First off, I want to apologize about the length of time between this post and the last. A lot has been going on but I really only want to focus on the positives!
Lately, I have been thinking about the things I’m most grateful for. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I think there is no better time, but to be honest I have been thinking about it for over a month. To re-cap, in the middle of October I received a free three-month subscription to 24 Hour Fitness. How did I get so lucky? Well, back in 2004, I originally had a membership with them. Apparently during that time, they retained credit card information and it ended up being stolen. YIKES!! Well, someone sued and I opted to be in the lawsuit, which resulted in a free three-month membership. Glad you asked, huh?
Anyway, I was extremely excited about receiving this that I looked online for all the closest gyms near my house and near my work so I could capitalize on the three months of membership. After a bit of research and some luck, I found a few classes, including Yoga and Dance classes. I always wanted to try ZUMBA as I heard great things about it. Especially the dance styles and how they mix them up to create one. PERFECT! Especially as this used to happen consistently with Winter Guard! I walked into my first ZUMBA class and FELL IN LOVE! I’m in love so bad that I get mad when I don’t make a class. I’m in love so bad that I talk about it consistently and have found a passion with dance again. I am so in love I would probably give up CHOCOLATE…probably! 😉 YES, THAT’S HOW MUCH LOVE ZUMBA! It reminds me of Winter Guard in a big way. You just dance to have fun. You follow the instructor on the movements, there is no right or wrong way of doing them, and you get a great full body workout. Something I’ve really needed. In recent weeks, they added an additional ZUMBA class to the gym near my house. I’m THRILLED!! With this membership, I also get the luxury of checking out other memberships and have recently taken up more ZUMBA near my work. FANTABULOUS!!
With this membership I also get the comfort of using the gym equipment as well. Because of the issues with my hip, I have sworn off running. I really enjoy running; I find it fun and relaxing, especially with my dog, but the pain afterwards is not worth it. AT ALL!! So, I’ve moved on to better cardio exercises. I had plenty of input from friends, family, and doctors. Almost all of them told me to try the elliptical but to me it’s a strange movement! So, that really only leaves the bike.
I read an article in SELF magazine when I was at a Remicade treatment about interval training. They gave some examples of interval training and it reminded me of Winter Guard. How? You go full force for a couple of minutes and then cool down for a minute or so. So, I tried it. Well, you may of guessed it. I FELL IN LOVE! (and we all know how I am when I FALL IN LOVE!). Here is why I fell in love:
- Interval training is the best idea ever. It created goals for me instantly, kept my mind focused, and my body felt worked out when I was done.
- I was sore afterwards, but the good kind of sore. An accomplishment kind of sore. It’s the feeling of knowing you created this pain INTENTIONALLY.
- The pain in my hip started to be decreased. WAIT WHAT? DECREASED!!!
- I was able to do 5 miles in 30 minutes. A HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT CONSIDERING I HAVE ARTHRITIS IN ALL OF MY LOWER JOINT oh, and the fact that I haven’t worked out in over 6 months!!
That first week I worked out 3 times. I was so proud of myself! I went from being a couch potato to being someone who works out 3 times a week, IN MY FIRST WEEK! I knew I was hooked. Two weeks later I had my first Remicade appointment since starting this. It was a great feeling of telling Dr. Rheumy of my accomplishments and new goals. Especially as we didn’t increase my medication, after all! WAHOO!! LESS PAIN AND LESS MEDICATION…THIS I WILL KEEP UP!
Then, my bike fulfillment started going down hill. I was finding the routine tougher and getting BORING. I wasn’t accomplishing the same distance in the same amount of time. It was LESS. Okay, now what? I decided to mix it up and add in the ‘random hill’ AND do my interval training. I THOUGHT I WAS GOING CRAZY! BUT…it worked. See for yourself.
ISN’T THAT AWESOME!! I did 8 miles in 30 minutes!! I JUMPED UP 3 MILES AND STUCK WITH MY 30 MINUTES!! That averages to a single mile in less than 4 minutes!! Oh my!! I COULD NEVER ACCOMPLISH THAT WHILE RUNNING.
So, now I’m working out an average to 4 or 5 times a week. My body is usually sore after each work out, but feels much better the next day by the time I hit the gym. I usually never do 3 days in a row. It’s usually 2 days on, 1 day off. Here are the following items I’m doing:
- Weight lifting ~ 3 pounds each arm (will be switching to 5 pounds next week! EEK!)
- Stretching (absolutely crucial to release the toxins!)
- Ab exercises (I HATE THESE!!)
Wait, dancing and ZUMBA? WHAT? Yes, that’s right. This last Sunday, a song popped up on my iPod from my Winter Guard days. I was doing my normal stretching routine and BAM!! I started doing these dance moves that just came out of no where. AND THEN I WAS REPEATING THEM, OVER, OVER, AND OVER AGAIN!! I mean, I’m repeating the song and doing the SAME dance routine consistently. Some of my routines from Winter Guard are coming back. YES!!! So, now I’m doing the dance routine with weights in my hands. THAT changes the entire routine to a new level. I LOVE IT!!
So, today, I’m excited for my Remicade appointment to tell him about the most recent accomplishment. BUT to find out about my blood test results four weeks ago. It would be great see some items GO DOWN!!
So, what do you do to keep ‘moving’? If you have arthritis, how do maintain your arthritis and keep it under control? If you don’t have arthritis, what exercise routines are you trying? What are your favorites? I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW!!