As part of the recovery process, I’m beginning to cobble together a bit of a “rehab” routine. It’s a three day cycle repeated twice with a rest day at the end (and in the middle too if necessary). Yesterday’s routine included a session at the gym, today’s routine involved training with a Spinervals DVD in the Rehab Cave (aka garage) and tomorrow’s session will be done at the pool. The pool session seemed to benefit my Dad, who reported svelte looking legs today – i.e. no oedema, and he’s keen to go again tomorrow. I will use the notion of helping my Dad as leverage for myself to get in there and give it another go.
I know it sounds as if I think swimming is a total misery – I actually enjoy it once I’m in the water, but truth be told, there are some forms of exercise I enjoy more than others.
Take strength training for example – it’s a form of exercise I find extremely challenging, and Alison, my physio, suggested that I invoke the “strength training first” rule to make the most of my rehab as I’d quite happily putter off on the cross trainer, treadmill or exercise bike as I love the endorphin rush cardiovascular exercise gives me.
Yet I know, both professionally and personally, that strength training is an essential once you start hitting your forties (and especially in the pre menopause years – that would be me). As my friend Sarah was saying today, think of your metabolism and your bones! Improved metabolic state and better bone density are just two reasons to pick up the weights. Not to mention that muscles look good.
However, over the past three or four years, I’ve become lazy in the strength training department. When the sun’s out and there’s a bike to ride, the thought of the gym hasn’t been that appealing. However, now that I’m the rehab chick, there is no backing out.
I’ve mainly been doing upper body work and I must admit to being very surprised at how rapidly gains in strength are coming back. I have really had to discipline myself not to leave the training halfway through and finish up – but with me doing my cardiovascular exercise last in the scheme of things, I’ve managed to do six whole training sessions. I roll over in bed every few mornings wracked with DOMs and wonder why I’m not massive yet (lol).
However, I’m going to persist with it. I can’t believe I did bodybuilding all those years ago. That was at a time of my life where I have to admit I wanted a look and was prepared to do a ton of strength training to get there. Whilst I love the muscular look and I love how a strong body functions even better, I think I have more affinity with endurancey type stuff.
How about you – weights or not?