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Home exercises (videos)

I’m slowly getting back to doing home exercises again and i have found a few more videos which i recommend. I don’t follow the exercises schedule entirely as there are exercises which i can’t do and i simply replace them with others. Here are a few of the currently “hot” for me.

1. Total Body Toning & Functional Strength Training Exercises – I love this one even though lately i have replaced more exercises than i would liked. The Walk Down Push Up is one my favourites.

2. 10 Minute Abs & Obliques Workout – Lean Toned Stomach Workout – This one is the latest abs/obliques exercise I’ve tried and it surprised me with a few new exercises like the Flutterkick Crunch.

3. Chest + Abs MEGA workout “No music version”– An oldie which unfortunately can’t always do on a weekly basis. It’s brutal but worth trying even though i can’t do all the repetitions, particularly the Diamond Push Up (knees)

4. Six Pack Burn Out – Intense Abs Workout– Another newbie for me and currently my favourite abs and obliques exercise video. Love it. Spiderman plank is cool! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Exercise (setback)

My right knee (which together with my right ankle have been the more problematic due to the arthritis) has been in a bad shape for the last couple of weeks. I can’t exercise at all as i’m in pain whatever i do.

Walking helps but anything else just generates more pain. Also i’d like something with more intensity. Swimming looks like my best option. Definitely requires more commitment and a higher budger but i’m willing to sacrifice other things to give it a good try. I spend money on things i really don’t need anyway. My annual leave ends this week so will leave the “research” (already have an idea) for next week. This will give my knee some more time to get some rest.

10 years ago i would continue to exercise ithrough the pain. 4 years ago this situation of not being able to exercise would have left me in despair. Now i’m just looking to rest my knee and look for alternatives. It took me years to get my s*** together and put up a fight. Never again. There are always options out there. Just need to find them.

 

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New Year’s Resolutions 2012/13

It’s time for the resolutions post and although i’ve not been posting as regularly as i would have liked, this is one (two actually) post i wanted to publish. It’s a brief review of how i coped with the resolutions i set myself last year. If you remember i said at the time that they were quite ambitious because they were not completely in my control to achieve. However, i believe i was and still am the decisive factor in all of them. I’m surprised. I think i did a lot better than i expected and writing this post now has lifted my mood as i’m reflecting on how the year fared.

Let’s go through these resolutions in more detail (but not too much!).

Last Year’s Resolutions (2012/13)

Travel -This has been a relative success. It could have been a lot better but i’m very satisfied with the progress. During the year i arranged my yearly vacations to Larnaca although not as many days and with no road trips this time. However, i did manage to go Kalopanayiotis and Pafos for a few days. In fact i’ve already planned another Pafos trip for this year! Pafos is especially refreshing because i have not visited the surrounding villages for a long time now and some even not at all. I loved it!

Finally, the Germany trip is all set and i’m currently making my necessary geeky preparations which i will mention in a future post. The important thing is that i’m going and i’m very very excited about it! ๐Ÿ™‚

The only caveat is that all these trips have been done with others and there was no solo travelling which was one of the ideas i wanted to pursue. However, at the end of the day what matters is that i did more travelling than previous years and that’s enough for me right now. Achieved!

Volunteer -This has been a massive fail. Zero effort in this one all through the year and if i’m honest with myself i don’t know if i want to actually achieve this anymore. My desire has diminished significantly. I see my priorities lying elsewhere at the moment and i don’t want to spend energy on this. Maybe later or if it happens by accident. Fail and not keeping for next year.

Exercise – Fortunately this is one of the big successes of the year. I’ve managed to find a few things i can do to keep me relatively fit and happy. There’s no jogging, football or mountain biking. However, i did a lot of swimming (since beginning of June and still going) and also home exercises. The home exercises have been especially satisfying as i can do them 4 times a week and usually the after effects are manageable. I’m trying new things every month to keep things interesting (TRX trial in September!!!).

Overall i’m surprised that i’ve found a level of exercises that i can manage and importantly be happy with it. Achieved!

Secret ResolutionFail and keeping for next year

Health – This has been more good than bad. I have now settled into a routine with my ups and downs. Physically and mentally. Sometimes it’s almost as if everything is perfect whereas other times things do seem to take me back to those “dark nights”. However, i’ve made considerable effort for this one and i’m happy about that. I do need to keep this going because things are still fragile. The fact that exercise wise things have been going well was a considerable boost to my morale. Relatively satisfied with this but still a lot of work to be done. Achieved! (keeping for next year because this is the big one)

I’m now working on the resolutions for 2013/14.

 
 

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Home exercises

For the past month or so i’ve started using youtube videos to get my exercise fix. I’ve been streaming them (via mob) on my tv which is pretty handy and relatively trouble free. The exercises i’ve been doing are more focused on toning, abs/obliques and low impact cardio.

Most of these exercises involve no extra equipment apart from an exercise mat. I bought a physio ball more than a year ago but i never used it and recently acquired a medicine ball as well. I love the latter but i’ve been disappointed with the former. The physio ball also takes up a lot of space in the apartment so i’m thinking of getting rid of it.

In order to keep my interest and motivation high for these exercises i’m switching the schedule a bit every other week and introducing new exercises. There is an abundance on excellent videos on Youtube. Fitness Bender for example have some great videos and are all available for free.

My aim is to keep the different exercise schedules around 30-40mins with limited break time.

These are two of my current favourite videos.

Train like an Athlete Interval Training – At Home Cardio and Toning Boot Camp

In the first video i’ve substituted a few leg/calf/foot exercises with easier ones with less impact to minimise the pain. The final exercise in this video is simply fantastic. It’s called the “Push up planks” at 14:50.

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Flat Belly Workout – Abs and Obliques Workout to Tone Stomach

The second video it’s all about the abs/obliques and this is a tough one. I have yet to managed to do both rounds and all the 8 exercises (50 seconds each). In this video my favourite is “Plank Knee Tucks” at 3:36.

 
 

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Today feels too much like yesterday

I need. No. I want to add some variety in my life. Today seems too similar to yesterday all too often these days. In this struggle against the sameness of life and also my fear of trying out new things I’ve been looking for inspiration. I think i may have found it in Matt Cutts and his “Try something new for 30 days” TED talk which you can watch here.

“The next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot for the next 30 days?โ€

I have a few ideas already. Some of them will remain just ideas in my head. But others can be pursued further. Included in this list are self-discipline challenges i.e. depriving myself of something. However, this comes relatively easy to me. I would prefer to get out of my comfort zone AND do something positive in the process. Ideally, something creative or a community contribution. Whatever the case, i am good with anything that will lift my spirits up. At the end of the day all i am looking for are ideas which will encourage me to see life in a different light and allow some experimentation with everyday life.

“It doesn’t need to be anything huge, either. Something small is easily sustainable, and can still help make your time more memorable, and even help you learn a thing or two about yourself”

Below are the ideas I’ve come up with myself and also found on other blogs. I am looking for more so i am open to suggestions!

Try Something New for 30 Days – Ideas

  • Write a novel
  • Design a board game
  • Don’t eat meat
  • Teach something new to someone every day
  • Have a conversation every day with someone i rarely speak to
  • No news
  • Learn a language as much as possible
  • No sending txts
  • No TV
  • Make a list of things i am thankful for. 1/day.
  • Make a list of things i am proud of. 1/day
  • Meditate for 10-20 mins/day
  • No social media
  • Read a short story every day
  • No smartphone
  • Go left handed
  • No caffeine
  • Listen to a random/new song. 1/day.
  • Read a random blog post every day.
  • Take a picture every day.
  • No complaining.
  • Learn as much as possible about a specific subject/event/person etc
  • 30-45 mins walk every day
  • Swimming every day
 
 

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Why me?

Ok, this is something i’d rather not be blogging about but unfortunately it’s the only thing i can think about at the moment and i just want to vent.

As i’ve mentioned in my 2012 – New Year’s Resolutions post i suffer from PA and i am being treated for it by a rheumatologist and a dermatologist. “Treated” is too strong of a word. PA is chronic degenerative condition and it’s here to stay. I think the word “contained” is more appropriate for what’s going on at the moment. I’ve had 2 serious flares ups this year. The first was around mid January until mid February. My methotrexate dosage had increased significantly last to combat this type of flares ups. But as it so often happens, a solution to one problem is the source of a different problem. Although from mid-February onwards i started to feel better, the increased dosage led to stomach problems.

After a gastroscopy and finding that some “wounds” in my stomach had increased (compared to last year’s gastroscopy), i’ve had to cut back on some my PA medicine dosage. I don’t know if it’s just coincidence but i’ve had another serious flare up for 8 days now so i’ve started taking strong anti-inflammatory drugs which are not doing my stomach any good.ย  It’s proving to be a vicious circle. Treat one thing while suffer (and cause) another.

The one glimmer of hope in this is that i finally got approval for my PA to be “contained” with the ridiculously expensive biologic drug called Enbrel. This is thought to be less damaging than chemical based drugs, such as methotrexate. However, it weakens the immune system, so if there is any indication of an infection (even a cough or the flu) i need to stop taking it immediately.ย  I’ve only taken one shot, last week, and i already have a sneaky suspicion of a (not going away) cough. Like i said, a vicious circle.

This condition is the only thing on my mind and it’s leading me into dark thoughts and seeing health problems everywhere (Some real and some from anxiety). Last year i feared for my intestine and now i’m concerned about my heart.

It’s just that i haven’t yet learned how to live with this condition. I am finding it difficult to accept it and move on. I’m still stuck in the “why me” phase.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Antidote, Exercise & health

 

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