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My Exercise Plan for the Fall 5% Challenge

Sunday, October 14, 2018


For the past 3 to 4 months, I've had to rework the way I exercise. Last spring, I had a flare up of an arthritic knee, then a foot problem and then an achilles tendon problem. All on the right side. I've seen doctors, physician assistants, physical therapists, and finally a trainer at a gym. All have given me various treatments and exercises and I've had a very slow improvement. I can now walk my Linus slowly about a mile. The Achilles tendonitis flares on occasion so I am very careful with it. I actually went for a short hike along a waterfall trail with my husband last weekend. He helped me with some of the climbing and I did pretty well.

So here is my plan:
1) Pool workouts- I am spending about one to two hours in an indoor pool two to three times a week. I either walk in the water or do deep water exercises using flotation device. I can't swim due to old shoulder injuries but water walking works well for me. There is a warm water pool for arthritic patients and this is where I started out but I have "graduated" to the bigger and deeper cold pool.

2) PT exercises and stretches. There are many of them and I have the routine all laid out in the basement. I try to do the stretches everyday for my heel and do all the other exercises 3 or 4 times a week. The whole routine takes about 35 minutes.

3) Walking Linus-- during the week, I have to get him out for a short, slow walk. We are doing about a mile in 30 minutes. I hope to be able to pick up the pace as my heel gets better. DH has taken over the evening walk with Linus while I recuperate.

4) My new gym-- As I graduated from PT the therapist encouraged me to join the a gym. My new trainer has me warming up on a stationary bike for 15 minutes and then doing Strength Training on various machines. I go 3 times a week and it takes me about an hour to do the whole routine. I hope to increase my aerobic workout by doing more biking (inside and outdoors) and adding back the elliptical trainer which was part of my old routine.

5) My physical therapist also encouraged me to start a Tai Chi class in our community center. It is very slow so I don't count it as exercise and I need to practice more outside of class. It takes about an hour every Wednesday morning and it is a little bit boring so we'll see where I go from here. I think I have about 5 more classes then I'll decide. It does help with balance and coordination.

So This is it for now. It is a lot and I don't accomplish all of it every week but I try as much as I can. I have never spent so much time trying to take care of myself before. I've always run around caring for everyone and everything else while squeezing in exercise where I can fit it. Now I have to go places (gym and pool) and learn to do new things. It seems to be working, I'm getting my strength and energy back.

I do have to work on finding a better balance and routine in my daily life but right now I have the time and ability to focus on myself and I really want to get my functional activity level back. So I'll work as hard and as long as I need to. My husband is very accommodating and encourages me to keep going to the gym and the pool. He wants me to feel better- Bless his heart :-)
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