Saturday, November 21, 2015

Nerd Fitness Academy

Working Towards Fitness for Boy Scout's Northern Tier Camping Trip

Many of my regular readers know that I am a Boy Scout.
Yup. I am an adult member of Troop 39 Chicago. I am also the Troop Committee Chair.

This year our troop has really expanded it's possibilities. We have an excited and dynamic parent base, with skill sets that really are making this troop bloom. Our Scoutmaster is getting the troop on the straight and narrow as far as advancement and Eagle Scout work.

Why do I mention this in a post about Nerd Fitness? Well, because I have to get in shape FAST.
My troop is going to a high adventure camp in Ely, Minnesota to do winter camping over the Christmas break. I have to be able to walk/hike/snowshoe/cross country ski and I could not even THINK about it 4 weeks ago.

I looked for a way to improve my deep knee bends and stumbled across a video by Nerd Fitness Academy. This woman Staci, showed you how to do modifications for people like me with a bad knee.

I looked further into this "Nerd Fitness Academy" and found there is this whole website program that you can join that works like a game with points and quests as you improve. Being a consummate nerd, I decided to give it a shot. The $100 joining fee seemed a little steep, but I really needed to do this, and boy, am I glad I did.

I started out unable to do a deep knee bend at all. Lunges? Fugetabout it. Push ups? Hah.
I decided to do the Body Weight Workout. I learned modifications for all of the exercises, pretty much, because I couldn't do ANY of them.

Jumping jacks and jumping rope are a nightmare after you've had children. Jump. Squirt. Jump. Squirt. So I learned WALKING Jacks and different modifications. BAM! Stayed Dry.
I learned the BOX squat in which there is a small box or for me, a step stool under your butt in case you can't get up. I learned a split lunge, holding on to a chair. I learned wall push ups. I learned knee planks.

It's been a month, and I can now do 3 sets of the exercises with modifications. I'm working towards stair pushups (lower than the wall but not yet on the floor) and I can do 10 squats in a row now. I am working towards real planks.

I've lost an inch in my waist, an inch in my hips, an inch in each thigh, and I've gained a half inch in my neck.
My weight is the same, but my clothes fit better.
I can climb to the sixth floor at the hospital without stopping now. (I die, but I can do it).

I FORCE myself out of bed at 5 a.m. most mornings to do this. I tell myself, "You will feel better if you do this." Every other day I do the Body Weight work out and in the "in-between" days I walk at least a mile, or do the treadmill on an incline, or do some weights that I bought. I've worked up from 2 lb weights to 5 lb. weights. Woot!

Nerd Academy just put out Nerd Yoga and I started that too, to keep the boredom down and let me tell you, it's not impossible. They give you modifications for this too.

So here is the thing I learned. Even though my knee has arthritis and sharp shooting pains in it when I started this whole process, by starting slow and steady, doing the modifications and slowly strengthening the muscles around the joint, the pain is almost gone. Seriously. I feel so much better. I can squat down onto the toilet without plopping down. (I'm 6 feet tall). I can squat down to get stuff off the floor now. I can walk 3-4 miles without dying. (My dog is so happy.) My husband is loving that I'm exercising because he was worried for my health.

SO. All you out-of-shape nerds out there! Find your thing! Start doing it and make yourself climb out of bed to do it Every Freaking Day!
You will NOT find the time if you don't MAKE the time.
I work crazy hours. I just get up at 5 a.m. now and exercise until 6 (I put on the coffee first, of course.)
I do it in my basement, with the following equipment:
a dining room chair
a step stool
2, 5, and 10 lb dumbbell weights
a yoga mat

I have a treadmill, but I don't need it. I plan to walk outside as much as I can.



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