Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Things are starting to look up!

Yes they are at last starting to look up. Last week I started a 6 week one day a week 'knee class' generously provided by the NHS, this class is basic but is helping me to get strength back in my leg(s). As I said It's basic in that it's simply circuit training through 10 different exercises and it all starts with a quick warm up on a stationary bike then it's 2 minutes on each exercise and the only rest is the time it takes to move to your next bit of equipment.

Some of the exercises are harder than others such as the leg press, leg extensions, leg curls, standing calf raises, lunges and the easer exercises; the 'bridge', rowing machine, balance board and the sit to stand exercise however the one that I find the mother of all badass exercises is standing on one leg, my affected leg with leg slightly bent at the knee for two minutes. This exercise kills me it really does - trying to balance on my bad leg isn't too bad but bending at my knee so that my knee is over my big toe has my leg shaking within 20 seconds with my quad and hip muscles screaming in agony but the result of this session was sore muscles over the next couple of days and I've not had that nice 'soreness' for absolute yonks, it's great to know I'm hitting all those muscles that have been taking it easy for the last few months.

This week was my 2nd session and I found it just as hard but I discovered very quickly that these sessions are greatly benefiting me and well worthwhile; I'm walking better and my legs don't have that 'heavy' feeling any more and I'm only 2 weeks in! The sessions have also benefited me in that I've learnt that just 2 minutes each of the right exercises done correctly can reap rewards very quickly and free-standing exercises like the lunge, calf raises and balancing on one leg knees bent can be done anywhere but better in privacy as I would imagine you'd get funny looks performing them at the station...

My arm is also improving, although I'm not receiving any physio for my arm I have used my brains and started on my own set of exercises - behind the neck triceps extensions with light weights, my version of bent over rowing, upright overhead press and 100 press ups, not the full blown on the floor press ups but a rather easier version using a table so my body is at a 45' angle. In time I will progress to the normal version and perhaps step up a level to the bench press - gotta make use of my Fitness First card at some time!

Lastly I've been on my turbo 4 or 5 times a week and have seen improvements in my average speed and heart rate per session. With my arm getting stronger, today was a real turning point - for the first time since my fall I could use my good arm to drink from my water bottle using my bad arm to hold my weight through the bars, before this time my bad arm would not hold my weight for more than a couple of seconds so with everything finally heading in the right direction I'm a happy chappie and really looking forward to getting out on the road when the sun's out...

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