Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

how to exercize

my physical therapist and everyone else in the world agree that you have to change up exercise and do different things. running, she pointed out, works the front of your legs and that's about it. not a great way to build strength where I was weak, in my core and glutes and hamstrings.

For the last few years I hadn't done anything to stay in shape.

After the new year I was lifting weights and climbing stairs at the gym but that stopped with the pandemic.

here's what I do now.

bicycling - sometimes I can get marc to go with me, this is the only exercise for that. We go 10-15 miles. I have a bunch of courses plotted out in various directions from our house... we're lucky, we have interesting routes in all four cardinal directions. one of them takes us over two highway pedestrian bridges, which I still find terrifying, but I keep doing it for the thrill and maybe someday I won't be scared. biking is not hardcore, it doesn't get my heart rate up that high, but I can ride even if it's very hot out and get some nice fresh air.

youtube - when the weather isn't right for outdoors, I turn to the internet to dance around in my room. I try all kinds of things. I even found some richard simmons, where everyone is insanely happy. I learned about HIIT (high intensity interval training), I spent a month learning the thriller dance (thrill the world), I was doing yoga but sometimes they'd get into a video where we were going to sit and do weird breathing for 15 minutes and I am not interested in that, I'm trying to get in shape. I like yoga very much but it has to move.

EMOM - stands for Every Minute On The Minute. I learned about it from youtube workout rabbit holes, and made my own spotify playlist of one minute songs... some are a little weird. But they're all between 0:46 and 1:13. When a song switches, I switch. Squats, arm circles, leg lifts, crunches, hold a plank, pushups (knees down, I am not strong)... there are so many things to do I lose track of time and can easily spend 30 minutes moving. I'm still working on the playlist because when it goes from some dark renaissance spook trance to a TV theme song it can give me nightmares, but I had to cross a lot of genres to find the songs.

I try to do some pushups every day. I can even get some out in my office. they feel better if I'm warmed up. my arms are looking better now.

walking the dog - one conclusion I reached this year is that walking the dog has to be just that... walking the dog. no other purpose. she won't take my exercise agenda. I'd try running, she'd stop dead, all four feet refusing to move. my running was interrupted for her... whatever. i decided if I really wanted to run I had to leave her behind. she's old and lazy and not as motivated. so after dinner on nice evenings I'll take her for a short walk and she's excited about it, and equally excited to be home. she used to be sad when I'd get my running shoes on and leave her behind. but now she gets it, and doesn't run over excited to me unless I also get the leash and call her name. she knows not every journey is for her.

running - so finally, there is still running. several times a week I just run. I put in ear buds and wear shorts with pockets at the hip for my phone. last night I ran 3.4 miles straight, and I was proud of that. I know people run longer distances, and I used to do 10k races, but I tell myself this is enough.

running is the ultimate. it's the ocean of exercise that washes over my body and drains all the energy out. I feel renewed and refreshed and overdone. sweaty skin, empty mind. It brings me back all the memories from cross country days in high school to trail races in state parks. It makes me think I'm actually in shape. it makes the stretches feel like they're worth it, absolutely required, not just a nice thing to feel peaceful.

my lungs work very well now. one more reason to stay healthy - I've worked for months to get in shape. I have to stay this way.
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