Archive for the ‘Exercise / PTC’ Category

One year from right now, I will be somewhere on the Oregon Coast, sore and tired and happily celebrating with my teammates our completion of Portland-to-Coast 2009.

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My massage therapist recommended that I buy a gyroscope to help with the wristache I get from using a computer all day. I ordered a Dyna-Flex gyro from Amazon about three months ago and have been very happy with it—the pain has mostly gone away and my grip is noticeably stronger.

If you buy one, it might take you a few days to get it to start reliably. The two best pieces of advice I can give are to be patient and to make sure that when you pull the string, you pull it in the exact direction the wheel will move. For a while, I was pulling the string at an angle, causing a lot of false starts.

Oh, and don’t use a pen for several minutes after using the Dyna-Flex. You can type fine, but your handwriting will be illegible.

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Weighty matters

I lived in Houston, the “fattest city in America”, for five years, and left three pounds lighter than when I arrived.

I have now lived in Portland, one of the “fittest cities in America”, for three years, and have gained 28 pounds.

The biggest difference I have experienced between the two cities is that in Houston there was never a season when I could not go outside and exercise. Even at the height of summer, all I had to do was wait until 8:00, and go out then. In Portland, on the other hand, it is reliably miserable outside for five or six months of the year, and I have allergies during most of the nice months.

So, my task between now and mid-October (when the gray seeps back in) is to keep popping the Zyrtec, develop good exercise habits again, and figure out what clothing or other accessories would help me continue to get out during the rainy season.

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Stairs and knees

One of the great features of my new workplace is the stairwell near my cubicle. Five stories, about 135 steps — good exercise.

After straining both knees during the last five weeks (the left one badly), here is what I have learned about being careful taking the stairs:

On the way up, make sure my entire foot lands on each step rather than just the front half of the foot. Having the whole foot on the stair shifts the strain of climbing from my knees to my hamstrings.

On the way down, hold on to the rail, keep my back straight, and walk carefully, rather than bending forward to see where I am going as I race down. I am not sure why that works, but it does.

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