You all know I go to the Y on a regular basis. My original intentions, when I decided to join, were to use the pool in an attempt to soothe my arthritis. However (there always seems to be a however), after you become a member of the Y, they automatically give you an orientation. That includes a tour of the facilities and detailed instructions on how to use the various equipment to avoid injury.
I remember my first day there. I was a nervous wreck. You see, after injuring my back years ago and going for PT, I was released with specific instructions not to lift anything over 1 1/2lbs. It was awful! Well that meant that I couldn't even lift a gallon of milk unless I used two hands and held it against my body for additional support, which really, when you think about it, was pathetic.
Somehow I made it through orientation insisting to the trainer, who is now one of my best friends by the way, that I could not do half of the resistance of machines. She pushed me to at least try. So I did. Now after working out on a pretty consistent basis, I feel the best I've felt in years. I have lost inches, gained muscle and of course, strength. I still haven't been in the pool though. Why? I found out that by building muscle around the arthritic joints, the pressure is taken away from those joints. YEAH!!! Furthermore, I stopped taking my arthritis medication right after I joined because I also discovered that the increased blood flow really helped alleviate the pain.
So, in addition to personal satisfaction about improving my overall health, what is my reward? I decided to treat myself to a pair of new sneakers. These, which were recommended by my friend, neighbor, blogging guru Lisa, will help me continue to do my thirty minute cardio workouts at the gym. Now if I can stand getting them dirty, I might use them for walking the gravel road. No, scratch that thought. I think I stick to my hiking boots. After all, they're already dirty!