Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Case of the Clumsy Leg...

Okay time to plunge in to this health blog. :)
My exercise has been limited lately by a healing leg. It feels/felt like a strained ligament or something, and I know it was from The Clumsy Lovers show a few weeks ago, where dancing is a lot of jumping and fast moves and excitement. All in all it was definitely worth it, but when I felt that strange pop in my leg I probably should've given it a rest. Nope, kept dancing on it. Then I felt it again, and kept dancing on it. So yes it was quite sore for a few days.

But then I kept re-injuring it (on accident, mostly by slipping on slick floor or a muddy hill) and so last week when I went to the Rec (short for Student Recreation Center) on Tuesday I knew I needed to take it easy. My leg at that point was finally almost back to normal.

I settled on a stationary bike for about 35 minutes, keeping the resistance fairly low. Then I walked home which is almost exactly a mile from the Rec. My leg started hurting that evening and is still just recovering. So it's been hard to motivate myself to work out. I've done a little bit of calisthenics at home, but need to make time for more of that. Two midterms, one long online quiz, and a handful of assignments have been piling up this week and definitely take priority over exercise, but now I only have one midterm (tomorrow night) and a couple assignments left to work on.

I just looked up the distance to where I and it's almost a mile also. Maybe today I'll bundle up a little extra and walk to work. There's a nice huge hill to walk up to get there, but that means downhill and flat most of the way home! I need to start using less gas anyway. And the sun is out, so it's a majestical winter's day out there.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Yoga Tuesday

Since I have to leave work a little early to make my 5:30 Yoga class (about 25 minutes from where I work), I didn't do a lunchtime walk today.

Yoga class is usually not aerobic (this semester -- last term I was in a "vinyasa" or "flow" class that had me puffing and sweating dripping!).  Today we did the usual Surya Namaskar ("Sun Salutation") warmups, along with some spine-flexing using ropes attached to the wall and an inversion.  Most people do handstands against the wall, but because of my wrist injury I do a version on my forearms.

Then we worked for quite a while on Parsvotanasan ("Pyramid Pose"). [Like this picture, except I only got my back as low as parallel to the floor.]  Despite the non-classical result, I actually got a compliment from my Yoga teacher, who said my pose was "powerful and relaxed".  Well, maybe... I did get a better thigh-bone position than ever before in the pose.

The session always ends with a cool-down, usually legs-up-the-wall (lying on our backs) followed by Savasana ("Corpse Pose") for deep relaxation.  To me, Savasana is like dessert after the meal!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Contrary to My Expectations

My lunchtime walk today was on the same course as Friday -- I took the elevator down to the ground floor (seven stories), then walked to Dairy Rd. and back, then back up in the elevator to the office.  The weather was somewhat more polite, with sun in spots, but there was quite a breeze blowing.

Friday's mystery of the time difference between outbound and inbound is solved -- I hadn't really noticed it, but the route out is mostly a gentle uphill, and (contrary to my expectations) NOT uphill going the other way.  Today I had a tailwind going uphill, and a headwind on the way back.  Still doing 120 steps per minute.  Out: 12:11;  In: 12:44.  As time goes on, I'd like to pick up the pace a little and walk about a half-mile further, to the corner of Grimes Way and Airport Road.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Workout at the Grade School Gym

Today is Saturday, so the lunch-time walk routine is off, but I was encouraged by my wife to volunteer at Bountiful Baskets at noontime.  BB is a kind of produce shopping cooperative.  People register (and pay for) weekly shares online.  Then produce is delivered by truck in boxes, and volunteers portion out the "shares" into plastic laundry baskets.  My first task was to take boxes of 115 apples and put four apples in each of 85 baskets.  The site is an elementary school gym, and I certainly got a good gym-style sweat going as I toted and shoved boxes, bent and stooped or crawled on the floor along the rows of bakets, transfered produce from baskets to boxes, then carried full boxes out of the gym to the line of waiting share-purchasers.

Frankly, that's the kind of exercise I like best -- work with a tangible benefit.

Friday, February 22, 2013

OK, Mister, Start Walking

Yesterday the nutritionist I was sent to see advised me that most of the medical threats hanging over me could be mitigated by the simple expedient of walking every day. Though at most times in my life I have found exercise for its own sake a grind, and I hate gyms with a passion (as late-growth boys are likely to do, even after they become men), I figure I could take a lunchtime walk every day without triggering dire psychological trauma.

So today at lunchtime I looked out the window. It was snowing pretty definitely, but the snow wasn't "sticking" -- the sidewalks were wet, not white. Gotta start sometime.  I walked from Smith Center (where my building is) to Dairy Rd (a distance of 0.7 miles, says Google Maps), and back again. I started out at a brisk pace, thinking "this IS for exercise, after all", but before I got to Dairy Rd, I was clearly running short of oxygenation, so I slowed down to a moderate but purposeful pace (120 steps per minute, definitely not a stroll). Time from the parking lot to Dairy Rd: 13:00 even.

I kept the pace slower coming back. Time from Dairy Rd to the parking lot: 11:55. [Don't ask me!]

So that's one day.