Monthly Archives: October 2010

Nancy – excuses, excuses

My exercise efforts since I last posted have been pathetic. It is true that I was sitting on a train for two days (I walked the length of the train – 100 steps per car – several times to at least get some movement in and I paced the train station between trains). If I had driven or taken a plane I would have been even more sedentary. My other excuse is that I was sick one day after returning from the trip and Sam has been under the weather (nasty flu/cold) and my routine walking home from work was disrupted.  I’m being whiney.

I have started two new routines. Instead of walking up the stairs to my office sometime during the day, I start the day by walking up the stairs. This way it is more likely that I’ll walk the stairs at least twice a day.  Yesterday it was 3 times!  My second change is a funny one. For years I have mentally calculated the shortest distance between where I am and where I want to go and then followed that route. I’ve decided that I will now go a longer route than the shortest one. I may only mean an extra minute of walking every time I go some place (or less if the distance is very short, e.g., from my office to the main Department office) but it should add up.

This is going to sound odd but I’m finding that it is getting hard for me to sit for any length of time. Several years ago I fell off a ladder (about 12 feet) and landed on my butt. This would have been bad enough by itself but I had a metal tape measure (about 2.5″X 2.5″X 1″ or 6.25 X 6.25 X 2.5 cm) clipped to my back pocket of my jeans. The bruises were spectacular and deep.  Now if I sit too long (I’ve stood up twice since I started typing) the pain becomes pretty intense.  While I probably should ask my physician about it the next time I see her, it is getting me to move.

Now for my poor record:

Sunday 16-October: walking (non-aerobic) 1.5 miles – 30 minutes

Monday and Tuesday: nothing (train walking on Monday out of desperation)

Wed – Friday: stairs 5 flights on Wed and Thursday and 10 flights on Friday

Sunday 24-October: StairMaster 30 minutes (aerobic)

Monday 25-October: stairs 15 flights

Tuesday 26-October: stairs 15 flights; walking (aerobic) 40 minutes



Filed under general

Lynn–exercise? when?

Oh, my–another busy week flew by. I’m looking forward to things being quieter this coming week. I had the last visit with the physical therapist last Tuesday and now I’ll need to look to you all to help me stay accountable for continuing the exercises 🙂 They have helped but it’s oh so easy to put off doing them when I don’t have to report in to someone. Part of the problem with exercise is that I overdid it w/ one of the hip strengthening exercises and irritated a muscle in my back, that then begins to hurt and spasm up when I walk more than 10 minutes.

I exercised several days during the week, spent Saturday doing intensive housework, and Sunday was a slug. Here are the details:

Monday, 10/18–chorus after work–no exercise

Tuesday, 10/19–walk 30 minutes, partial PT (some back pain so I stuck to front & side leg raises)

Wednesday, 10/20–work, dinner out, writing group, no exercise

Thursday, 10/21–walk 25 minutes, full pt routine

Friday, 10/22–only walked 10 minutes–cold and raw and my back was a bit achy–however I did stairs more at work and went for a short walk at lunch

Saturday, 10/23–lots of housework, felt like I’d had a good workout by the end of the day but nothing aerobic

Sunday, 10/24–nothing


Filed under general

Claude – waiting for her MRI

I’m looking forward to the time when the word knee won’t appear in my posts, but it’s not likely to happen soon. My MRI is scheduled this coming Friday, and I’m hoping they’ll spot what’s wrong. The following Wednesday, I have an appointment with the doctor who prescribed the MRI and hope that she’ll have useful suggestions. Physical therapy hasn’t helped as far as pain is concerned, and I must say that my other leg is feeling the strain too.
Well, meanwhile, I have added to my strength exercise, and hope it’s doing me good.

Here’s my week from Monday, October 18 to Sunday, October 24th 2010
Monday: 20mn flexibility, 6×15 single leg raises, 5×15 standing up from chair, 4×5 wall pushups, 8mn warming up, 35mn cardio on elliptical
Tuesday: 20mn flexibility, 30mn physical therapy, 10mn warming up, 35mn cardio on elliptical, 6mn stretching, 3×15 lying abduction, 3×15 bridges, 3×15 lying leg curls, seated butterfly stretch
Wednesday: 20mn flexibility, 5×15 crunches, 5×15 reverse crunches, 5×15 ball squishes between knees, 13mn warming up on elliptical, 30mn cardio on elliptical, 6mn stretching, one hour Feldenkrais class, 13200 steps
Thursday: 20mn flexibility, Abs with stability ball (not very efficient in my opinion), 5×60 arms reinforcement, 4×15 standing up from chair – my opinion), 5×60 arms reinforcement
Friday: one-hour gym class, 11mn warming up on Elliptical, 31mn cardio on elliptical, 3x15close arms wall pushups, 3×15 standing up from chair, 20mn physical therapy, 10300 steps
Saturday: 20mn flexibility, 4×8 lying leg curls, 4×15 lying glute contraction, 4×8 bridge-ups, 12mn warming up, 31mn elliptical, 6mn stretching, 10500steps
Sunday: 20mn flexibility, 5×15 crunches, 5×15 reverse crunches, 5×15 lying ball squishing, 20mn PT, 10000 steps


Filed under abs, Arms reinforcement, Elliptical trainer, Feldenkrais class, Stretching, Walking, Warming up

Lynn–another busy week

I think I’m into the season of busy weeks. I’m writing this post on a break at work and don’t have my calendar here with me so I might end up amending something later.

But first, both Claude and Sara wanted to know more about what I do for the leg strengthening physical therapy. Here’s the scoop:

Front thigh muscles–At first I was doing 30 straight leg lifts (lying on my back) with each leg but found that I was hurting my lower back (a risk with straight leg lifts). Now I lie on my back, bend one leg, and lift the other leg, knee straight, just about 6 inches off the floor and hold for a count of ten (making sure to tighten the thigh muscles before lifting my leg). I do 10 reps of that with each leg. Seems to protect my back and is a good workout for the thighs. I’m slowly adding ankle weights (up to a max of 5 pounds).

Inner thigh–on my back, legs bent, squeeze a soft medicine ball or pillow, 30 times.

For hips–Straight leg lifted to the side, either standing (keeping my body straight) or lying on my side (harder), 30 each side, adding ankle weight up to 5 pounds.

Hamstrings (back of thighs)–Straight leg kicked back (standing, keeping body straight) or slightly raised (lying on stomach), 30 each side, adding weight up to 5 pounds.

Buttocks muscles–Either kick back w/ knee bent slightly, 30 each side, or do bridge pose from yoga

General thigh strength–Mini squats as tolerated by my knees–as many as I can do without pain–if I also hold a medicine ball or pillow between my knees I work the inner thigh muscles just above the knee.

Also stand on one leg for at least 1 minute each side, keeping body straight and aligned.

I’ve also added in some yoga type exercises, etc. to work on core, balance, and upper body and want to add in some weights for upper body.

I’m also doing various stretches for hips and thighs and trying to increase range of motion of the right knee–still some pain in the knee when I reach a certain point in bending–probably some meniscus being pinched–but the knee in general is much more flexible.

The good news is that my right knee is feeling better (that was the knee that flared up this summer), although still a bit painful, especially if I try to stop taking painkillers (acetaminophen).

The not so good news is that my left knee is also problematic–at times more painful than my right–and the pain in that knee is most noticeable when I walk up and down hills or get on the elliptical or bike–so it seems like level walking and swimming are my relatively pain free exercise choices at this point.

Monday 10-11–Mowed front and side lawn, full PT routine

Tuesday 10-12–Nothing–after work event

Wednesday 10-13–6 minutes on exercise bike, 20 minutes swimming, full PT

Thursday 10-14–35 minutes walking, partial PT

Friday 10-15–30 minutes walking, full PT

Saturday 10-16–nothing outside of errands, museum visiting etc.

Sunday 10-17–30 minute brisk walk


Filed under general

Sara – new equipment – loving the structure!

Well!  Who would have thought it?  I am turning into a structure freak.  I love this alternation of strength training areas.  It is so much easier to do it if you are targeting one thing at a time.  Sure, Leslie’s DVDs work everything really, but I think I am getting much better results this way.  Also I don’t have to think about what to do each day, I just know, and do it.  HA!

One thing I didn’t mention in the last post – my new froggy shoes!

Vibram Five Fingers shoes! Hobbit-y!

My feet are crossed at the ankles so it looks like I am deformed…but not really!  These keep my toes nice and separated, plus they have a grippy bottom, which is great for doing aerobics on carpet.  They are meant for running with the non-heel strike approach, as well as ordinary uses – back to nature and all that, barefoot without the danger of splinters and glass.  I haven’t used mine outdoors yet but I do love them inside.   I’ve been enjoying toe socks for quite some time, so my feet were ready for these.  Hopefully, there will be no more blisters between my toes from bad toe alignment…

I am getting better at the Pilates abs video that I’ve been doing.  Hm, would you like to see it?  Oh bleah, I am trying to do this embedding thing – am not sure I’ve done it right but here goes anyway…

Oct. 8 – 15, 2010
Fri. 10-8 – 8726 steps (5170 cardio = 42′ = 3 LS/1 legs focus); lying leg abduction 2×16; lying leg adduction 2×8; double leg raises 2×8; grand pliés 5×10
Sat. 10-9 – 11473 steps (6506 cardio = 47′ outdoors walk/run); 12′ Pilates abs video
Sun. 10-10 – 4710 steps (0 cardio)
Mon. 10-11 – 7748 steps (3914 cardio = 40′ = 3 LS/arms, weights); also 45 dig/garden; 5×14 wall pushups
Tues. 10-12 – 10369 steps (4772 cardio = 40′ = 3 LS/1 legs focus); 5×12 lying abduction; 2×10 lying adduction; 2×8 double leg raises; 4×10 grand pliés
Wed. 10-13 – 11484 steps (6440 cardio = 61′ outdoors); 50′ gardening, some digging; 12′ Pilates abs video; 2×5 lying straight leg raises
Thurs. 10-14 – 6674 steps (3812 cardio = 28′ = 2 LS/1 arms focus – used 2 lb. weights for approx. 1/2 of this time)
Fri. 10-15 – 9327 steps (2811 cardio = 2 LS/1 legs focus – squats, lunges x. register as cardio); 1 hr. 30′ of contradancing
Sat. 10-16 – 9585 steps (47′ cardio outside = 3 miles, 1.5 with 10 lb. weighted vest); 12′ Pilates abs video
Sun. 10-17 – 4860 steps (0 aerobic); but 15′ digging, 60′ gardening.  And this was my “rest” day – but gardens wait for no woman…

The real test of all this came this weekend when at last the earth was dry enough to dig.  However, I had decided that I just had to try wearing my new weighted vest for a 1.5 mile walk.  So I did.  Whoof.  Legs and abs and back all said, “hello, Sara!”  And THEN on Sunday I had to dig!  No way around it.  So I did.  I managed to do quite a bit in 1.5 hours; rested;  then made it to mass and played piano without collapsing.  Today I expected to be pretty tired, but actually I’m up early and ready to roll again, since the digging is not quite done.

10 lb. weighted vest!

The calorie burn with this vest is not much more than without it – but I can feel that wearing it is doing good things for my muscles, so I’m looking forward to using it.  I think it’s going to be an abs day thing…since I can really feel the abs kick in to protect my back as it bears the weight.

I have a funny feeling that I’m becoming a Certified Fitness Gadget Nut…

But then I have always been Nutty about one thing or another…

So here’s to nutty fitness and funny froggy shoes!   🙂   Have a great week, all!


Filed under general

Claude – knee fighting back

I can’t say that my knee is getting better. In fact, the only moments when it doesn’t hurt is on the elliptical machine. I can’t walk fast as it is really painful, and slowly is also painful although different. Moan, whine, whimper and the likes 😦
I am really grateful for painkillers and am starting to understand Dr House LOL No, not really. I only take one in the morning, where I used to take 6 a day but I really can’t function if I don’t take it. Both the doctor and the physiotherapist have mentioned arthroscopy as something wrong with the meniscus is suspected. I think they’re trying to get me used to the idea Yuk!
Only the MRI will tell, and that is still a couple of weeks away.
Meanwhile, I do try to reinforce my thigh muscles, whatever you call them. It’ll always be handy, if I have to go through the darn thing.

Have a look at his knees. Just what I couldn’t possibly do these days

Taken last year in Udaipur, India
Week from Monday October 11 to Sunday October 17, 2010
Monday: 20mn flexibility, 13mn warming up, 35mn cardio on elliptical, 3×15 standing up from chair, 6×15 lying single leg raises, 4×15 crunches, 15mn physical therapy, 10200 steps
Tuesday: 20mn flexibility, 11mn warming up, 36mn cardio on elliptical, 3×15 standing up from chair, 5x20reps arms reinforcement, 20mn physical therapy, 11500 steps
Wednesday: 20mn flexibility, 4×15 standing up from chair, 4×15 wall pushups, 30mn physical therapy, 14mn warming up elliptical, 26mn cardio on elliptical, 11600 steps, 5mn stretching
Thursday: 20mn flexibility, 4×15 reps sitting up from chair, 5×15 reps squishing ball with knees, 20mn physical therapy, 10mn warming up ellipticals, 30mn cardio elliptical, 10500 steps
Friday: 20mn flexibility, 5×15 squishing ball with legs, 4×15 lying raising legs, 4×15 standing up from chair, 10mn warming up elliptical, 30mn cardio elliptical, 20mn physical therapy, 15200 steps
Saturday: 20mn flexibility, 5×15 squishing ball with legs, 6×15 lying raising legs, 5×15 standing up from chair, 5×15 wall pushups, 5×15 crunches, 4×15 reverse crunch, 13mn cardio warmup, 30mn cardio on elliptical, 12300 steps
Sunday: 20mn flexibility, 20mn physical therapy, 10,200 steps


Filed under Arms reinforcement, Elliptical trainer, Pedometer, Stretching, Walking

Nancy – Walking up stairs

I may try Sara’s tactic of greater structure to deal with my busy weeks. It was nice during the summer to decide each day what I would do but with so many competing demands it is too easy to forget setting aside the time to exercise.  About the only thing I managed to do consistently is walking up and down the stairs. The only stairs that I’m recording are the ones I walk in my building but I also walk up the stairs in the parking deck (2 flights) any day that I don’t walk home. Last week started my longer walks (3 miles rather than 2.5) home because it is to dark to walk the bike path now that the sun has gone down by the time I leave work. Here’s my efforts this last week.

Wednesday (6-Oct): Aerobic walking 3 miles (50 minutes); 5 flights

Thursday (7-Oct): 5 flights of stairs (very busy day)

Friday (8-Oct): 5 flights of stairs (social event immediately after work)

Saturday (9-Oct): 1.5 miles (25 minutes); This walk is part of my new resolution to walk rather than drive when ever possible. A group of us got together to hold signs for the political candidates we support at a busy intersection as people were coming into town for the Penn State football game.  My gosh this was interesting to watch.  I’ve lived in State College for 12 years and have never been to one of the football games. I did watch one on television. I couldn’t believe all the traffic and how willing people are to crawl along in order to watch a football game.  Can you tell I’m not a fan of football?

Sunday (10-Oct): Beautiful day but a lazy one

Monday (11-Oct): 5 flights of stairs

Tuesday (12-Oct): 5 flights of stairs

Wednesday (13-Oct): aerobic walking 3 miles (50 minutes); 5 flights of stairs

Thursday (14-Oct): aerobic walking 3 miles (50 minutes); 5 flights of stairs: over 12000 steps!

This week may not be good for exercise as I’m taking the train (7 1/2 hours) on Saturday to Rhode Island to talk to beekeepers on Sunday and then I’ll take the train home on Monday.  I’m planning on using my suitcase with wheels so I can walk at the train station in New York while waiting for my connecting train.


Filed under Aerobic pace walking