Thursday, September 27, 2012

Working those arms


My ankle was still sore this morning but I was determined to get some exercise in anyway, so after dropping the kids at school for their last day of term (driving because of pouring rain) I went to the gym. I did 45 mins on the weights machines, doing arm exercises only and avoiding everything that put even a hint of pressure on my ankle.

I added one new machine that I had previously missed, for biceps. A reasonably muscular man was using it before me and when I got to it I was surprised that it was only set at 15 kg. I moved it down to the lightest weight, 10 kg, and I could hardly lift it! Some machines are much harder than others, both because of which muscles you use and because some are at interesting angles. My range goes from 10 kg to 40 kg depending on the machine.

Then I went back to the hand pedalling machine I had only used once before. I found 10 mins a struggle last time but I set it on 15 mins anyway. I really wanted to get up to a total of an hour exercised. And it was much easier than I remembered. Not easy easy, but I got through 15 mins without too much pain. And only realised at the end that it seemed to be set on level 1 difficulty. I'm pretty sure that last time I had it on 5.

My primary struggle through the exercise session was sleepy-tiredness. I've had two really good nights' sleep in a row so I think I might have this virus going around. I was struggling to stay awake between sets of reps. That inclined chest press (pictured), on a padded semi-reclined chair, was damn comfortable. I could have gone to sleep pretty easily.

Anyway, I feel rather better about myself today after having at least done an hour of exercise. Also I was reminding myself last night that I want to get healthy; and although losing weight and reversing prediabetes are part of that I also don't want any chronic injuries. Being healthy includes looking after myself. It's not like I'm trying to finish a race and then collapse with a ruined body, I'm in this for the long haul. I know what it is like to have chronic pain that stops you working, sleeping, dressing yourself, doing just about anything at all ... I am never going back there! Little niggles will get looked after. If my ankle pain doesn't resolve soon I'll see the doctor or physio or something, and if I have to rest it to get it completely better I will. In the meantime I will only do things that I'm pretty sure don't exacerbate it.

It's a long weekend here. We have two in a row. I just looked it up, and as I thought it is Labour Day this Monday. Turns out next Monday is Family and Community Day which I think is only a local Canberra thing. We are a city of public servants, and those who write the rules make the rules! Oh well, Melbourne gets a day off for a horse race. Whatever, we get Tim home an extra couple of days during the kids' school holidays which is lovely.

Oh, the other thing I wanted to mention was my weight. A couple of days of not-so-much exercise and it has dropped back to 77.4 kg. Exercise makes me fat. No, really, this has happened before. Direct correlation between lots of exercise and my weight going up. I haven't had time to build muscle, so I assume it is because I eat a lot more when I exercise more. Even today, I was ravenous when I got home from only an hour at the gym. Need to work on that.

I'm going to need another early night tonight, but it's good to know we can all sleep in tomorrow.

photo of an incline chest press, without me napping on it, by ARC equipment

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