Elliptical Reasoning

Beltane                                                                         Rushing Waters Moon

landiceI put myself in a corner with my workouts. In an effort to get to 10,000 steps a day I began to place more and more emphasis on cardio, increasing my time on the treadmill and on the elliptical for high intensity. Problem. I got too tired to do my resistance work. I prioritize cardio since a heart attack or stroke is a real risk for a white male in his 70’s and cardio can help lower the risk. Even so, balance and a certain amount of functional muscle strength is important to daily life so I don’t want to ignore those either.

Full recovery from the total knee replacement also requires resistance work, strengthening muscles that support the knee as it works. The good news is that the increased cardio does strengthen the quads, very important for the knee, but moving always in that straight line way does little for the abductors and adductors which stabilize the knee. What to do?

anatomy-of-the-knee-joint-33-638Hire a personal trainer. I went to a small fitness center situated next to Select Physical Therapy where I did my post-op p.t. Both are in store front settings in a small mall with a raised boardwalk and other businesses like a hairdresser and Altitude Martial Arts.

I met with Debbie yesterday for about an hour and a half. She’s good. She listened to what I’ve done in the past, what I’m doing now. She took my blood pressure and reviewed my medical history. After that we did some warm up and a few exercises, some new to me, some the ones I’ve carried over from the end of physical therapy.

staunton state park: elk falls
staunton state park: elk falls

Though she’s developing a complete body workout for me that I’ll learn on Thursday, she made two suggestions yesterday that I think will prove important over time. First, she noted that I had little in my routine to work the abductors and adductors. Exercising them will require working in different planes of motion than straight ahead. Second, hike outside. This one, while obvious to someone in the mountains, was important to me because I’ve allowed inertia to keep me at home. I needed a push to get out, to hike regularly and she gave it to me. Already worth the price of admission.

 

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