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Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Arthritis Rx DVD

After I read the Arthritis Rx book, which is the main focus of this blog, I hunted for an accompanying DVD. I did not find one. Until a few weeks ago. I decided to make another hunt on Amazon and one came up!

But there was only one available, from one of Amazon's affiliates, practice yoga in New York City, for $29.99. I ordered it. Today I tried it out.

The DVD has two of the three sets of exercises described in the book: A and B. Most people, according to the book, simply stick with the first set and never move on to B. The C set is for serious athletes. The exercises themselves are a little different from the ones in the book. Some are left out, others added. Most are the same, however. The DVD runs continuously, without a formal menu, and the A set moves right into the B. The two sets are prefaced by a brief introduction to Dr. Vijay Vad. In other words, it's a DVD without any glitz.

Set A is modeled by a woman, while Set B uses a man. A woman narrates. There is the obligatory yoga-type music in the background.

I liked using it. Although I have memorized the exercises in set A and can do them anywhere without the book or the DVD I liked being led through them this way. I saw some things in the postures that I could not tell from the descriptions and illustrations in the book, and I felt I was paying more attention to my form. It is also helpful for pacing the deep breaths, although there is nobody counting them out loud. The model forms a little "O" with her mouth when she exhales (although the book recommends breathing in and out through the nose), so you can tell the pace of her breathing.

I noticed today that again there is one available, from practice yoga, through amazon. It appears that when one is sold they put one more out there on amazon. Perhaps they even duplicate the DVDs as orders arrive. I looked on the website and did not find this DVD anywhere. I wondered if there would be more information about it there but there isn't.

I recommend it!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day cycling

I went on another short bike ride today. This time, though, I brought along two books to "release" on the way (check out bookcrossing) and I extended the ride a bit, checking out what was going on in the lower edges of downtown. I stopped for a deli sandwich, which I attached to my bike rack, and rode home.

I don' t much like stationary bikes. I wish I did. I just like to get somewhere. I like to feel the wind and I love the rush when I reach the top of a small rise (right now I don't attempt anything other than small rises). I like the smells and sounds and sights along the way. I wonder if I could hook a bike to a wii and have adventures...well, I don't yet have a wii but still.

It's encouraging. I feel better, stronger, I have more energy. I don't do much, honestly, just a half-hour ride generally, yet it does make a difference. And I know my knee thanks me. At least it isn't complaining yet.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I have been feeling good for a little while now so I thought I'd try bicycling again. I am no Lance Armstrong. I don't do it for the pain. So last week I went out every day and rode short routes, mostly flat. I managed it well, a bit of pain but no sudden wrench or other action. By the end of the week I even sped up some and liked it.

Half-hour rides, that's all. I am hoping I can keep them up. This week I aim to do four rides. On other days I have another plan.

Monday, April 7, 2008

stumbling along

I wrote my last post when I was in so much pain I felt a kind of despair. I wrote it not to ask for sympathy or help but to recognize it "officially".

I am not in that pain now, and it has been several weeks since I was. It took a while to get through it and I am not terribly patient about such things. I muddled along, doing what I felt okay doing, which wasn't much, and remembering that a while back an arthritis doc told me in times like this to just let it rest. It appears that something needed to heal or my body needed to adjust.

I am much better now. My laziness keeps me from making greater progress but I am maintaining some things I gained nevertheless. A friend and I went to a long opera the other day and she said it was all she could do to resist getting up during the performance because her legs were bothering her so much. I recognize that symptom, and I recognize that I rarely get it any more. I think the main reason is that I no longer eat cheese (except for the occasional slip) or other dairy products. I have no proof that this was the problem, no absolute proof, but the improvements I have seen followed my diet change so I am going to assume for now that the dairy products were at least part of the problem. Certainly that type fat isn't helpful.

I have gone on several flights in the past months and have noticed that my body handles them better.

In addition to this change the primary pain that was really getting me is gone. I am sure it is not gone for good because it is the type that has a habit of returning. But I am taking this opportunity to test out a new DVD - exercises for arthritis. So far so good. I am looking to get back to some weight training soon, too.