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Exersize and RE
Old 12-08-2004, 11:40 AM   #1
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Exersize and RE

I've been RE since last April due to back surgery,(fusion L3-L5) and just now I'm feeling alive. I recovered OK from the surgery, then found out my work place put me on comp semi-permanate. I felt good, actually like a RE millionaire, comp till age 65 then normal retirement, but something was missing. I walked daily, ussually 3.7 mi, but 2 weeks ago joined the local gym and started to work out again. Now I feel great! Seems as if my mind was Ok with RE, but my body was not. Now my "job" includes work outs, at my own pace and at my own times, plus I feel like a stud with all the older retirees at the gym during the day, I'm 50 yr old. I suspect I'm not alone with this feeling.......shredder
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Surfing, yard work, tae kwon do...
Old 12-08-2004, 12:59 PM   #2
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Surfing, yard work, tae kwon do...

... I haven't been to the gym in weeks.
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Re: Exersize and RE
Old 12-08-2004, 02:35 PM   #3
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Re: Exersize and RE

Good topic. This is my first winter in ER, and I really need to deal with this. We don't have a gym here. What would you recommend for a home setup. I'm thinking a treadmill and some weights. Would repeatedly walking up and down a flight of stairs be as good as a treadmill? If you were going to do everything at home, what would you do?
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Re: Exersize and RE
Old 12-08-2004, 03:07 PM   #4
 
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Re: Exersize and RE

Quote:
Good topic. This is my first winter in ER, and I really need to deal with this. We don't have a gym here. What would you recommend for a home setup. I'm thinking a treadmill and some weights. Would repeatedly walking up and down a flight of stairs be as good as a treadmill? If you were going to do everything at home, what would you do?

3 things that you need to pay attention to. Aerobics, Resistance Training and Flexibility.

Aerobics:
Repeatedly walking up and down the stairs would be better than a treadmill! - But, you might wear out the carpeting (No gym membership would pay for new carpeting every few years though).

I'd definitely do some resistance training (weights) etc. I think there are some good books at the library that will show how push-ups, chin-ups can substitute for weight training etc. Weight training for older folks is more important than younger folks. When you lose muscle mass you lose support for Arms, Back, Shoulder etc. and this is what leads to injury in later years.

Flexibilty exercises also. Touching toes, stretches, twists. 30 minutes a day will save agony and pain in the long run.

Get a book at the Library on this and develop a regimen and stick to it. - After 60 days it will become habit.
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Re: Surfing, yard work, tae kwon do...
Old 12-08-2004, 03:11 PM   #5
 
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Re: Surfing, yard work, tae kwon do...

Quote:
... I haven't been to the gym in weeks.
No Fair! - You live in Hawaii !

Of course if I lived there, I'd be tempted to just sit on your Lanai with those Frosty Beverages.
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Bill Phillip's "Body for Life"
Old 12-08-2004, 03:15 PM   #6
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Bill Phillip's "Body for Life"

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...010977-2463373

I'm no Philips shill but he presents a low-cost exercise program. I wouldn't put much faith in the before/after photos and I wouldn't buy his supplements. And you can take his diet tips or leave them.

But read about the exercises from a library copy. I especially like the way he ramps up the efforts to a final peak and then trails off. It's a much more efficient workout than spending hours plodding through gym exercises.

My FIL uses one of the Weider multi-exercise machines for a few hundred bucks. He also has a rowing machine that works for his strong back/legs. When they were living in winter, they used to find shopping malls that opened their corridors (before the stores opened) for walkers. Sometimes they'd be rambling around with hundreds of other people.

And I can't overemphasize the camaraderie of yoga or martial arts or masters swimming-- anything but the over-30 basketball league. You don't have to attempt full splits or break concrete blocks (I certainly don't) but you'll improve reflexes, flexibility, and muscle.
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Re: Surfing, yard work, tae kwon do...
Old 12-08-2004, 03:24 PM   #7
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Re: Surfing, yard work, tae kwon do...

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No Fair! - You live in Hawaii ! >:(
Oops, just missed that one! Hey, plane tickets are probably cheaper than gym memberships. But the open-ocean fishing is a lot rougher this time of year.

The "problem" with sitting on the lanai right now is that it's in the middle of the honey-do list. I'm surrounded by overgrowth requiring chainsaw-grade pruning. I may seek professional help for the upper branches of the mango trees; they must've looked pretty cute when the original owner so thoughtlessly planted them right in the middle of the freaking view about 15 years ago. We've been pulling out and mulching more than we've been planting.

I've wanted to the the work, really I have, but I don't suppose that this is a good time to snivel about the perpetual rains we've experienced for the last two weeks. Why, some nights the temperatures have dipped into the high 60s...

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Re: Exersize and RE
Old 12-08-2004, 04:59 PM   #8
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Re: Exersize and RE

Quote:
We don't have a gym here. What would you recommend for a home setup. I'm thinking a treadmill and some weights.
Look for quality items. They'll last a lot longer than the difference in price and they will be less likely to injure you.

As for the cardio workout, do you like to run now? It can be jarring on the knees. You want a weight-bearing exercise but it doesn't have to be jarring. I've owned a Nordic Track for about the last 12 years and it's a great workout that doesn't stress my knees. At the gym at work I use the elliptical machines and again no jarring. Stationary biking is ok but it isn't weight bearing and so not as much benefit for bone density.

On the weights, get a good safety/squat/power cage. This will let you set up a bench under it and place safety bars and pins at various points so that you don't drop the weight on yourself. If you want a really simple, effective weight workout then look at building it around 3 basic core exercises: squat; deadlift; and benchpress. These will hit just about everything though you can build some extra exercises around them.

If you haven't done this sort of stuff before it might pay to find somebody to show you as you can injure yourself. A couple of sessions with a personal trainer would be cheap insurance. If you have your own gear they could even come to your home gym and show you how to use it.
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Re: Exersize and RE
Old 12-08-2004, 05:12 PM   #9
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Re: Exersize and RE

Quote:
Good topic. This is my first winter in ER, and I really need to deal with this. We don't have a gym here. What would you recommend for a home setup. I'm thinking a treadmill and some weights. Would repeatedly walking up and down a flight of stairs be as good as a treadmill? If you were going to do everything at home, what would you do?
I have a very complete home gym with a squat rack, chin bar, dip stand. All this stuff is way more fun with a buddy. There might be a gung-ho high school kid who would like to lift with you. I started out lifting with my girlfriend's Dad when I was 15. Actually, I started lifting with him before I started going out with her.

I hurt my back a few years ago when I missed racking the bar after squats. I recovered fine, but I have a little mental resistance to going heavy when I am alone. Also, it is hard to go out to the garage alone when it is so damn cold and dark. (Northern winter!)

I put a 40# dumbell between me and the bathroom and kitchen. Whenever I get up to get a drink or take a pee, I do 5 presses on each side. This mounts up, and I don't resent it. If I am having thirsty day, I quit the lifts when I feel pleasantly tired in the shoulders. In fact, if I were setting up now, I would give strong consideration to some nice dumbbells-the kind that are either fixed weight, or the heavy duty gym kind where the weights are very securely held. Dumbbells are inherently safer than a barbell, and more fun too.

And like Cut-Throat mentioned, add a chin bar and a dip rack, and you have a really good setup for not too much cash. Pretty safe too. Weightlifters are great bullsh*tters, but lots of them have lots of injuries so you do have to be careful. I used to like heavy deadlifts, but my knees were always hurting, so I cut it out.

For stretching, I do 2 sets of kicks each AM-front, side, back, R_L x2. It's done before my coffee is ready. If I feel tight I'll do some passive stretches.

For aerobics, if the weather is bad I dance fast salsa or merengue or zouk, with a couple of 4# dumbells in each hand. My footwork concentrates on getting the rhythm right, 'cause I think it helps my drumming and definitely my club dancing. My handwork is pretty free form. I do it in a cold room 2 or 3xday, for 5 or 6 songs each time, which gives me about 40-60 minutes a day. By doing it in the cold, I can get away with only one shower.

If the weather is good, or when I am in the city, I walk.

Some people do well with treadmills, but I can't stand them.

I notice this routine improves my sleep a lot, as long as I don't do it real late.

An interesting old guy named Leonard Schwartz wrote a book he called Heavyhands which goes into a lot of detail on exercising with weights in the hands. It's a good book, and in most libraries or available from Amazon markeplace quite cheap.

It is amazing how much one can get out of a pretty abbreviated routine. I have read papers by exercise physiologists which show that while more exercise or more intense exercise is usually better, the biggest jump in improved health and longevity comes from just getting up and getting started, at any level, at any type of exercise. Like Nike says, "Just Do It!"

Good luck!

Mikey
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Re: Exersize and RE
Old 12-08-2004, 05:20 PM   #10
 
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Re: Exersize and RE

While we are waiting for Nords to torture us some more

My story is a bit like Cut-Throat, even to the weather
here and I am still fishing also. Plus, like our good friend
in Minnesota,
I swear every year to leave here. Yet, here I am, in
the twilight of my life and still here ( and we even have a
place to go). I am financially secure, happily unemployed, etc. Every thing is satisfactual. But, my life is still quite complicated, or so it seems. I believe I
have made my peace with this and expect it will be so
when I depart this life. In the meantime, I am striper
fishing in Texas in January, again in February, and then
Florida for BIKE WEEK (hey panhead, are you going?)
in March. Hopefully, this will interrupt the dreaded
cabin fever and keep me relatively sane until spring,
or as sane as I get at any rate

JG
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It's worse than you think.
Old 12-08-2004, 05:53 PM   #11
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It's worse than you think.

I've lived all over the world so I can remember winter weather from just about any time zone. But my clearest memory is shoveling the driveway for the 99th time in February 1977 and adding the stuff to a nine-foot pile along the perimeter. I believe the Ohio River froze that winter and the Duquesne power plant "days of coal remaining" deathwatch got down to single digits before the coal barges literally broke through. I swore that I'd spend the rest of my life in warmer climes, and the Navy eventually fulfilled the promise.

We used to pull out of Pearl Harbor (wearing sunscreen), head north, and spend weeks listening to the icepack overhead. The troops cleaned the bilges with icepicks. It'd be so cold that seawater inlet temperature would be 28 degrees-- four degrees below freezing. I did a MEDEVAC in Adak, AK, where the windchill was 50 below and the snow "fell" horizontally. And then there was refitting & five-hour surface transits from Holy Loch, Scotland wearing full exposure suits. So, no, I think I have enough memories to last even through my ER, and I'll happily gorge on filet mignon & lobster. (Actually it's fresh ahi & mahi-mahi with all the ripe citrus we can pick.)

But the best vengeance is living to watch your kids suffer. Our 12-year-old is full of newfound independence (as long as we're paying for it) and she's thrilled to have a school field trip-- to Washington DC-- in February. We've been happily going through closets & attics to find long-forgotten clothing like gloves, ski hats, coats, and long underwear. Just as comprehension begins to dawn in her eyes, she talks with her 7th-grade classmates (also born & raised in Hawaii, with parents who have never lived in winter) and comes home to announce that all she needs is a sweatshirt and a jacket.

The chaperones aren't much better. At one parents' meeting they asked us to help decide between an evening theater performance and a concert on the Mall. I asked them "Is this concert outdoors?" They said "Sure! Oh."

So last week, while we were assembling fundraising bentos in the school's kitchen, we tried to persuade our kid to spend some time in the walk-in freezer (at 8 degrees F). She declined but she's starting to "get it". After all, if it's such a good deal for her, why aren't Mom & Dad chaperoning?

And it's not like it never snows here. What, haven't we all heard of the Mauna Kea Snowboard Championships? http://starbulletin.com/2001/12/18/news/story6.html

Here's a handy guide to recognizing winter in Hawaii:
- You have to close the windows at night. Some of them have rusted in their tracks in the open position.
- You have to put a blanket on the bed. You can't find one.
- You realize that your house doesn't have insulation but it does have plenty of air leaks. Then you realize that you should close the door, too.
- Locals wear mismatched sweaters & sweatshirts with sharp creases that smell like mothballs. (The clothing, not the creases or the locals.)
- You fondly remember August's Kona weather when the sweat was running down the back of your neck as you lay panting in bed at 2 AM.
- The sun doesn't rise some mornings until after 7 AM.
- The surf temperature craters down to the low 70s.
- It rains two or three inches a week.
- You try to close the window in your car and the track is crammed with dirt & debris. If you park outdoors, your car actually has dew on it. You realize that your heater and your defroster don't work.
- You have to turn the car's vent thermostat from the blue zone to that red-line thingy. It takes forever to warm up.
- Grocery stores run out of hot chocolate & marshmallows.
- Matson Shipping Lines delivers the first container of Christmas trees. People line up for hours to get the "first one".
- Santa paddles onto Waikiki beach accompanied by hula dancers. He doesn't wear gloves because he's making shaka signs with his hands.
- Neighborhood kids start wearing pants (not shorts) to school. With shoes, not slippers. And long socks!
- Your kid asks if they have to cancel school when the temperature drops below 60.
- Once or twice a year when it gets down in the 50s, cops actually patrol the beaches making sure people aren't sleeping outdoors and dying from exposure.
- Workers rush indoors from the parking lot instead of dawdling outside.
- Radio stations actually have to print out & read the weather report. TV meteorologists can't just replay yesterday's report for the 100th time.
- Big Island snow gets more newsprint than Kilauea lava flows.
- And last but definitely not least, the North Shore surf gets gnarly enough that you have to watch it from across the road with your car windows rolled up. People don't just get knocked off their boards, the boards get snapped into pieces. The Eddie Aikau Memorial surf contest holds its opening ceremony and waits for Waimea Bay to get to at least 20 feet. The pros paddle in (without watercraft!) and wear helmets. http://www.istc.org/sisp/?fx=event&event_id=43504

One plane ticket and about 10 hours-- that's all it takes! But bring sunscreen.

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Re: It's worse than you think.
Old 12-08-2004, 07:31 PM   #12
 
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Re: It's worse than you think.

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Here's a handy guide to recognizing winter in Hawaii:....
- Last week I wore jeans and a long sleeve shirt, 1'st time since last February.

- When the north swell gets large it sounds like loud thunder which wakes me.

- Go surfing, too big, look for a place with smaller waves.

- Go surfing, really big, nobody out.

- Go surfing, looks big, paddle out anyway, get held under, try the shoulder.

- Go windsurfing, break gear.

- Watch tow in surfing at Jaws.

- Visit Oahu and watch them at Sunset and Pipeline.

- Go surfing, watch as the whales frolic on the outside.

- Call home, listen to the reports of cold rain and snow.
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Re: Exersize and RE
Old 12-09-2004, 04:03 AM   #13
 
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Re: Exersize and RE

Somehow we morphed from exercise into a travelogue

For exercise, I only walk plus whatever I get staying
reasonably active and outdoorsy. I used to have more
of a routine, but have been slowed somewhat by age
and ailments. Maybe laziness too

Never been to Hawaii. Used to have a business partner
with a home on Maui. Never got there and I no longer fly so doubtful I will make it now. It's okay though. I am
sure it's quite lovely, but I have no real desire to visit.

The worst winters I have actually lived in were in the
Upper Peninsula of Michigan. On the south shore of Lake Superior, they routinely get 25 feet of snow in a winter, literally running out of places to put it. Before
it melts, a lot of homeowers only have a tunnel from the
street to their door. It's hard to imagine if you have not seen it.

JG
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Re: Exersize and RE
Old 12-09-2004, 04:15 AM   #14
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Re: Exersize and RE

I am ordering a pedometer and am going to try the 10,000 steps a day route. I have a treadmill and exercise bike and use them in the winter when walking doesn't work out so well. Boring, boring, boring. I am a pacer at work; thinking much better when walking rather than sitting. It will be interesting to see how many steps I put in a day at work.

I have thought about something for strength training, but I am pretty clueless. My FIL used to take milk jugs partially filled with water and use them as weights for strengthening his arms.

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Re: Exersize and RE
Old 12-09-2004, 04:40 AM   #15
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Re: Exersize and RE

I here you guys about the weather. I'm in N.E. lower Michigan, and it's pre-winter here. Some snow, some cold rain, some nice days in the high 40's. Soon winter will be here in force. Thats when it's nice to have a local gym. We live near an old air force base that has been closed, and the township has it now, the gym cost $20 and is open till April. It has 2 large b-ball courts, nautilis machines, multi position weight machine, tread mills, exersize bikes, free weights, pool tables, ping pong, ect. I'd rather walk or hike in the woods, but from Nov. 15 (gun deer season) it's kinda dangerous, soon muzzle load season will be done, then the snow starts, but with my back I don't think I'll X-country ski this year. So the gym it is. Shredder
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Old 12-09-2004, 04:43 AM   #16
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Re: Exersize and RE

Shredder and All,
Hello from Brazil !! *I havent posted in awhile....having too much fun as a perpetual traveler. *I retired this year at 39 and I know how you feel regarding back problems. * I had a bulged disk a few years ago....primarily from years of jumping cliffs on snowboards and work-stress (the real culprit). *

Sitting at *a desk talking on the phone and emailing all day is really hard on your back....driving too.

My back feels great now. *I stretch for 20 minutes every day before I surf and Ive had no problems in over 1.5 years. *I just spent 2 months in Mexico and had amazing waves in Puerto Escondido, Rio Nexpa, Pasculaes... *Im now in Brazil for 2-3 months....its summer here so all is good!

Also, Ive found that if you surf 4-6 days a week.....you can eat anything you want and not gain weight....you burn everything off......huge portions, dessert, beer !

By the way, it feels cold here in Brazil....the highs are only in the 80s and Mexico was in 90s

Surf
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Old 12-09-2004, 04:47 AM   #17
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Re: Exersize and RE

Speaking of weather, I have never spend more than a few days in a warm clime in winter. I'm not sure how much I would like it. If I did not live here in N. MI I would look at Montana, around Red Lodge, with all the hiking and fishing and so few people. I know I really liked the times I spent there. when the wife retires we may check out some warm weather states in the winter, but not full time. Nothing better than the north in the summer, and fall IMHO....Shredder
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Old 12-09-2004, 05:32 AM   #18
 
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Re: Exersize and RE

Hello Shredder! I agree with you about Montana.
I love it! Also, Wyoming and Idaho. But, the winters are not much different than Michigan, which is just as
pretty, if a bit more populous. It's an irony of my ER
life that after thinking there was no way to work out
a "snowbird" lifestyle (too pricey on our budget), I finally
did it only to discover that we were held back by non-
financial issues. Another surprise post-retirement.
I've had a lot of them.

JG
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:36 AM   #19
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Re: Exersize and RE

As a chronic back pain sufferer (major surgery at age 18, gradual deterioration ever since) I have to exercise regularly to maintain mobility. I have found that walking and swimming are the best activities for me. My current neighborhood has a series of walking/biking trails. I try to walk 3 to 4 miles three days a week. I go to the local community college to swim 1 mile three times a week. I also do stretching each morning and I have dumbells ranging from 2 to 20 lbs. that I use to maintain muscle tone.

We are moving next month to a "55 or better" community that has a magnificent community center with indoor and outdoor pools, and a state of the art fitness center. I expect to increase my exercise to include stationary bike and resistance training.

Maybe then I'll be less

Grumpy :-/
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Old 12-09-2004, 09:01 AM   #20
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Re: Exersize and RE

Grumpy, you'll have to let us know how the 55 and up thing works out. I always though it would be neat to try that. A fella I used to work with went to Sun City Center FL recently after cruising on his boat for about 5 yr following retirement. He just moved in, and I've yet to see how they like it..........Shredder
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