Sunday, January 26, 2014

TFC Day 19 - You've Got the Power

 Yesterday my husband and I took a walk through the woods. We ended up traversing a patch of logged forest and had to scramble over branches and logs for more than an hour.  Today we are quite sore all over and our energy is low. Because I put three day’s worth of exercise into yesterday afternoon, I am going to take a break today.

My primary goal in this Therapeutic Fitness Challenge is to empower you to reach a new level with your fitness. Improved awareness and energy management is the first step of getting fit without injury. I also hope that I’ve given you a new variety of activities to meet the goals of aerobics, flexibility, and strength. (On off-trail walk in the woods is a unique and fun activity . . . if you don't get lost or twist an ankle or get a Devil's Club stinger in your thumbs.)

On the second day of this challenge, you assessed your heart rate, leg strength, and flexibility. Today’s assignments repeat the tests so you can compare.

1. Sit comfortably with good posture breathe through your nose.  Keep your jaw relaxed but closed and breathe consciously for 5 minutes. If you feel anxious, try inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.

2. Keeping your heart healthy is one of the most important parts of fitness. Do your typical aerobic exercise and measure your heart rate 5 minutes into the exercise and at the height of your aerobic activity. Then stop exercising for 2 minutes and measure your heart rate again. Write down the numbers. From this webpage, determine: a) if you are exercising within your target range, and b) your Heart Rate Recovery. 

3. Time how long you can comfortably do a wall sit (instructions here) and write down the length of time you held the sit and the approximate angle of your thighs.  Keep your knees in line with your middle toes the entire time. “Comfortably” means that you aren’t wishing you were somewhere else, that you can breathe deeply, and that you can stand up again without groaning or hurting. (You can count seconds in your head, or you can use a stop watch.)

4. Stretch. 

5. Test your flexibility. It is important to do this test with no pain. Standing with slightly bent knees, bend forward to see if you can touch the ground. If so, notice if your fingers or palms touch.  If not, measure how far from the ground your finger tips are.  Bend your knees, stand up carefully, and write down your results.

6. Review the intentions you wrote. What progress are you making on them?

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