For years my fitness routine included only walking with a friend for thirty minutes three times a week. However, four years ago I needed physical therapy after cracking my tibia (leg bone.) During a therapy session I casually asked the therapist if walking three days a week was a good enough fitness routine.
Aerobic Exercises Not Enough
Shaking his head from side to side, he stared at me like I was crazy. “Women your age (at least he didn’t say old women, but, being as I am a retired grandma, I’m sure he thought it.) need a fitness routine that includes more than exercises for their cardiovascular systems. They also need stretching exercises, strength training, and balance exercises.”
Input from Physical Therapist
So after I recovered from my injury I joined the gym in which I received therapy. A huge benefit of my yearly membership fee is that it includes a session with a therapist every six months to check-out if my assigned exercises were still what I needed; change my exercises to ensure I don’t get bored using the same equipment; ensure that my routines include all four types of exercises during my three-times-a -week visits.
Aerobic Exercise Routine
- My routines begin with twenty-seven minutes of exercise that work the large muscles in my body and improve my heart and lung function. I begin with a 12-minute stint on the elliptical, using a 20-inch length step. I always attempt to walk more than 500 steps.
- Next, I do a right and then left leg hamstring stretch for 60 seconds each, and then a calf stretch, both legs together, for 60 seconds, followed by
- Fifteen minutes on the treadmill at 3.1 miles an hour for about 8/10s of a mile.
Strength Training Routine
- I use a trunk rotation machine set at 40 pounds and rotate 2 x 15 with my right and left arm. This exercise also stretches scar tissue across my chest received during a double mastectomy for breast cancer.
- I lift up above my head 3-pound weights in right and left hand 2 x 10 times.
- I hold a 2-pound medicine ball in both hands. I sit in a chair, pushing out my hips first, up and down 2 x 10 times.
- I set the leg extension machine at 30 pounds and lift the bar up with my legs 2 x 10 times.
- I set the rowing machine for 30 pounds and pull the rows 2 x 10 times.
Stretching Exercise Routine
- I stand facing a wall, my palms facing each other with my pinkie fingers against the wall, then stretch my arms up as far as I can and slide up and down 10 x 3 times.
- Holding a 5-foot wooden pole for balance, I place my foot in a circular, red exercise band that is hooked around a pole, and stretch the band outwards with my leg 10 times in four different directions with the right and left leg.
Balance Exercise Routine
I stand on the BOSU balance trainer for 30 seconds with both feet, then the right foot, and then the left foot. Repeat once.
I usually finish my fitness routine in about an hour, and enjoy knowing I am doing my best to keep fit and stay healthy.