Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Workout at the Gym

Stan and I are lucky to have a beautiful Family Y near our house, and we joined soon after it opened.  When I was working we went once a week during my lunch hour on Fridays, when I worked from home.  Now that we're both retired we have a "date" for Wednesdays and Fridays in the early afternoon.

We start out by warming up - Stan on the treadmill and me on the elliptical machine.  I figure since I walk so much out on the street, it's probably better for my joints to avoid the treadmill.  Notice how nice and uncrowded the gym is when you're retired and can go in the middle of the afternoon!

The elliptical machine is kind of boring.  I can walk for an hour outside without noticing the time, but indoors on the machine, ten minutes seems quite long.  I amuse myself by looking out the window down into the swimming pool, and thinking how nice and cool the water would feel right now. 

Then it's time to get to the hard work.  All the weight lifting books I've read (several, most recently The Paleo Coach by Jason Seib) say lifting free weights is more effective than using the weight machines, because you have to balance yourself and the weights, and you use many muscles instead of just the ones isolated on the machines.  So, a few weeks ago I got out some weights and followed instructions in a little booklet that came with Stan's weight bench to lie on my back on the bench at home, and I did the exercises, no problem.  Then I tried to get back up - oops!  Not possible!  I had to half roll - half fall off sideways - ouch!  So, I'm back on the machines, at least until I get stronger, and maybe lighter would help, too.

The Y provides exercise logs, which I faithfully fill out each time.  I mark an up-arrow when I can do the exercise 12 reps without straining too much, and the next time I know to set the weight up higher.  You can see I don't get to every machine every time.  Guess I should take time to do them all, even if Stan is finished ahead of me.  (If you are wondering about my middle initial, Pam Q Birch - that is because the file of B's is huge and it was taking a long time to sift through and find my card each time.  In the Q's there are only two or three.)

This is a new item that Stan has been watching closely and wanting to try.  It's a climbing wall on big rollers that keeps rolling around as you climb.  You should see some of the young kids zip up like it's nothing.  Stan did a good job for his first time!

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