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Exercise: What's Your Workout?

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34 minutes ago, SunnyBeBe said:

That sounds pretty impressive Only Zola. Do you run the 10 miles most days?  I have a friend who does something similar.  I would think that she could eat most of what she wants, but, most of the time when we dine, I notice that she gets a garden salad with fruit or grilled fish.  

My friend is a little over 50 and she has encountered a few injuries, but, she keeps going. A recent ankle injury did put her out for about 2 months. I don't think she gained an ounce though.  She's very thin.  

Do you wear a fitbit watch?  Would you recommend one?

 

I've been running for years and I do compete in the odd half/full marathon when time permits. I am no way all that fast, but usually finish in the top 75 of a 500 women's marathon. So I'm happy with that. 

10 miles is about my average each morning; sometimes it's less, and when I'm really in the mood I'll go for 15 or 20. But I do usually suffer for it the day after!

It's always best to have one or two rest days every week in order to give your muscles, joints and bones chance to recover and repair. And to be honest 3 miles or 5 miles a day is just as beneficial as 10 or more. I guess it depends on what your overall goal is - to compete in races, and/or just keep fit as a hobby. 

I don't have a FitBit, but a cheaper alternative. I don't think any of the devices are truly accurate, but if used as a basic guide they can be extremely useful for measuring distance and performance; although I wouldn't put too much credence in calories-burnt.

39 minutes ago, JTMacc99 said:

I've heard a lot of good things about rowing. I may have to give this a try at some point. 

Best to read up about it first just to make sure it's for you and your needs. 

I used a professional machine when I used to go to the gym, and then when I quit I bought a fairly cheap one that suited my needs  - I only ever use it 2 or 3 times a week. But it certainly burns those calories, and will give you a flat stomach in no time if you keep going on a regular basis.

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I took a long bike ride yesterday. I've had a bike ever since I was a little kid but for some reason, I never get any better at riding it. It's not like I fall off or anything but any time I encounter the slightest incline, I have to downshift and struggle to pedal uphill. I do plenty of weight training for quads and hammies, etc. but it doesn't help.

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I can't help but think that our bodies may be equipped for some things more than others.  When I was in my best shape and working out a lot, I ran 3 miles most days and that was about it.  Running further was such a stretch for me.  I've always envied those who run distance with ease, but, it's just not my thing.  I actually think that I can swim further than run! lol  Hey, that's an idea.  The thing with swimming distances though, is that my neck got large. lol Seriously. 

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1 hour ago, SunnyBeBe said:

I can't help but think that our bodies may be equipped for some things more than others.  When I was in my best shape and working out a lot, I ran 3 miles most days and that was about it.  Running further was such a stretch for me.  I've always envied those who run distance with ease, but, it's just not my thing.  I actually think that I can swim further than run! lol  Hey, that's an idea.  The thing with swimming distances though, is that my neck got large. lol Seriously. 

I love swimming, but I don't have the stamina for it to be honest. Which is a bit of a paradox given that I can run for hours on end, but dump me in a swimming pool and I'm wiped out after about 10 lengths!

Have you tried cycling?

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I can't do squats to save my life. I have fairly strong legs, but something about the position and the movement makes my strong legs weak. Maybe it's something to do with my terrible sense of balance. 

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1 hour ago, Only Zola said:

I love swimming, but I don't have the stamina for it to be honest. Which is a bit of a paradox given that I can run for hours on end, but dump me in a swimming pool and I'm wiped out after about 10 lengths!

Have you tried cycling?

I used to do rounds at the gym. I ran on treadmill 3 miles, then hopped on stationary bike for about 1 mile, then elliptical for about a mile.  Then, headed over to the weight machines, did a round there and then did my crunches.  But, I have never biked on a real bike outside, since I was a teen.  The only place I would be able to ride it would be high traffic and that scares me.  I know two people killed while biking over the last couple of years, so, I don't think that's an option.  I think that I might have to stick with the treadmill.  I have a foot issue, but, as long as I don't overdo it, I hope it'll hold out for me. 

Also, if I join the Y, they have a pool.  I can swim a little and see how that goes.  If I alternate, it'll help avoid injury to my foot.  

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5 hours ago, Only Zola said:

I love swimming, but I don't have the stamina for it to be honest. Which is a bit of a paradox given that I can run for hours on end, but dump me in a swimming pool and I'm wiped out after about 10 lengths!

That's how I've always been. Even now after not running for years -- or not much -- I can still do OK. My upper body strength has always been low, and I think that contributes to my lack of stamina swimming laps.

I ran distance in high school and college and ate a lot then. When I quit moving so much and didn't quit eating so much, the weight did creep up. I'm not huge (I think), but I am overweight and larger than I'd like. So it can happen if you aren't careful about what you eat. When you are running that much, you can eat a lot more calories.

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17 hours ago, Only Zola said:

I don't need to diet but I do watch what I eat for all that. But I do worry that as I get older I will eventually succumb to injury and won't be able to run quite so far/regularly.  Would I then put on lots of weight through in action?

I am an outdoor runner as well and I have come to accept that this will happen eventually hopefully not for many decades. I'm a super cautious runner too; I don't run full marathons and I listen to my body after long runs/intense training.

As for your worry, I think something I do a lot of in general is walk. I always walked a lot before my running and continue to do so. I try to walk everywhere and it's a lot easier on the joints. If you keep up a walking mindset, it'll stave off many consequences of not running. I know a lot of people who cannot run for whatever reason but they enjoy hiking, swimming, or cycling and are in good shape.

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6 hours ago, auntlada said:

That's how I've always been. Even now after not running for years -- or not much -- I can still do OK. My upper body strength has always been low, and I think that contributes to my lack of stamina swimming laps.

I ran distance in high school and college and ate a lot then. When I quit moving so much and didn't quit eating so much, the weight did creep up. I'm not huge (I think), but I am overweight and larger than I'd like. So it can happen if you aren't careful about what you eat. When you are running that much, you can eat a lot more calories.

Likewise my upper-body strength is pretty rubbish despite doing weights, push-ups etc. Guess that's just the way it is - for me at least.

 

3 hours ago, Athena said:

I am an outdoor runner as well and I have come to accept that this will happen eventually hopefully not for many decades. I'm a super cautious runner too; I don't run full marathons and I listen to my body after long runs/intense training.

As for your worry, I think something I do a lot of in general is walk. I always walked a lot before my running and continue to do so. I try to walk everywhere and it's a lot easier on the joints. If you keep up a walking mindset, it'll stave off many consequences of not running. I know a lot of people who cannot run for whatever reason but they enjoy hiking, swimming, or cycling and are in good shape.

You make a good point about walking, especially brisk walking. Would certainly make a good compromise between casual walking and jogging, and would certainly give my joints a rest (I was going to say "break", but I don't want to tempt fate, lol). Thing about walking though, is that I soon run out of patience and have a strong desire to up the tempo into jogging/running again!

I think it's another reason why I have an exercise bike at home: less impact on the feet and ankles compared to the hard road, but keeps my joints moving. 

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7 hours ago, Only Zola said:

Thing about walking though, is that I soon run out of patience and have a strong desire to up the tempo into jogging/running again!

Yeah, it's why you have to develop the mindset to walk more places rather than jog, bike, or take a car. I don't have a car and I live centrally so my walks are 90% of the time about me getting somewhere. I don't have a dog, but I think that helps people as well. It does take more time, but I enjoy the time to myself or with whomever I am walking with. Otherwise, start hiking more. It's more challenging at least.

I have no upper body strength either and I have to really work on it. On a biological level, it is harder for women in general to build upper body strength.

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On 7/3/2017 at 11:33 AM, DeLurker said:

I can do sit ups for days, but can't do a single push up or pull up.  

Have you tried doing push ups on an incline, like off the side of a bench or sofa?

Question: does anyone here have a carver? And is it something you really enjoy and use often? Just wondering about the investment.

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After a month (and some drama with Crunch that left 3 sessions unused) I got back into exercising today. Pilates. The studio is small and so are the group classes (no more than 5 people). Not the fanciest place... nothing's dirty or worn like that one gym I went to, just not shiny and new. There were times I was wobbly of course but in general it's easier than other stuff I've tried. I think it helps to be on my back or supported or working with the machine at all times. The only things that were tough were the ones that weren't as machine based. Like there's one where you get on all fours and then lift your knees a little while pushing back. And I like having a small, all-female class. I do better with that energy. 5 more sessions to go and then back to purebarre for the fall. And I need to squeeze in some treadmill sessions at Crunch or the whole (way too expensive) membership I got will go to waste.

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I guess like most people who exercise regularly, I have to listen to music at the same time otherwise I will either get bored, or lack motivation/momentum.

What I find interesting is that when I'm running on the open road I prefer my music to be "gentle" - i.e. 30 or 40 minute ambient, relaxing sounds that will kind of "carry" me through the miles. Examples include "Carbon Life Forms", "Alucidnation", "Fragile State", "Kraftwork", "Tangerine Dream"

Whereas, when I'm pounding the treadmill, exercise bike or rowing machine I have to listen to upbeat rock music, with a quick-fire tempo/beat that I can keep up with. Short tracks that are loud, brash, have a good rhythm and that I can sing too in time with my strokes on the rower, or steps on the treadmill. All of it helps pass the time as well as getting over the pain barrier, driving me on to the next track and the next mile or the next 5,000 steps (So bands like "Iron Maiden", "Whitesnake", "Rush", "Killswitch Engage", "Nickelback" and "Slipknot" - all do it for me) 

 

Does anyone else have a particular kind of music they listen to when  working out?

Edited by Only Zola

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6 hours ago, Only Zola said:

Does anyone else have a particular kind of music they listen to when  working out?

A study did show that runners listening to music can help improveraining and race times. I tend to run to songs with RPMs matching close to my race time. Check out jog.fm to find songs matching run pace. I favour dance music and remixes. I also have a couple of songs which use the word "Run" in them hehe.

I am trying to rely less on music though since I think it's an endurance in itself. I also don't like bringing my phone on runs much. I like to run with as little as possible. Generally I can do long runs with others so I don't have to bring music. For solo runs, I can do up to 10k alone but it's not easy as I get bored as well. For races of 10K or more, I do bring music. It is a motivator and helps with pace.  

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8 minutes ago, Athena said:

A study did show that runners listening to music can help with with improve training and race times. I tend to run to an RPM matching closer to my race time. Check out jog.fm to find songs matching your run pace. I favour dance music and remixes. I also have a couple of songs which use the word "Run" in them hehe.

I am trying to rely less on music though since I think it's an endurance in itself. I also don't like bringing my phone on runs much. I like to run with as little as possible. Generally I can do long runs with others so I don't have to bring music. For solo runs, I can do up to 10k alone but it's not easy as I get bored as well. For races of 10K or more, I do bring music. It is a motivator and helps with pace.  

Thanks for the useful link! 

Unlike you I have to listen to music, especially on long lonesome runs of around 10-15 miles, otherwise I just can't stay focused, and I drift, and my breathing just goes out of whack! However, if I'm running alongside other people - either in a race or just casual, then I don't bother with my phone/mp3 player. But generally speaking music is my motivator!

I also get some weird looks from people I pass on the street while running! Clearly my singing-out-loud must be quite appalling, lol

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8 minutes ago, DeLurker said:

Why am I imagining you belting out Roxanne a la Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours?

 

Believe me: I have a singing voice that would peel paint off walls!

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I'm always several yards ahead of my hiking club and people often ask me what I'm listening to that spurs me to move so quickly.  They're always pretty surprised when I tell them it's a This American Life podcast.

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I'm not a runner at all. But if I'm on a treadmill or bike (as opposed to doing body weight exercises when I just have to listen to whatever horrible techno pop remix the gym is playing) I go for the energetic stuff. I like girl groups (Destiny's Child, Little Mix, etc.) I wish there was some way for me to share my Spotify playlist. Also, not going to lie... you know how police procedurals sometimes start with a jogger who happens upon a dead body or there's a sports movie with some kind of training montage? I've found a couple of songs that way. 

So I was recently on vacation and I did a decent amount of walking but nothing too crazy. But then I had a lot of airport drama and ended up spending a couple of hours standing on top of that. And when I finally made it home at night I stretched my leg out and I was seized by this horrible cramp in my calf. I think I'm relatively tough... that is, I have a high pain tolerance. But this was almost eyes watering bad. I got it to relax enough that it wasn't clenched but it still hurts when I walk. I've been wearing heeled platforms (keeping the foot at an angle) which has allowed me to do a bit of walking to take my dog out and do a few errands but I need a better long term solution because those shoes are not comfortable. Any ideas? 

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It is bone dry in Nevada - you may be a bit dehydrated and magnesium & potassium depleted.  I'd try upping your water intake & eating foods higher in magnesium & potassium for a few days.

A soak in an epsom salt bath provides a quick absorption of magnesium through your skin.

I tried paddle boarding yesterday in the intracoastal where it was nice and glassy.  I've got balance issues so it was hard to adjust to an activity based on balance.  The harder challenge was my brother in a kayak making me laugh at critical junctions.  I got on my feet a few times but was quick to lose my balance (or concentration when Mr. Chuckles made me laugh). It was a good work out for me and a good to spend a few hours alone with my brother #3).

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18 hours ago, aradia22 said:

I've been wearing heeled platforms (keeping the foot at an angle) which has allowed me to do a bit of walking to take my dog out and do a few errands but I need a better long term solution because those shoes are not comfortable. Any ideas? 

Seconding @DeLurker's suggestions. Rest. Change your shoes to something low profile and with cushioning. Running or walking shoes are best. Birkenstocks are even better.

I have talked to other runners and walkers, it is one thing to move around but standing for a long time is another endurance act in itself. If you're not use to it, it can be difficult to adjust.

Rest and take it easy. Hope you feel better.

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On 04/07/2017 at 3:45 PM, Athena said:

Yeah, it's why you have to develop the mindset to walk more places rather than jog, bike, or take a car. I don't have a car and I live centrally so my walks are 90% of the time about me getting somewhere. I don't have a dog, but I think that helps people as well. It does take more time, but I enjoy the time to myself or with whomever I am walking with. Otherwise, start hiking more. It's more challenging at least.

I have no upper body strength either and I have to really work on it. On a biological level, it is harder for women in general to build upper body strength.

I am trying to make a more determined effort on my upper-body strength. I don't go swimming all that often, so have decided to do some very basic home exercises - push-ups, dumb-bell weights, and handstand push-ups (I love handstands, and can actually walk around my home and garden on my hands, lol) I'm not after rippling muscles, but just enough strength and stamina to do a mile in the pool. 

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I'm no expert but I suspect a number of people would be of the opinion that handstand push-ups are not basic exercise.  I used to do a mile in the pool but there's no way I could do those.

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1 hour ago, Qoass said:

I'm no expert but I suspect a number of people would be of the opinion that handstand push-ups are not basic exercise.  I used to do a mile in the pool but there's no way I could do those.

I would agree, but because I can do handstands so easily, I thought I'd just factor them into my new regime of getting my upper body toned up a little. And actually handstand push-ups are not too difficult, especially with your feet resting against a wall or something equally supportive. 

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I don't know if they have different names at different places but at my Pilates place, one class is called Reformer & Chair and the other is called CoreAlign. I really liked the first one. The machines were there to support me in something similar to exercises I would do anyway with bodyweight or machines. I hated the second one. Just wobbling all over the place doing simple movements. I felt more like I was straining and stretching my body than really exercising any muscles. I think I'm sore from being pulled out of whack. Also, the instructor was much less attentive. 

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Heyy!! I've lost all of my weight so far on the elliptical. 
I don't own any other workout machine nor do I have a gym membership, so yeah, I'm in love with it. As hard as it is, the hour I spend on it has been working out for me.But seriously, it took major inches off my arms and legs. Probably could not have reached my then-goal weight  without. It gives your metabolism a real boost, too, and you can multitask on it. However, if you're not eating at a deficit you may put on muscle weight. Good luck!

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That's great news. Well done!

What do you intend to do next? Lose more weight or are you happy with what you've got now?

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I do a lot of swimming and also some Yoga. As for weights for me it is more about keeping firm and doing low weight and high reps. Lunges and Crunches are also thrown into the routine for abs and ass.

Edited by Cherry Bomb
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So... this is a dumb question. How do you run on a treadmill? When I use it I keep the speed low so I can just walk quickly and I change up the incline but I can't seem to get the hang of running if I up the speed. Part of the problem is one leg is weird, with a wonky ankle and a knee that always wants to turn in or out so I have to go back to walking or risk an injury. The other is that I'm just not used to running (at all but specifically) at such a regular pace. I can't seem to get the hang of running in place. If I'm running, someone better be chasing me. 

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6 hours ago, aradia22 said:

So... this is a dumb question. How do you run on a treadmill? When I use it I keep the speed low so I can just walk quickly and I change up the incline but I can't seem to get the hang of running if I up the speed. Part of the problem is one leg is weird, with a wonky ankle and a knee that always wants to turn in or out so I have to go back to walking or risk an injury. The other is that I'm just not used to running (at all but specifically) at such a regular pace. I can't seem to get the hang of running in place. If I'm running, someone better be chasing me. 

Treadmills aren't for everyone when it comes to full-blown running, so you're not alone.

Fast/brisk walking on a 'mill is very beneficial, especially on an incline (which probably burns nearly as many calories as running on a flat 'mill)

Don't be tempted to run if you feel your joints are not up to it, otherwise you could end up with a short-term, or worse, a long-term injury that may encourage the onset of arthritis. Just focus on what feels comfortable for you, and if it means a brisk walk on the mill, then that's better than doing nothing at all.

How about natural running in a park or open space area? 

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I really h-a-a-a-a-a-t-e strength training but I want to be able to carry my own groceries when I'm old so I do 35 minutes twice a week. It felt like I was doing the same things over and over so I've changed from doing 2 sets of 20 on each exercise to 3 sets. Since it takes longer to do, I'm doing fewer exercises per session but I don't get the "didn't I just do this machine?" feeling as much. 

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6 hours ago, Qoass said:

I really h-a-a-a-a-a-t-e strength training but I want to be able to carry my own groceries when I'm old so I do 35 minutes twice a week. It felt like I was doing the same things over and over so I've changed from doing 2 sets of 20 on each exercise to 3 sets. Since it takes longer to do, I'm doing fewer exercises per session but I don't get the "didn't I just do this machine?" feeling as much. 

It's actually really good that you mix it up. I'm just sort of learning about it all, but one thing that has been common advice is to change it up as much for your muscles as your mind.

Do those three sets for few sessions, then change it to something like 2 sets of 15, 10, 8 where the first 15 are with a much lighter weight than usual, then a little heavier for the 10 and then a little heavier again for the 8.

After that you could do something again with maybe shorter sets with heavier weights for a while and then come back around to the three sets of 20 again.

I'm sure the internet has more solid advice on how to go about changing up your weight training patterns, but I thought I'd at least share that it's a good idea.

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6 hours ago, Qoass said:

I really h-a-a-a-a-a-t-e strength training but I want to be able to carry my own groceries when I'm old so I do 35 minutes twice a week. It felt like I was doing the same things over and over so I've changed from doing 2 sets of 20 on each exercise to 3 sets. Since it takes longer to do, I'm doing fewer exercises per session but I don't get the "didn't I just do this machine?" feeling as much. 

It does get repetitious... that is why I do hasfit.com where they have a 30, 60 and 90 day workout plan for free. They are not the same everyday and it is awesome.

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Interesting. So far, my mixing it up method has been: left row of machines tonight, right row of machines next time, machines in the back of the gym after that. Repeat.

Edited by Qoass

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I have tried to improve my upper body strength by visiting my local swimming pool early in the morning or late evening when it doesn't get too busy. 

I am pretty good with front crawl and breast stroke - 20 or 30 lengths with relative ease. The back stroke is okay too, although I always go into a mild panic when approaching the end of the pool because on too many occasions I have banged my outstretched arm against the edge of the pool.

However, the real challenge is the butterfly! I couldn't master it as a kid, and I still can't master it now. Try as I might I can't synchronise my arms to leave the water while adapting the "dolphin kick" to aid forward momentum. Moreover, when I do find the rhythm I quickly tire and give up mid-length.

I will keep trying because I know the butterfly is perhaps the best stroke for improving upper body strength 

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I got a new Fitbit after losing my last one almost exactly a year ago. This one "figures out" your activity when you do something. So if you do 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, it figures out that's what you did and gives you credit and calories burned for it. 

Today it gave me credit for 44 minutes of outdoor bike riding and calories burned. It doesn't give you credit for steps. It gave me that credit for riding around on my lawnmower. I'm going to allow that. I had 16,000 actual steps. That's good enough. 

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Well it finally happened - I pulled a hamstring while out for my morning run earlier today. Have never had a hamstring injury before, and it "burnt" like hell when I felt it go at the back of my left thigh.

Couldn't run any more, could barely walk in fact. And the even bigger problem was that I was about 5 miles from home at 6 in the morning. Had I not brought my mobile with me I would have faced a rather long and painful "hobble" home.

Fortunately, I phoned a nearby friend who was good enough to come out in her car and take me home (although I doubt she was very happy about getting a call so early in the morning, lol)

Have had a hot bath to relieve some of the pain and tension in my leg, and now have a cold compress wrapped round it. From what I've read I don't think its an overly serious tear, probably more like a muscle strain. I'll give it 2 or 3 days before considering seeing my GP. Does mean that I can't get about though; doubt I'll be able to drive either. Even walking across my room is an effort, and my leg will probably be as stiff as a board tomorrow morning.

Ho hum - this is one of those paradoxes: take exercise, keep fit, but then open yourself up to occupational injury. 

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On 9/18/2017 at 11:12 AM, Zola said:

Well it finally happened - I pulled a hamstring while out for my morning run earlier today. Have never had a hamstring injury before, and it "burnt" like hell when I felt it go at the back of my left thigh.

Couldn't run any more, could barely walk in fact. And the even bigger problem was that I was about 5 miles from home at 6 in the morning. Had I not brought my mobile with me I would have faced a rather long and painful "hobble" home.

Fortunately, I phoned a nearby friend who was good enough to come out in her car and take me home (although I doubt she was very happy about getting a call so early in the morning, lol)

Have had a hot bath to relieve some of the pain and tension in my leg, and now have a cold compress wrapped round it. From what I've read I don't think its an overly serious tear, probably more like a muscle strain. I'll give it 2 or 3 days before considering seeing my GP. Does mean that I can't get about though; doubt I'll be able to drive either. Even walking across my room is an effort, and my leg will probably be as stiff as a board tomorrow morning.

Ho hum - this is one of those paradoxes: take exercise, keep fit, but then open yourself up to occupational injury. 

How is your injury coming along? I hate it when that happens.  I have a recurring foot issue, that I get when I overdo it or sometimes, it happens for some unknown reason.  

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I know my local YMCA offers various exercise classes, which I have done in the past, but the schedules no longer jive with my work/kid schedule.

Do private gyms (like LA Fitness, etc.) offer classes too, or do they just have the weights and machines?

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On 08/10/2017 at 3:38 PM, SunnyBeBe said:

How is your injury coming along? I hate it when that happens.  I have a recurring foot issue, that I get when I overdo it or sometimes, it happens for some unknown reason.  

it has improved a great deal now. I can do some light jogging but have to make sure I do some stretching & pulling exercises beforehand. Hopefully in a month's time I'll be able to return to my daily run routine - I kinda miss it, lol

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I live by the the Paleo Diet in trying to be fit. Paleo means fresh vegetables, lean meat, and some fruit, nothing else. I usually workout 30 minutes to an hour, five days a week in the spring and summer. I usually do the stairmaster for 30 and a treadmill for the rest of the 30. Sometimes I do typical arm weight workouts but I tend to stick with the workout machines instead.

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I've been weight training at the gym for 30 - 45 minutes twice a week for over a year now even though I hate it but have abandoned the cardio equipment in favor of outdoor activities while it's warm and light enough to do so. I really hate the treadmill because all those displays prove that I'm not as fit as I think I am and try as I might, I don't seem to improve. With the change of season I'll have to make a choice as to whether I want to feel depressed on their exercise bike or guilty on my couch.

Edited by Qoass

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Are you somewhere you could rollerblade?  I found that to be a really good activity since I had to keep my core tight to keep my balance and it really was the only thing I found to work on my post pregnancy pooch.  Afterwards I always felt tired, but kind of exhilarated.  I've got balance issues now so putting on anything on my feet that is not 100% flat flat flat is out of the question.

Or an indoor heated pool?

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Yes, I rollerblade but as it is cold and dark when I get home from work now, I consider that a warm weather activity too. It never ceases to amaze me how much of a workout it is to "just" glide along on wheels!

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