Back to the coal face – a.k.a. gym

I joined a new gym today.  For most of the twelve months, since relocating to attend university, I have worked out at home.  Functional, but not always that exciting.  I did try out the university gym for a couple of months, but since there was a definite his area/her area vibe going on (weight area/cardio area respectively), and since in any case there was only one set of hand weights under 10kg apiece, it didn’t maintain my attention for long.

So…it’s been over twelve months since I have consistently worked out in a gym.  I picked this one for a couple of reasons.  Location first up – it’s located on the path between uni and home, so very hard to avoid.  Secondly, the hours.  It’s a 24 hour gym, which works right in with my study induced insomnia.  Thirdly, it’s brand-new.  This has multiple benefits.  One is that they were offering very tempting joining offers.  Two is that there will not be a core of long-term residents who consider they “own” the place.  Three is…chock full of brand new, state of the art equipment.

By and large, I prefer free weights, primarily because you engage more muscles when using them.  Of course, machines that isolate muscles do have an important role to play, particularly for people with injuries, who wish to consider training without causing further damage to a specific area.  And of course, when you train regularly, using machines can help to break up routines, and eliminate monotony.

So, I am intrigued by the range of new designs this gym holds.   Since I don’t work out of a gym, I haven’t really kept up with the latest and greatest designs in machines, and obviously, I am going to be broadening my knowledge base in that regard.

So, the next few weeks are going to be  interesting, as I find my way about this place, and more importantly, work out a whole new routine…and hopefully find some interesting things to write about.

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Great ankles, awful knees.

First sports medicine class on taping techniques yesterday.  After a session on how to do it right, we were all armed with tape, and directed to team up with someone else.  Being lucky that way, I ended up with two somebody else’s, and since I had already been nominated to be the first victim…er, patient…this meant I had both ankles being taped at the same time.  Just as well I wore running pants to the class.

The moment of entertainment for me, was when the assistant tutor came to check my two classmates’ technique.  She is twenty something, and currently on crutches as a result of ankle surgery.  Blithely she asks me what ankle injuries I have sustained in my life.  Just as blithely, I answered none.  She looked at me…hard.  “Never?” she asks? “Nope” I replied.  All around me are my fellow students, many of them considerably younger than me.  Having not much to do while my ankles were strapped up, I had been eavesdropping on conversations all around me.  The class was riddled with all these healthy young things, whose ankle joints appear to be on the point of needing replacement.  And here am I, well, not ancient, but not twenty-something either, freely jumping up and down to prove just how great my ankles are.  It was a happy moment.

Just as well she didn’t ask me about my knees…

Baby Bodies (aka un-yummy mummies!)

There are times when women in the public eye really make me want to puke.  They project such unreal images of women, in so many phases of their lives.   The one that really gets me going is post baby.  Six weeks after the baby’s birth, when most women are going in for their post-natal checkup, and have barely assimilated all the changes in their life as a result of the new bundle of joy, actresses, singers and their ilk are doing photo shoots, demonstrating how swiftly their bodies have “bounced” back to normal. Continue reading

Personal training vs plastic surgery

Let’s start with the math.  Say it cost you $30,000 for legs, bottom, stomach, back and arms (and that is probably not high enough, particularly if you use a reputable surgeon.  Now say you saw a personal trainer, three times a week,  at the cost of $100 per hour( based on capital cities – most probably less expensive elsewhere).  That is TWO years of personal training sessions (and you don’t have to pay it all up front like you do with the liposculpture). Continue reading

Fat AND stupid!

Walking slows progression of Alzheimer’s, study suggests.

This is just one of the latest, in a number of studies, that are observing the positive effect exercise has on Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.  They cannot claim that exercise cures these conditions, but there is evidence to suggest that exercise can delay, moderate and possibly prevent (kind of hard to prove the last) these diseases occurring.

One of the things that baffles me is why so many people fail to realise that lack of fitness affects your brain.  Everyone knows it affects your heart, your vascular system, the organs of your digestive system and so on.  But it is as though everybody thinks the brain operates independently of the rest of the body.

‘Fraid not people.  The brain is just another organ, and your overall level of fitness and health impacts on that organ as much it does any other organ or system in the human body.  Moreover, there have been scientific studies completed showing definite links between obesity, and both decrease of cognitive function and increase of dementia.

http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v27/n2/abs/802225a.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC558283/

Maybe you’re happy to let your body decay and atrophy around you.  But are you happy to know that your brain is doing the same thing?  Your mind is what makes you YOU.  Look after it.