Linda Mundt is one of the beta-testers of our fitness-for-yoga initiative. Here are her thoughts after a few weeks exploring our program:
Scott’s campaign for aerobic fitness for those of us with loose joints struck my fancy, and I immediately volunteered to be one of his “guinea pigs.” I have never been able to take on an aerobic challenge without crashing and burning, meaning getting so sore and tired that it’s days or weeks before I can try again. But I do find that yoga allows me to feel good consistently. Adding to the complexity of becoming aerobically fit is my age. Nearly 69, I now have arthritis and low back pain, making running, walking, and treadmill work painful. Swimming is possible but I dislike the chlorine and don’t really know how to swim.
Possibilities filled my mind: What if it’s not all downhill for my body? What if I can create a fitness I’ve never had? If I can do it, probably others can too. What a tremendous challenge.
In the first two weeks of the challenge, I spent a fair amount of time on the treadmill, feeling good afterwards but noticing and admitting, finally, that being awakened in the middle of the night with hip pain (a new low for my arthritis) might be attributed to the treadmill pounding.
Not one to quit, I realized that if I can find an aerobic outlet that fits my body’s quirks, I still can rise to the challenge. The idea of strengthening my joints by low-level aerobic activity for 5-6 months still attracts me. Might I increase the blood flow to the joints, building capillary strength, and override the arthritis? The very idea of making real progress inspired me to contact my nutritionist for supplements to help build joint strength and to seek another form of workout. The combination of low-level aerobic plus nutritional supplements has given me a new focus.
The recumbent cross-trainer, like the treadmill, allows for contra-lateral movement of arms and legs. And whereas on the treadmill, I nearly quit from boredom staying in my low aerobic zone, the recumbent bike, for some unknown reason, allows me to stay in the low zone more readily. Sleep uninterrupted by pain also resulted, a true incentive to continue.
There’s much to be said for aerobic fitness, and I find that the predicted benefits already have taken root. The structure of the program has given me a sense of confidence, concentration, and control beyond what I’m accustomed to. I seem to be more organized and productive and my mood is definitely better, something that might be attributed to the exercise or only to the passing of “The Februaries.” Time will tell.