Today I have been down to the gym practicing for my Level 3. My husband is kindly being my guinea pig. I have been working him very hard, poor thing. I have successfully tired him out and made him ache, which is no mean feat, as he was a successful amateur boxer and still trains. Although today he couldn't come due to work commitments.
Todays session was a 5 minute warm up on the rowing machine, followed by plenty of dynamic stretching. I then did an intense cardiovascular session on the cross trainer, but just for 12 minutes as my achilles are still both a bit sore. I then did about 40 minutes of weights, followed by some core stability work, a cool down and finishing off with some careful static stretching. I say careful because due to my hypermobility I have to be careful not to over stretch my joints.
If this was a fitness programme for myself, I would be concentrating much more on stability and weights. Due to my hypermobility I need to strengthen and stabilise my core and joints. The work I did today on the Swiss ball (gym ball), and TRX straps was really hard- enjoyable, but hard! This hypermobility has given me lots of injuries over the years- achilles tendonopathy, knee pain and of course my coccydynia to name a few. It just means that although I am by no means double jointed, I am more flexible than others my age, and my joints tend to be unstable. Loose muscles and ligaments mean that there is more wear and tear on my joints. I am therefore working on strengthening muscles so that they will help protect my weak joints. I truly believe age is no limit to trying to improve your health and wellbeing.
I feel so much better and stronger physically and psychologically since I have upped my exercise and gym attendance, more so than in my 20's, 30's and 40's amazingly. I have attended a gym or leisure centre for over 30 years now, and always had an active job, so fortunately I have a good base to work from. Anyone can get fitter and stronger, but some people just have to start at a different level- even if that means starting sat in your chair at home. Obviously injuries and ill health do get in the way, and if you have any health concerns you should always consult a healthcare professional before embarking on any kind of fitness programme.
My coccydynia has also improved since upping my fitness. This could be due to a bit of weight loss, or stronger muscles and core, or simply the endorphins circulating round my body acting as a natural pain killer and mood enhancer. I am also off my coccyx a lot more which also helps.
If you are not already physically active, I would wholeheartedly recommend it. The numerous health benefits are truly amazing.