Monday, June 08, 2009
Seeing Results at the Gym
A few weeks ago I returned to the gym for the first time in months. I was a little apprehensive about how well I'd be able to keep up, not to mention what sort of routine I'd be able to keep. When I started my FEV1 was holding steady at 1.6. Not bad, but not good either. My trainer devised a series of exercises that would open up my chest muscles and strengthen my back so that I could breathe better. Initially I set my spirometry goal at 1.8L. My trainer said that if I'm going to get there, I need to do cardio on the days that I don't work with him.
My cardio routine is to do 2 miles on the treadmill and 10 minutes on the elliptical. I love the walking but I loathe the elliptical. At first it was very tiring for me and I could barely hang in there for 3 minutes, let alone 10. The great thing about working out on a regular basis is that your body remembers the movements and adapts to them. This is why it's so important to push myself just a little harder each time I exercise. If I settle into too much of a routine, I won't make any progress.
Today I worked with my trainer and he said he could definitely see the improvement. He had also checked the gym's records and saw that I was faithful to come in on the "off" days just to do cardio. The stretches he had me do felt great. I'm finally getting to the point where I can feel the results. One of the exciting results is that my FEV1 is improving. This morning it was all the way up to 1.88L! I'm hoping that it will continue to improve the longer and harder I hit the gym. I've been told that the way to progress is to follow the acronym FIT. I must first increase the frequency of my workouts. Right now I'm at 4 days a week, which is my max so now it's time to move to the I--Intensity. When I walk on the treadmill I should start increasing the intensity by making it more uphill. When I have that locked in after several weeks, then I progress to the T. I should spend more time on the treadmill or elliptical. Perhaps go to 12 minutes and then 15 on the elliptical. Who knows. I'm just so happy to be at a point where my health is stable. I have a feeling all this exercise is only going to improve my stability.