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Strength training: Past, Present & Future – My visual reminder

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My living room would make a decorator cringe. Displayed prominently are these.

The past: The 2 sets on the right (1 & 2 pounds) are the ones I bought for my mother. Her poor muscle tone was impacting her daily activities and I turned into quite a “geriatric personal trainer” to try to stem the tide of time.
Lesson learned: Don’t wait until you are in your 80s to get serious about this.

Mom complained and asked “why aren’t you doing this?” Well, because I thought I was fine. At work I actually once won a “bicep” contest where they measured the difference between your unflexed and flexed muscle. If you’ve read my blog in the past, you know I always thought I was fine, even as I gained weight. But Mom persisted and to keep her motivated I bought the next dumbbells in the line – 3 pounds - and Mom and I “worked out” together.

Mom, approaching 90, never progressed to heavier weights, but she was able to do more reps. I was happy to graduate to the yellow 4 pound pair.

The Present: I use the 5 and 6 pound pairs now, three times a week and when the exercise calls for 2 hands, I pick up the 8, 10 or 12. The 8s and above were a present from my daughter. She has higher goals for me than I had for my Mom.

The Future: I have the mate to each 8, 10 and 12 and I hope to progress to that standard eventually and justify my daughter’s faith in me. I even have a pair of 15s. They’re currently serving me well as door stops in the basement. I really don’t see myself using those, but who knows.

Now why must I keep these in plain sight? Because without this visual reminder, I would never bother with them. Also, keeping Mom’s weights in the line reminds me that it’s possible to really lose muscle tone as we age. Those are my genetics after all.

There’s another fitness tool I keep in plain sight – my scale. It’s at the entrance to my kitchen. Another decorator no-no! Daily weigh-ins became necessary as my Mom lost interest in eating and her weight steadily decreased. I joined her in daily morning weight checks and nutrition tracking as a means of keeping her as motivated and as healthy as possible. Little did I know that it would put me on the right track as well.

Related Blog entry: My scale is at the entrance to my kitchen
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