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Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Fourth Meeting with Clara

On Thursday, October 7, I met with Clara again. Clara is the trainer at the gym who has been helping me build my strength where I need it to counteract the effects of arthritis. I showed her the new exercises given me by Paul, the physical therapist, and I told her that overall I felt I was at a higher level, experiencing less pain in general, than I was when we first met in April of this year.  We went upstairs to the weight room area.

She showed me a machine where I could the new hip exercises, using a band around my ankle and weights.

We discussed the sitting and standing routine, and decided I could do that on the high box that sits in the weight room area. I can also sit on that box to do the raising and lowering of my leg, with ankle weights.  Unfortunately, the gym does not have ankle weights so I will need to find mine and bring them with me.

Finally, I asked her about alternative ways to do some of the things I am doing already. She showed me a new way to do lat pulldowns, sitting on a large ball, thus efficiently working the sitting and standing muscles as well. I also learned how to do the compound row using a different machine.

I will continue to do the remaining exercises as before, except that I will alternate using the different machines for lat pulldowns and compound rows.

In the last few weeks I have lowered the weight on some things and raised it on others. I felt I needed to keep it down more on the leg press so that I could focus more on keeping my knees apart.

Since meeting with Clara I have done the new routine a few times. I found I rather enjoy using the new machines. They are a little different in how they work so they probably work my body a little differently, but also just manipulating different machines gives me more a feeling of mastery, and I am more likely to find machines I can use when I travel.

At this time I am doing the rising and lowering to a seat rather sporadically. I think I need to work in at least one time a day when I do that consciously, regularly. Similarly, I haven't gotten the sitting leg raises and curls with ankle weights in at all, because I haven't found my weights.

The visit with Clara took only a half-hour. We will meet again if I feel the need or after my next visit with Paul. So far this way of adjusting the routine is not turning out to be costly for me, which I appreciate. I don't need anyone holding my hand or walking me through the routines regularly, as I can pick up and do them myself. I can also adjust as recommended.

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