Monday, August 18, 2014

Some Pumping

Will I ever get started? Well and truly started? I can only say I'm taking baby steps.

A week ago I went to my physical therapist's office again. I did about an hour and twenty minutes of knee, hip, and aerobic exercise. I do get sweaty when I do these things. All legs, though. The primary goal for me at this time is to get my knees straight. They still have a bend in them, just a matter of a few degrees, but it is enough to keep me from going on long walks. My knees don't get any relief from tension, which they would if they got to straighten out with every step.

The dog bites had kept me from the PT work for several weeks, and even now I have to pad the areas of the larger bites because they rub against the equipment and it hurts.

Tuesday, referral in hand, I started work on my right arm. Turns out I have rotator cuff damage, along with elbow joint damage. Chuck, the physical therapist, said that rotator cuff tendon tears are the most common tendon tears. He said if there are 1000 people with tendon tears, 950 of them would be rotator cuff. This because the tendons get squished between two bones. Easy to tear, especially if one is an athlete or is just getting old.

Thus I am now lifting weights, working on the "arm bike", doing rows on a machine, in addition to the work on my legs. I'm actually pumping iron. The weights are low because these are small muscles, easily damaged. Chuck says this is not a time to "push through the pain". That just makes things worse.  I am working in the neighborhood of two to four pounds for these exercises, three sets of 12 for almost everything. As I get more used to everything I will be able to explain what I am doing better. For now, suffice to show a picture of one of the machines I use:
This baby is called a "functional trainer". You can see that there are a lot of options available. There is a similar machine at the gym I attend, so I may be translating some of this pumping to the gym eventually. On this machine I do four exercises, including the familiar curls. In addition, I use a row machine (seated, chest pressed against a padded block) and free weights. To warm up I sit with a moist heat pad, then use an "arm bike", aka hand bike. This beauty looks like this:
I think this will be nice for more than the rotator cuff. It will make my arms stronger.

As for the food...I am still making Vegan Menu dishes for dinner, half of each recipe. But I'm eating way too much the rest of the day. I'm thinking about how to deal with this. I may just list every little thing I eat right here. That might hold me back a wee bit.

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