midget-mafiosa said: thanks to everyone, junglelarry included. your advice/support is appreciated. i am the luckiest girl in the world to still be able to ride, and i know it. i'm going to the physio clinic that handles the US ski, snowboard, and speedskating teams, in addtion to a bunch of other athletes. i am grateful that i have what i do. it's still damn hard when you see what you were, and what you should be, and you have to live with where you are. i had a ring made that says "....persevere...." for two reasons. one, to remind me that i have to keep moving forward no matter what, and two, to throw across the room when things get really hard. it's cheaper than replacing phones.
note about diet/vitamins: i'm trying really hard to modify my eating habits since i got wrecked, because i'm not twenty anymore, and i know i'm fighting an uphill battle. i also take a great herbal digestive supplement with fibers, omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), and vitamin c every day. i recently started taking garlic tablets, but man, those are rough. i've also heard lysine is a good natural anti-viral, and i'm going to give that a whirl, too. i don't believe in any fibro hocus-pocus cure, but i think the general consensus is correct - keep things balanced, and the fibro stays (relatively) mellow, too.
now if you will excuse me, i have been out dancing at the gossip's show, and need to get safe, stretch my IT bands, and go to sleep.
I figure I can give you some basic advice to go with your workout plan.
- Your workout shouldn't last more than an hour. If you try it and it seems impossible to complete the whole thing within an hour, split up the exercises among different days, giving at least a day of rest between each workout day.
- Your reps should be slow. One of the biggest mistakes people make in the gym is making quick reps. This is especially a concern for you because fast reps will transfer most of the load from your muscles to your ligaments and tendons, making you more prone for injury. Instead, try doing a two second count during your contractions and a three second count during your extensions with no pause in between.
- Take a 45 - 60 second break between each set. This is a good time to get yourself some water too.
- Another mistake people make is in their breathing. You should be continuously breathing throughout your motions so your blood stays oxygenated and you minimize the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles. Inhale during your extensions and exhale during your contractions. Take a few big deep breaths before your reps also; in through your nose, out through your mouth.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your exercises. Water is a key ingredient in rebuilding your tired muscles. Most people agree that during a regular workout program you should be drinking at least a gallon a day. I drink closer to two.
- Alcohol is your muscles' worst enemy.
- Do 5-10 minutes of low intensity cardio before your workout (brisk walk is enough) to boost your heart rate, get your blood flowing, and get your body warmed up. This is important to prevent injury and to maximize progress.
- Try doing warm-up sets before your working sets. For example, if you're going to do 3 sets of 15 leg extensions, do a set before them with a low enough weight that you can easily complete 12-15 reps. You should feel a good pump after your warm-up set, but it should not burn like you just completed a workout. This will concentrate blood flow to the area you're about to work out and further prevent injury.
- Eat an apple about 45 minutes before your workout. Apples are high in fructose giving you sustained energy/sugar release during your workout. This will help you perform better during your workout and minimize the effect your workout has on your body's glycogen stores, further speeding up recovery.
- Eat a good meal after your workout. Eggs and oatmeal will do it. Eggs are high in protein and have a fantastic amino acid profile (the most complete of any protein source, including whey). On the other hand, oatmeal is an awesome source of good carbs. The carbohydrates in oatmeal will help replenish your glycogen stores and shuttle much needed protein to your muscles after your workout. You don't have to overdo it since you're not bodybuilding, but you do need to exercise proper post-workout nutrition to stave off injury and soreness.
Other than that, I think your doctors can give you the best advice you need since they have a better understanding of your history and your condition.