Call me crazy, but Spongebob is helping me keep fit, exercise my back and lose weight…
As you know, I have damaged a disc in my lower back. I can’t sit up, or even walk very well without something to keep me stable. Using Alex’s pushchair or my Nordic walking poles allows me to walk and gently exercise and rehabilitate my back .
The poles have proved to do much more for me as well – as mentioned in other blog posts. It burns 30% to 40% more kcal than running or jogging, as it uses the upper body as well – and it also raises the heart rate into a different sport zone without having to go as fast as you would running or jogging.
Because of the slower speed and stick aided stability, the body impact is greatly reduced – which benefits the back, legs…heck, any joints! Great for weight loss, improving fitness – and rehabilitation when you can’t run or jog…. or walk easily unaided.
Proper training is a must as with all sports (even simple jogging – if you do it wrong, you can screw yourself up)- but it isn’t expensive and not too time consuming. I initially had 10 to 15 minutes of coaching to make sure I knew what I was doing (and not damaging myself any further!). A fortnight later I had some follow up training to make sure I was still on track. I did this with Helen Wallace from the Alice Holt Forestry Commission (see my links on the lower of the left hand column).
One of the things that has oddly helped me get to grips with getting the most from this exercise is Spongebob Squarepants…
I have endured the theme tune so many times now, as Alex loves the show – and as such the tempo of the tune has stuck in my head! Where I exercise and breath in over two strides and out over two strides, I now have Spongebob’s name – as sung at the pace of the song – going through my head as I exercise…. breath in over 2 strides “Sponge-bob” and out over two strides “Square-pants” …. I did say you could “call me crazy…”
Now this chant helps keep my heart rate in a set zone and keeps me walking comfortably. The actual speed of my foot fall doesn’t change, but the speed of the walk itself can, simply by increasing the stride, but keeping the same time beat going. It’s like a walking metronome… constant tick-tock-tick-tock sponge-bob-square-pants…..
Crazy…maybe, but thanks to Alex’s love of the TV show, my pole walks, my back and my overall fitness is improving.