Friday, November 12, 2010

Fitness Friday & a Freebie


Hoping to make this a regular feature of my blog, but so I don't bore you all to tears, I'll try to include tips that are relevant for everyone when I can!


Yes, I totally lifted that title from Cathy Zielski.  But hey, it's too good not to use!  My good news for today is the scale is back at 178.5 which means I dropped that nasty little 1/2 pound I had gained last week.  After a week of very healthy meal choices and staying below my calorie goal, it also means that my body has once again reached it's former "happy weight" and I will struggle to lose from here out.  That's okay! I knew this was coming. I will do my best to make sure the numbers don't siderail me into unnecessary depression.

Even better news - where it really matters to me, my waist is down 1.5" from 3 weeks ago and my abdomen is down 2".  Since I tend toward the typical "apple" shape (carrying most of my excess weight around my middle) these numbers THRILL me! Weight around the middle is the unhealthiest of all excess weight to carry and is linked with increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer. So anything I can do to lessen that risk is great by me!


On the exercise front - I am now treating at Physical Therapy for both my knees and my back.  I've developed some trigger points in my right upper hip and right lower leg. I'm getting a lot of education about how the muscles, tendons, and joints of the body work together and the likely causes for the current pain issues. 

With my knees, the chondromalacia (also known as patella femoral syndrome or runner's knee) is a direct result of the disintegration of the cartilage under the knee cap - that's aging and you can't change that part.  But it can all be exacerbated by 1) overpronation - which I do and is easily treated with orthotic inserts and 2) weak quadriceps muscles combined with tightness in the hamstrings and iliotibial band - guilty on all fronts.  So my exercise therapy is designed to strengthen my quads and stretch out the hamstrings and ITB.

With my back, I apparently have a weak/tight gluteus medius muscle (upper hip) as well as a nasty knot in the soleus and/or peroneus longus muscles which sometimes feels like shin pain.  Again - stretches and strengthening.

In the meantime, I am cleared for limited use of the stationary bike and treadmill at the gym, as well as upper body strength training. I remain banned from the elliptical machine, walking hills, and Zumba class. In fact, I've now been informed that Zumba may never be a good exercise for me. Can you say BUMMER????

So here is my plea to all of you who are currently fit and not having body issues... stretch! Every day!  Don't end up like me. It is really important to undo the stresses we put on our muscles on a daily basis with a nice stretching program.  Information abounds with a simple Google search and most stretches can be done for free, with no special equipment, no gym membership, in the comfort and privacy of your own home  (unless you are Amy and currently "Living In It" in which case privacy is a rare and treasured commodity).

Okay off my soapbox! I still have my lovely cold and if DD1 is any measure, looks like this is one that gets a little better then comes back - repeatedly. Yay.

You're still here? Oh cool! Thanks for hanging with me... if you are still here, I assume you are waiting for this...

I've been working on calendars for Christmas gifts and as part of the process, I created this little bit of word art.  Then it occurred to me that I could share!  So I saved it in a .png file with a transparent background.

Those of you who use Photoshop already know what to do with it.  If you're not a digi scrapper, you can still just print this out on a piece of cardstock and use it as a paper element - but I'm not real sure on how that works.  The art is roughly 6" wide by about 2.5" tall, but can also be resized.  If you want to use it, download it HERE. (Choose "regular" download and type in the security words and then choose "save" to add the file to your own hard drive.) Ignore all the crap about long downloads, etc. - it took like two seconds when I tested it.

And if you do find a use for it, I'd love to see what you do with it! :)


Melissa said...

Thanks so much for the word art! I'm so excited that you'll be doing a Fitness Friday posts. Congrats on the scale getting back down! I totally agree about the stretching - I have lots of stretches intertwined in my strength training routine and am trying to get in the habit of stretching after I ride the exercise bike. Thanks for the reminder/lecture! :>)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the download! You're doing great, but I'm sorry for the added work at physical therapy. My favorite class at our gym was Essential Stretch, but the weekday class got canceled for lack of participants. I need to get my own program up and running.

Sian said...

You are doing so well Cheri - those inches off the waist are fantastic news :) Keep going because we are all right behind you!

Amy said...

Well done Cheri! I am super impressed with those diminishing numbers :-)
I think finding a way to work with injury is so difficult - I usually like to attack things full steam ahead - not always the wisest of ideas! I have been stretching in the past few days, even went out for a walk today.

The word art is lovely - I'm going to download it tomorrow as I'm just about to head off to bed now ... if I download it now, I will feel obliged to play and I need an early night ;-) Thankyou for sharing.

alexa said...

Thanks for that lovely piece of word art :). Glad to hear that your stretching programme is going well and thank-you for the reminder!

Cheryl said...

Well done Cheri for the weight loss. I too find it hard to do exercise, and am seeing my MS physio on the 1st I know she will give me stretching to do x