on a specific body part per day, 5 days a week in the gym, lifting weights. I also do 45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine  on each of those days.

I am still quite fat. I have lost about 11 pounds. Weight keeps fluctuating. I suspect it is because I don’t always eat right. I still consume too much sodium and fats.  I am working as hard as I can to change this. Sometimes I simply can’t afford to get the right stuff. And sometimes, I JUST DON’T EAT RIGHT!

I am slimmer around the waist but, it will be some time before the hanging belly disappears.

Well, I am off to the gym. It is BACK day. Yippy!