Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Fitness test & gym...

Seeing I have been hassled into joining the gym by every specialist and doctor I have had to see recently, I decided to bite the bullet about 2 months back and do it. The uni gym wouldn't let me join due to chronic sciatica (had it since I was 12) without having a physio assessment first, so off to the physio I went...

They gave me a really difficult but extremely gentle exercise - tensing the trans-abdominal muscle - the lowest of the 4 levels of abdominal muscles, without tensing anything else and of course, breathing normally. I had to start doing that while lying on my back, then progress to standing, sitting, walking, everything. This set my endo cramping which in turn upset the sciatica, so the second week was not good. Toned back the intensity and everything got used to it.

1.5 months later and 4 visits to the physio, I was allowed to join the gym, but limited to cardio, abdominal stability and flexibility exercises for 4 weeks with a program suggested by the physio. Before I could join, I had to have a fitness test and a program design/personal training session to learn all of the equipment. The fitness test was surprising in some areas - I'm hardly carrying much fat above 'normal' on my torso, but my legs are at least double (and the hardest place to lose it!). My flexibility is 0, and should be up around 33, and my general level of fitness is shocking.

So, in combination with the ops and my other conditions, a gentle start was recommended. Monday 17th I had the personal training session, and used the fit-balls and various cardio machines. I had never used a treadmill or x-trainer before. The x-trainer was very difficult for me - it actually got my heart up and required a lot of effort, so this will be the one I monitor my progress on.

Hopefully I'll be able to start going regularly next week (3 times a week for 4 weeks, then introduce some weights). It felt really weird going to a gym though, I will probably go with a friend in future (another person who was bugging me to join). I am hoping that this will help the recovery time from the next laparoscopy as I will only have about a week to recover before classes start!

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