Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Finally struggling through real exercise

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I've only been a member of Lifetime Health Club now for about three weeks and I finally learned what a real workout is all about. Until now, I've been power walking and jogging on the treadmills. And I thought THAT was exercise.

No. It's socializing. I have been power walking and jogging one hour each morning. I do feel great, that's for sure. But it was just helping me keep my health balance. It wasn't really moving me to slim down my waist, which is my goal. I'm 59. I'm not going to trim down into a six-pack abdomen. My goal is just to be healthier.

Exercise is when you push yourself so far that you can barely complete what you are doing. I had a trainer help me start a real exercise program. And I barely could finish what she had me start.

I've been lucky most of my life. I had a high metabolism. I rarely gained weight and was always slim. Good heart (despite valve replacement surgery in November 2010). I didn't need to exercise, although exercise never hurts. It can only help. But now, I need to exercise. The weight doesn't come off that quickly, but it packs on much faster. Suddenly, when I lived a life with no weight at all and describe as being skinny, now I was putting on the weight without any effort.

The trainer (I'll spare her the harassment of being my trainer : ) so I won't name her) was phenomenal. Very professional. And good. She had me do some basic exercises, not on the treadmill or the popular machines, but at the weights section. Halfway through the hour I had to take a break. She was pushing but she must have thought, maybe you should be on TV's "America's Biggest Loser" program. I won't take that program for granted any more.

The weight machines. The lifts. The large ball and balance. The biggest problem I had besides getting up off the ground was keeping my balance. Heels under the shoulders. Arms straight. Breathing. Keeping your face and shoulders forward. Lifting and pulling the weights.

When the hour was up, I dragged myself out of Lifetime to the car. It was a killer. But it had to be done. Next time I do the session, maybe my Trainer will even let me actually put weights on the machines.

Hey. I'm working my way up to 10 pounds! : )

-- Ray Hanania

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