Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My Health

It's now been two years since I had the stroke. My health has never been better. Not only is there no impairment whatsoever, I've been running and lifting weights more than ever. I used to run a lot when I was a teenager, but I quit when I was in college, and have lifted weights for the past 12 years or so. The past year or so has been the first time in my life that I've been doing both at the same time. I figure it's important to do both, to keep as healthy as possible.

A typical week is something like this: Tuesdays and Thursdays, run 1.5 miles at about a 6:45 - 7:00 pace. Saturdays, 6-8 miles at an easy jog (9-10 minutes a mile). And then somewhere in the week, maybe Monday or Wednesday, do a light weight workout.

By "light," I mean that I may bench up to 205 or so; some chinups for the back; some dips for the triceps (sometimes with 10-15 pound dumbbells between my legs); some lateral raises for the shoulders (25 pound dumbbells); and some curls (30-35 pound dumbbells). A few months ago, a more typical workout would have been 6 reps at 225 on the bench; 6 reps at 255; and 2 reps at 275. But lately I've been backing off. For one thing, building too much muscle simply makes it harder to run. I can definitely tell that running long distances is much harder than it was in high school, when I was about 40 pounds lighter. Also, it just felt risky to be lifting so much weight without a spotter (I work out alone). I used to think it would be cool to be able to bench 315 (with 3 plates on each side). But now I think: What's the point? All I need to do is enough to stay in good shape.


Blogger bob said...

I thought your stroke just happened ... time flies when you're having fun.

Re: the exercise ... Great! Develop the right habits and when you are old and gray you will still be able to move. One suggestion ... add Yoga (or other serious stretching) to your weekly routine; you will be glad you did.

7:04 PM  
Blogger peggy said...

Stuart - great that you are doing so well.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Rich Rostrom said...

If you can run 1.5 miles and bench 225 lbs, you're in _excellent_ shape. Don't sweat it.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Rich Rostrom said...

If you can run 1.5 miles, and bench 225 lbs, you're in great shape. Don't worry about the details.

90% of Americans can't run a mile; very few can bench even their own weight. (I can't, and I've been lifting for years.)

4:09 PM  
Blogger Václav Patrik Šulik said...

Excellent, I agree with what Rich said.

When I was 17, a swimmer and shot putter, I could bench 350 with ease. Now I struggle with 150. But it's because I don't do it.

Keep it up -- keep the faith. I admire you.

5:34 AM  

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