Teresina: Your own gym

April 21, 2006

As with any exercise program, discuss the R4YL! plan with your doctor before you get started. Don’t jump ahead. This is a progressive program. Start where you are. Learn the difference between actions that are productive and those that are destructive. An injury can stop you in your tracks. Respect your fitness level; don’t think you need to impress anyone with how much or how little you are lifting. These baby steps are the building blocks for achieving our goals.

Be careful. Honor your progress, at whatever pace you proceed. Start with little changes. Living a healthy lifestyle does not come over night. It is overwhelming to do everything all at one time. If you are truly interested in achieving a more healthy way of life, a stronger body, increased energy, peaceful attitude, independence, and balance, START. Start this second. Start with one big breath. Start with one positive thought, one good stretch, one short walk, one dance in your room, one nutritious meal, one tiny vitamin, and one step will lead to another.

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Teresina with Midge and Rudy

If you go to the gym, or to a fitness class, good for you! Great! Don’t stop. R4YL! will enhance what you are already doing, provide an increase in metabolism, and act as a substitute on the days you miss sessions.

On the other hand, for those of you looking for something different, or are not doing anything at all, consider a “gym” in your own home or apartment in a space that can be as small as 2 x 3. R4YL! can make any small space your own personal home gym. Everything you need is very affordable and simple. Most importantly, you can be finished with your workout in the time that it would take you just to travel to the gym.

R4YL! is possible because of the stationary bicycle. “Stationary” doesn’t really describe how we approach this marvelous machine. Most other fitness machines only offer repetitive motion. R4YL! allows for more freedom of movement. This allows us to specifically target a variety of muscle groups: biceps, triceps, shoulders, back, and chest, leaving no room for monotony. And, working in this so-called stationary position, R4YL! can guide you to fitness in ten minutes of an intense, safe, and metabolism-building workout. In as much space as a bike takes (mine fits on a 2ft.x 3ft mat), we will create your own personal gym. You will work, ride, breathe, live, laugh, cry and transform in this personal space created by you, for you!

Prices for a stationary bicycle range from quite inexpensive to several thousand dollars. Or, get one at a garage sale, or in your local classified ads. The bike takes up minimal space, and requires little, if any, maintenance. There is no need for expensive sneakers, clothing, or equipment. The bike might be dangerous if you fall off, so small children shouldn’t be left unattended, but besides that, it is virtually stress free!

If you are regaining your strength, recovering in some way, or pregnant, or elderly, check with your doctor; the bike is very likely at the top of the list! Next to swimming, the bike comes in at a close second as the safest, yet most intense workouts you can have. R4YL! is an excellent way to heal and restore.

When choosing a bike, make sure the seat is comfortable. If you have hemorrhoids, try special cushions, or consult your physician in extreme cases.

I prefer upright bikes as they allow for more movement and require the torso to work harder. But if you already have a recumbent bike, by all means, use that.

The movement required of the knee in bike riding keeps the patella (knee cap) smooth. In my knee, the cartilage damage is so extensive, that my orthopedic surgeon cannot believe I am not crawling into his office. But riding for my life has not only kept me lean, it has strengthened the surrounding muscles and kept my knee strong and flexible. Along with swimming, cycling is the best way to keep your knees, butt and legs in shape, without bulking them up. Guys, if you want big legs, you will need to also hit the weights.

When sitting on the bike you do not want the leg fully extended. The rotation of the pedals should be smooth, not jerky. Always be aware of your rotation. Do not let your legs lock or buckle. Take the time to find the correct seat placement. You may find after riding regularly, you will need to adjust the seat again. As your body slims up and gets leaner, you may need additional room. This is a great sign!

© 2006 Teresina Sullo

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