An exercise routine…..

It’s been quite a week here in my little town, at my house, what with cake, ice-cream and random acts of kindness and all.  But through it all there is a routine and mine includes exercise at least four times a week for at least an hour.  The actual exercise program changes from day to day – just to keep it interesting but has, since the New Year started with time peddling on the recumbent bike.  I started my left foot duct-taped to the pedal to prevent slippage and 5 minutes of peddling to where I am now  with my legs tied at the thighs for 20 minutes of peddling…..ahhhhhhh progress.

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(We do this because my left leg rotates externally.  For a few minutes during each ride I am freed from captivity  to pedal and force myself to focus on keeping my leg internally-oriented.  No chasing random thought-squirrels while doing this.  No talking, just focus and pedal.

Then it’s a brief walk to the weight room and over to the “gladiator wall” to start with some squats 20 of them to warm up.  IMG_0072

This is the gladiator wall and I’m sure many people resemble gladiators when attacking this wall.  You can see I don’t but its a safe place to do squats and leg lifts.  I’m thinking I might like to have one of my own at some point or perhaps just a barre.  But more on building a home gym much later  It’s way too soon  I have so much more to learn and I enjoy working out with someone.    After the squats we might decide to do some balance poses (Awesome Yoga Kim popped by one day a few weeks ago  to show us how to builds some yoga poses into my workout.  Warrior One and Two plus balance on one leg standing and reach for the stars with the opposite arm (another great post stroke exercise as it requires both sides of your brain to cooperate and coordinate in the execution of this activity  same as right elbow to left knee and vice versa).

Soon it is time to get myself on to the floor.  This is harder than you might think  and requires some of that thinking a few steps ahead that I talked about weeks ago in a post.  I put my left foot forward and the right behind me in a forward lunge and hold onto the bar with my right arm as I slowly lower myself onto my knees.

Then its into a side sit position and from there onto my back.  Once on my back and on the ground I often start with 20 bridges while squeezing a cushion between my knees.  Then knee lifts 10-15 of those while rocking my hips side to side for a 5 count at lift 5,10,15 and 20 (if I make it that far).  Today we also do side planks.

While I’m down there some yoga stretches feel amazing  knees to the ground on left and raise your arm over your head  Feel the stretch in the twist of your body –  – This feels great.  Over to the right, repeat.  Then get off the floor by sitting up and  rolling back onto your knees and lunge forward with left. dig your toe into the mat with your right and lunge up while holding onto the bar, a chair or something very sturdy that can hold your weight.  It took me almost a year to finally  figure this out with Sarah’s help and it is one core skill I recommend everyone master.  Getting up on your own from a floor position if you’ve fallen and already have an injury could be a life-saving skill if you are at home alone when it happens.  It’s inevitable, everyone gets older — you might want to practise this while you are young and nimble.  If you already do yoga, add it to the end of your routine.  One day you may thank yourself (or me) for having this skill in your arsenal.

Now lets move on to some machines.  We like the leg press and the multi-hip amongst others for today’s  workout.  Other days it will be shoulders and arms.  Below I am using the multi-hip – legs forward, back, to the side — left leg, right leg 10-15 times each leg and each direction.

It gets easier, then you add some weight to keep it challenging.

And by now an hour has easily passed and we walk to the foyer.  If I brought my TENS Stims with me, I do 20-30 minutes of wrist and finger stimulation while I wait for my ride.  Then I’m off for home to continue on with whatever I have planned for the rest of the afternoon.  Maybe some reading or a few games to improve my reaction times (this will be handy when I try to recapture my drivers license).

It’s back to cold today with light snow/freezing rain.  This morning I have Chair Yoga with Kim and later my Thursday afternoon workout.

Stay Awesome!  Wherever you find yourself today.

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