16 February 2008

Exercise Progress

An accurate depiction of my life for the decade before this time last year:

The past year: Core Performance by Mark Verstegen

I started with the goal to someday be able to touch my toes. At first I could only do one or two reps of each warmup exercise (and took comfort from the part of the book that says "at first it might feel like a workout itself"). Then I worked up to doing five or six. Then I worked up to doing five or six reps of each all in the same day. Then I started adding stuff from the "real" exercises, and also some short sprinting. The idea was to eventually work up to doing the short version of the "Pain, Deconditioned, or Tight? Start here!" routine.

And then I hit a plateau.

This year: Yoga!

At my chiropractor's insistence, I'm going once or twice a week. It's a good thing I did all those stretching things last year or I wouldn't've survived the first class! Flow yoga is kind of cool - a sequence of different poses arranged in an order that flows, almost like a dance. Surprisingly, after a good class, I'm neither tired nor sore.

More importantly, I seem to have levelled. Now I'm eating even more than last year, and the scale tells me that some pounds are starting to accumulate. Yay new muscles! (Maybe soon I'll actually be able to see them!)

And I can sometimes touch my toes without warming up now. :)


Tom said...

Oh no! Don't do that to me. Pointing out something that works is just too hard to take. Not to mention the increased guilt for "not doing!" I got enough of that already.

But really, getting up from the computer and being able to flex my knees and back might be a good thing.

Ya think?

Random Michelle K said...

Is Yoga really as awesome as everyone says it is? I'd rather take Tai Chi, but finding a class around here.... not to easy.

Of course I already walk every day, and "lift weights" (snort) three times a week, but I'd really like to add something else--it just has to be something else I'd like. Which means no running or bouncing. (My knees != running; My inner ear + bouncing and turning = vomiting)

MWT said...

Tom! I think you can be my new exercise buddy. How far away are you from your toes? (get ruler, lean over, put end of ruler on floor, put end of finger on ruler, see how many inches there are in between...)

I tried to find some Tai Chi to sign up for, but it apparently only comes in "Old People" versions. And all of the martial arts here are basically taekwando. (Not that I'm up to a level of fitness that would work for a martial art yet. Maybe next year?)

I'm liking the yoga quite a lot so far. The good class really puts me through my paces, and she sets it up to do all the strenuous stuff first. By the time we get to the end we've stretched all the major muscles in the body. And then when we get to "corpse pose" (lie flat on your back and relax), I'm all for not moving anymore. ;) The breathing aspects actually make a lot of sense to me too.

Tom said...

Ruler? Hmmm. Tape measure! (bends over, carefully following MWT's instructions) 4 inches. FOUR INCHES! It's worse than I thought.

Yoga? Well, crossing my legs and putting my feet on my hips, no freaking way!

Bending and stretching, breathing, meditation? Maybe. (dreams of what it might feel like to move without creaking) Hmmm...

Random Michelle K said...

Well, crossing my legs and putting my feet on my hips, no freaking way!

That's close to how I hold my laptop in my lap, except that my feet are tucked under. But I can tuck them over. No big deal.

I'd take "old people" Tai Chi if it was an option. What I'm looking for is something akin to a walking meditation rather than exercise. I can't meditate, because I can't sit still, but tai chi is very relaxing and meditative.

MWT said...

If you can sit Indian-style on the floor, that's good enough for novice yoga. I'm probably not going to try anything beyond the beginner levels for quite a while yet. The poses there are all fairly easy to get into. Holding them is the hard part. ;)

Michelle: yoga might be worth a try then. In flow yoga, you hold each pose in the sequence for a minute or two before moving on to the next one. Though if you do find some tai chi to take, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on that.

alcar said...

Hah, only 9.5" away from the floor.

... at least I get past my knees.

MWT said...

Hmm... I think alcar wins. ;)

Anne C. said...

I did tai chi for several years at the Taoist Tai Chi Society. For some reason, I'm not able to fit it into my current schedule, but I'm sure I'll go back.
I tried yoga, but felt like it was too static. "Flow yoga" sounds interesting, like a cross between yoga and tai chi.
TTCS is a good organization and you don't have to be taoist. Non-profit, so the dues are tax deductible. I don't know if they're in your area, but they're nice. Sometimes a little more group oriented than I prefer, but I'm pretty non-conformist.