Why Strength Is Important For My Workout
Friday, September 06, 2013
This is for my Lose 10 lbs by Christmas Callenge I am on on the Females 55+ team: I have to talk about why strength exercise is important to add to your workout. Here is my story:
I have diabetes type 2, have Osteoarthritis and I have mobility impairment from that and from a below the leg amputation of my left leg.
I added strength to my workout after I was have almost crippling pain in my back and one of my team leaders suggested that doing some core workouts would help the pain. I always felt when I tried to walk or stand . I was stuck in a wheel chair at the time. I did some reading on Spark People and on WebMD and found that not only would core exercises help with the pain but flexibility and strength exercises, could be done seated and with small dumbells and they too would help me ease the arthritis pain, and also, like a miracle, would improve my mobility.
All this time I thought it was hopeless and I would never be losing weight or able to move without pain again and hear was a world opening up before me saying it doesn't have to be that way if you choose differently. I was skeptical but I tried.
I had already lost weight from sheer ill health down from 360 pounds to 260 pounds , then by the time I discovered Spark People I was on my way back up already at 278 pounds. I started working on changing from processed foods and junk food and fast food to healthy Mediterranean style eating and I dropped 4lbs in 3 months, not very fast. Then I discovered in rapid succession that I had Gastroparesis, a progressive gastrointestinal paralysis which caused me to digest very very slowly and not be able to have nearly as much fiber as most people can. And I found I had Pre cancerous cells in my stomach. The cancer took three minor surgeries to eradicate, but the GP was with me to stay. And my weight was back up to 278.
Then I found out that strength exercises would help me be able to stand and walk and that would help increase how fast I could digest my foods and keep my blood sugar low. So I became determined to do this. In March I started out only able to walk 10 steps at a time and only able to do about 10 minutes or 10 reps each of seated cardio and strength. But I began to have the muscles to walk again and carry my abdomen tucked in which eased my back pain,
It was self motivating! The more I did the more I could do! Now I am up to 15 minutes of walking in 5 minutes of sustained walking 5 days a week, and I do 60 sets of upper and lower body strength movement of 10 reps each for 45 to 60 minutes a day in 20 minute sets on 3 days a week and the same time for seated Cardio workouts on 3 days a week.
But strength workouts are so important to this. Without building up the muscles I wouldn't have been able to stand or take the first steps, or hold myself upright enough to take each step even if it was with two canes. The more I build the muscles around the joints the less stress there is on my joints and the less pain I have. I'm not a fan of self infliction of pain, so this is again self motivating. You workout, you burn calories, you lose weight ( I am down below 250 pounds now which is a 40 year goal, since graduating High School). My sugar levels are controlled, my digestive system functions better, I feel terrific and I am almost never in the wheelchair at all when I am home. I only need it now for trips out of the home where I would have to do a lot of walking.
Everytime I look at my dumbells now I that God above for ENUFF81020 giving me the suggestion to try core workouts. And for EMMABE 1 who showed me how to exercise and grow in ability and strength. Without them I think I would have given up and just curled up and died somewhere.