Gym adventures

Work has offered us a wellbeing hour once a week so I chose the gym.

The first thing I noticed was how easy it was to obtain multiple repetitions of action on those machines, compared to just shuffling around on my feet. A great relief to begin with but it wasn't to be that simple.

The turning circle on the bicycle turned out to be too big for my legs so I left it for now.

The rowing machine was ace, but I ended up with a shoulder flare up. After 40 days of trying to figure out why, it turns out I was straining my arms getting in and out of bed. Duh, but now I know whats what, I can do something about it.

That leaves the leg press. I'm up to 40kg 40reps and can begin to feel the lack of lube in my knees so I think I might have to stick at around 30kg. All I want is some painless movement for a change, and its like a breath of fresh air.



  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358
    edited 2. Apr 2023, 08:06

    Good for you Baloo, sounds like you're really making some good progress and possibly just enjoying it too 😉

    My gym has a motorised stairs machine, you can vary the speed - if your gym has one of those it's akin to a full-on cardio workout whilst building up leg muscles. I know what you're saying about joint lubrication, I apply FlexiSeq to my knees, it has had mixed results in trials but I noticed less crunching and grinding after a couple of days so possibly worth a spin?

    All the best, keep at it!


  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 612

    Hi @Baloo

    I've just completed the 12 week Nuffield Health Joint Pain Programme. Throughout the course when we were using repetitive exercise machines we were instructed to do 15 repetitions then rest for 20 seconds then repeat 15 repetitions and rest.

    I was advised by a rheumatology physio that I should build up my quadraceps in my left leg - the one that I've been told I'll need a knee replacement for - and the leg extension machine was the one that was suggested. I've also been using the static upright exercise bike as well as the recliner bike which I find easier to use. Do the exercise bikes you use not have adjustments? I also use the running machine as a walking machine - there's more give in the treadmill surface than walking on pathways so I find it a bit easier and I limp less.

    Who'd have thought I'd be hitting the gym at 67 !

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 359

    Its nice to see something going right.

    At suggestion of the Nuffield trainer I am only doing physio on my arms, which unfortunately after a flare up are not up to any of the machines at the moment. I couldn't even reach lifting 2.5kg disk with my arms but I borrowed one of the pull bars for the physio, as my left shoulder is dead and is not doing too good. I have to lift it with the other arm.

    I am feeling stronger, so I reached 90 reps on the leg press up to 40kg. I might try that for a while or I might try some more difficult angles.

    The idea of obtaining some soft shoes to reduce impact has been suggested, more than once. For now I am making do with the ones I have but come the good weather I might want to try some longer walks and buy something really floaty to assist.

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 359
    edited 6. May 2023, 20:38

    Obtained some air cushion work shoes last weekend, to protect my ankles against shock, and they happen to fit like a glove. Normally my walk to the doctor is painful, but in these shoes I was there and back without any ankle pain. I'm wearing them all day ever since, indoors and outdoors, and I actually want to try getting places wearing them. They are so comfortable 😊. I took four trips out by foot last weekend instead of none.

    It was a much bigger deal than I expected. I want to get places again. Seven league boots are real 👟

    I have worn them a week, so I checked my knees, but they are still too stiff for the turning circle on the bicycle. 🚴

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    Good stuff Baloo, decent footwear makes all the difference, a real game-changer.

    Regarding the bike and I don't want to patronise in any way but have you played around with the saddle height at all? I found I needed it pretty high in order to make a revolution possible and have the distance of the seat to the pedals almost directly over them. Just a couple of thoughts.....

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 359

    I tried all three bicycles @jonr and looks like I need more movement from those knees. All I have to do is bend them but for some reason when I get on the bicycle there is a worrying amount of stiffness. I better look for some warm up exercise and see if I can find one.

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 359
    edited 9. May 2023, 20:19

    Suddenly. I can do stairs.

    I will try fitting some stairs into the week and see what happens.

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    Stairs are pretty hardcore Baloo but very good cardio and good for joint strength Baloo. Easy to over-do it though so take it steady!

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 359
    edited 25. Jun 2023, 04:59

    Finally one obtains some physio for knees. A couple more machines I could safely use in addition, other than the leg press, which is leg curl upwards, and knees open against pushing some weight. Alas they are are not available at my Nuffield gym I would have to lug myself to the larger gym up the road.

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 359

    I tried the knee physio for a few weeks now and can't say its done anything dramatic.

    I did try substituting a leg raise like Harry Worth instead of a clamshell being as we don't have a machine for it. Famous last experiment. I guess this must have been a hip exercise that should be banned, because my left hip was in a meltdown by the evening and I could barely walk without a stick. I won't be doing that again in a hurry without an opinion from my physio.

    My sympathies to anyone with hip pain.

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 392

    hi @Baloo

    My physio suggested me swinging my hip gently forward and backward and side to side when I wake in agony in the night. I do actually repeat this throughout the day as it's the only exercise I can do without being in excruciating pain afterwards. I am however allowed two minutes n only exercise bike in the morning and again in the afternoon. Problem is most days I can't get on it however hard I try.

    Love n hugs

    Trish xx

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 359

    @Trish9556 good to hear your obtaining some movement.

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 359

    So here is the thing. It's harder to be consistent with exercise than I expected. Some weeks I can leg press 30kg, some weeks I can leg press 60kg. Some weeks I am nursing arthritis in one place, some weeks in another place. Some weeks I want to climb stairs, some weeks I just don't.

    It's not like my routine isn't consistent, it jolly well is. Its just the arthritis is so variable

  • Scrimcat
    Scrimcat Member Posts: 3

    Hi Baloo

    I have recently joined Nuffield as I got onto their joint pain programme, very useful for getting someone to show you round the gym and also free membership for 6 months.

    I have been trying out different classes as I am not good at making myself a routine in the gym, I would agree with you that week to week is very variable on what I can and can't do. You just have to be kind to yourself sometimes.

  • Daphne
    Daphne Member Posts: 27

    Well done 👏 I love my weekly training sessions at the gym they are the highlight of my week. Keep up the good work 👏

  • PeterJ
    PeterJ Administrator Posts: 858

    In case anyone wants the link this is the link to the free Nuffield programme

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 359
    edited 22. Sep 2023, 20:16

    A set of knee physio once a week for 10 wk has paid off. I was finally on the static exercise bicycle this Friday after previously being too stiff, and pressed about 40watts with barely any pain. It's strange because I would have expected to need a lot more physio sessions but slow and easy has done it.

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 359

    I had a setback from squeezing my foot into the narrowest back door of a taxi ever, which set off a foot pain. I came off painkillers to nurse the foot better, and found my strength just drained away down the plug hole. Leg press 30kg for a few reps if I was lucky, unable to pull the top off a vacuum sealed coffee jar. Starting to walk with a stick. Crashing the car into a wall too slow on the brake. I don't think we notice the loss of function happening.

    I went back onto painkillers and I can feel the strength is coming back over the weeks. Leg press 40kg x 40reps. Climbing stairs again. Just about I can pull the lid off the coffee jar. Just about I can tear myself away from sitting around on the settee. Still using the stick sometimes. My target is 60kg leg press, which I know I can reach.