On the Road to Recovery IV- Cardio – Keeping the Heart Healthy when Using Your Legs is a ‘Hard Limit

What’s worse not being able to train your legs or not being able to do cardio?

Not being able to train both is catastrophic to both your metabolism and your heart health. Since both control your heart rate and both control the rate at which you burn fat, maintaining your weight or keeping body fat levels at bay can be challenging if not straight up difficult. (Continue reading for the answer…)

Finding ways to keep my heart rate up without using my legs was challenging for me.  Here are 2 ways I found to keep my heart up at least at a recovery rate of 120 bpm:Bouey

•The first was to put a buoy between my legs and swim with my arms for 30 minutes.

•The second, the arm bike, I would slap on my heart rate monitor and monitor my heart rate for 30 minutes to stay within a recovery heart rate fat burning zone.

armbikeThis is turn does a few things:
1. Put me in a recovery-training zone, which helps to speed up recovery.
2. Helps to circulate blood around the body, to the working muscles and into the healing area to once again speed up recovery.
3. Keeps my heart rate just high enough to burn a minimal amount of fat and train my heart without overstressing the body and again helping to speed recovery.

I can’t say this was fun but I was determined to keep some semblance of physical fitness throughout my recovery to make things easier on me both during and after.

It helped keep me focused and maintain a positive perspective and help attain that feel good serotonin release, even if just for a little bit.

The answer: Leg Training

When training your legs you can elicit both a rise in heart rate for a cardio benefit and strength training to maintain strength and lean muscle for a speedier metabolism and increased circulation for a speedier recovery.

Keep moving people.

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

On the Road to Recovery III- Meditation in Motion- Tai Chi..Exercise or Therapy? (Video Post inside)

BOTH

While in recovery, two times a week I report religiously to my Tai Chi class. I try to keep my schedule the same as much as I can.

My friend asks, “How am I able to do Tai Chi while on crutches?”

Med beadsI explain, I sit in a chair and I focus on the breathing aspect and use this time as a meditation.  Healing can be very stressful and at times even breathing becomes difficult.  Taking the time during my recovery to breathe and meditate has helped to keep me in a positive state.  I remind myself that this is temporary and soon I will be free.  The Rehab is actually shorter in duration than the 4 years plus that I have been living in pain.

CHI or QI means Life Force.  It is evoked by the intentful integration of body and mind.

Tai Chi Chaun or the Supreme Ultimate Fist is a mind-body practice. Tai Chi is considered a soft or internal form of martial art.

The breath, mind and movements are coordinated. The movements are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the combination of Yin and Yang creates a dynamic inner movement to move chi and blood flow to elicit a natural state of self-healing to help correct health imbalances.

The practice of Tai Chi as ‘meditative movement’ is expected to elicit functional balance internally for healing, stress neutralization, longevity, and personal tranquility.

The art has been associated with reduced stress, anxiety,depression and enhanced mood, in both healthy people and those with chronic conditions.
     Tai chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery.

“What about the form, how can you do that, “she asks?

I sit up tall in the chair and move my arms as if I were doing the form and in my mind I feel as though I am.  When I complete the form I am relaxed and find that it is easier to breathe. I explain that if even for just that evening I have found inner peace and a feeling of serenity I will sleep better and wake up in a better and more positive state of mind to make it just a little bit easier to continue on my ‘Road to Recovery.’

This is ‘meditation in motion’!

Tai Chi Classes are taught at Kung Fu Connection Tuesday and Thursday nights @ 8pm

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™med bow

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

On the Road to Recovery II- Keeping the Strength at your Core (video post inside)

While I’m still in the transition phase from non-weight bearing to weight bearing, core strengthening and pilates is helping me to rebalance my entire system as I reintegrate myself.

Since exercise progression begins from a supported position Pilates is a great tool to assist me in going from 5 weeks of non–weight bearing to weight bearing, to open chain and later progressing to explosive movements…I’m not there yet.

By aligning my skeletal system, and strengthening my core, I am able to stabilize and move easier by alleviating excess stress on peripheral joints and other areas while I heal.

My limitation here is not to use my glutes and abductors, (butt and outer thighs) So I work around them to keep everything else strong while the affected area heals.  I also keep blood circulating and focus on breathing, this in turn will help speed my recovery.

Pilates promotes an even musculature throughout the body by stabilizing muscles around the joints. It also stresses spinal and pelvic alignment. The focus is on active lengthening of muscles and mobility of the joints, rather than traditional prolonged static stretching. All of which is critical in getting us to move the way we’re supposed to move to avoid injury, facilitate recovery and improve athletic performance.

The core is considered the “center” of the body and consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Recruiting this system helps to facilitate pelvic stability, muscle balancing, neuromuscular coordination, biomechanical efficiency, increased proprioceptive awareness and increased muscle-firing patterns as well as muscle activation.

A strong core provides a dynamic link between the upper and lower body.  By including stabilizing and strengthening moves at varying angles and ranges of motion it trains the neuromuscular firing patterns, musculoskeletal and fascial systems to work together more effectively and efficiently.

Gratefully, my friend and Pilates instructor, who owns Nomi Pilates has been helping me with this transitory phase.  Naomi Weyrowski thinks that “Pilates is a safe and effective workout to continue strengthening and stretching to help recover and also begin to hone in on having “conscious competence’ and begin to see the imbalances and weaknesses and misalignments in your own body and work to correct these faulty movement patterns.”

Naomi also thinks that with the Pilates principles, breath, movement, flow, precision and control, not only will it help speed recovery but puts one on to the path to overall awareness and quality of movement to prevent injuries in the future.

What I have found, is that the longer it takes to heal, the weaker you get, the harder and longer the recovery will take a toll physically, mentally and emotionally. By going into the surgery strong, maintaining and fortifying what I can keep strong, will help the recovery process to be easier and seem shorter.

Coming out of a prior surgery with a one-year recovery, I have another 6-month recovery ahead of me.  My biggest challenge… staying as strong and as positive as I can on the road to recovery.

Keep moving people and

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

 

ref article: http://physical-therapy.advanceweb.com/Features/Articles/Pilates-for-Injury-Recovery.aspx