Guest Post: Don’t be such a tight ass.
Made it! And boy, have I missed this place!
The next visitor to s&s is my dear friend, Kevin. Sans blog, but you can check him out on Twitter (It’s a lot of sports commentary, and the occasional jab at yours truly!)
I’ve known Kev since my University days, and his trying-to-reclaim-his-youth-by-visiting-his-university days. I hung around too many frat guys, but he is the antonym.
Thanks Kev for sharing your story; I know you will (and already do) inspire people!
I often enjoy reading stories about how other have become more physically active and accomplishments they have made as a result. Sometimes I find it interesting, and at others it helps motivate me to get through a workout slump. I haven’t always been active, and it wasn’t until December of 2006 that I had decided I needed to make more of a commitment to regular physical activity. I had put on 21 lbs. in about a 9 month period, and wasn’t a fan of the direction that I was headed.
I knew I couldn’t rely on a fast metabolism anymore and had to stay physically active. I should also mention that I have cerebral palsy which results in muscles being much tighter than the average person, and I am (or was) prone to muscle spasms, mainly in my back, quads and hamstrings (hence the title of this). It also meant that I had to be more selective with what I would do to get active as biking and skating were out since I just don’t have the balance for those, and I also knew there was a higher probability of sticking with it if I could workout at home instead of going to gym several times a week, given that motivation may taper off in time.
For whatever reason, I had decided the elliptical was the machine for me, and got a Freespirit brand elliptical from Sears at a pretty decent price. I started slowly, at 20 minutes per day on a pretty low level of resistance, and after a short period of time, changed it to 20 minutes every morning before work and then half an hour when I got home. Not only did I lose the 21 lbs. I had set out to, I lost another 21 in a fairly short period of time, and I have maintained that ever since. My routine changed again after a short period of time, because I wanted to give my body some days to rest, and I also just wanted to see how long I could go for without stopping. I started doing 45 minutes 3 times per week, and 45 to 90 on Saturdays, depending how I feel, and at increased resistance levels.
While I do like to brag to people about dropping all that weight, the benefits for me of regular activity have extended far beyond that. There was a time when I couldn’t walk very long at all without sounding winded (aggravated by the pack a day smoker that I once was), and that`s not been an issue in a few years now. Those pesky spasms that I mentioned are now few and far between, as the regular exercise has kept me loose enough that I dont need to sit with heating pads and stretch the way that I used to. I can also recall a trip to Europe in 2010 where we walked about 80 K in a 2 week period, and I really don`t think that would have been possible if I weren`t already in the habit of constant activity.
I don’t get the muscle tension that I used to, and when I do, an easy 20 on the elliptical usually helps, or a trip to the massage therapist. I`m pretty tight right now, but I did just fly 24,000 kilometres to Australia and back so I best get back at it tomorrow.