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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

CEREBRAL PALSY STORIES: Physical Therapy Tuneup-Going To The Gym

For anyone who has a disability like me, physical fitness is another important factor in leading the healthiest lifestyle possible for those who are physically challenged or can't walk.

My weekly workout routine consists of going to Movement Unlimited Fitness Center in Monrovia twice a week.  It's good that they are a gym that specializes in providing physical fitness services to those who are disabled.  They also offer the same services to people who are not disabled.

Some of the exercises I do at Movement Unlimited are the stationary bike for my arms and legs on Mondays for about 20 minutes or so and ten laps in a walker in the aerobics room on Fridays.

Ten laps is the goal each week that I shoot for. even though I don't always reach that goal during my walking routine.  For the weekly walking exercise, I use a specially designed walker called a Rifton Gait Trainer that is equipped with two ankle straps to keep my feet in place as well as another strap that goes around my waist to help me stand in a more upright posture position.

The laps in the aerobics room are probably the most physically demanding exercise I do on a weekly basis.  By the end of the ten laps, I usually have to take a few minutes to rest and catch my breath. I also keep track of how fast I complete the ten laps from time to time, but my Dad and I have a rule that if I stop at any point during the walk to take a rest, then we don't keep track of the time it takes to finish the laps.  On that note for those inquiring minds, my fastest time of doing tens laps in the aerobics room is around seven minutes and ten seconds.

When it comes to using the stationary bike, I recently started a new workout regimen where for about a month or so, I will spend the entire workout time on the bike in an effort to shed even more pounds off my body weight.  Up to this point, I've been keeping my body weight at a consistent 163 pounds.  So far, I've spent two complete workouts on the bike up to this point and I have to say that at the end of the first one, I could definitely feel a difference in that I felt like I was using up more energy than I would have if I was on there for the regular allotted time of 20 minutes.  The toughest part of staying on the bike so far for almost an hour is maintaining the mental focus required for such an exercise, but if it's going to help me lose a little more weight then I'm all for it.

Some other arm exercises I do are the Lat Pull to strengthen my lat muscles.  I also use the Bench Press to exercise my shoulders, but instead of laying on the bench, I put my chair in a forward-facing position to use the machine.  I also do ab crunch exercises, which are probably the second toughest exercise I do after the ten laps in the walker.  On each of these arm exercises, I do about three sets consisting of anywhere between 30-50 repetitions in those sets.  If I'm lucky enough to feel extra bursts of energy, I sometimes do one set of 100 repetitions on some of the arm exercises.

So there you have it.  An quick inside look at a workout routine from someone who is physically challenged to show you that even though someone like myself, lives life with a disability everyday, that doesn't stop me from doing my part to stay as physically fit as possible.

Tim Musick
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