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About Vicious_Unicycle

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  • Birthday 03/07/1994

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  1. First off, some background info: About 2 years ago I started going for walks every day to get some exercise for the mental health benefits. Sometime last year, I started noticing that walking wasn't getting the same results anymore, so I started trying to go jogging more (the first time I nearly vomited after just once around the block). Nowadays I usually go out jogging at least a couple of times a week. Not exactly a 4 week challenge, but it worked quite nicely for me. So with that in mind, I've been hoping to repeat the process to get some exercise for the rest of my body. The problem is, I can't find any exercises that accomplish that without being unpleasant. It seems like most workouts are designed for people who are more determined than patient. And since I'm the exact opposite, I need exercises that reflect that. What I need are examples of super simple, super easy exercises that use core muscles, arms, and upper back muscles in particular. Something as easy as walking. Some kind of very, very light cardio I suppose. I'm not concerned about losing weight or getting buff or anything. I just want something I won't give up on because it sucks too much. Maybe move on to something better after a year or two. Any suggestions?
  2. Just for the record, I got examined by a physical therapist. Although most of my posture-relevant muscles were weak in both sides, all of the muscles that didn't fail during the strength tests were in my right side. Turns out that roughly 8 years of unskilled cello playing will build up the muscles attached to your bow arm, but do nothing for the ones in the opposite side. The physical therapist said she couldn't be sure exactly what all the underlying problems were from just one visit, but there seems to be something wrong with my neck, probably also with my ribs, and I definitely had some winging in my shoulder blades. She gave me some exercises for that last one that are actually pretty similar in nature to the ones I was talking about before. They all involve either pulling on this stretchy thing she gave me or lifting nothing more than the weight of my own arms. They work each side independently and are at the perfect intensity level (ie very low), so my left side will start shaking halfway through (rather than giving out right away and forcing my right side to do more work to compensate) and my right side will barely notice that I've done anything, despite the fact that I've done the same exact thing on both sides. Like I said, the same few categories of exercise aren't going to be enough for everyone. I just didn't realize that the kinds of exercise I was looking for don't fall under the category of 'fitness' so much as 'physical therapy'. I'm not a "snowflake", I've just been looking for answers in the wrong places.
  3. Well, I guess that's about it for this challenge. I don't know if this technically qualifies as a success, considering how much I kept moving the goal posts. Well, at the very least I learned that physical therapy is a lot more useful to me than fitness stuff at this point. Anyway, thanks to everyone who commented on my posts! I'm thinking that I probably won't be doing another challenge in the foreseeable future. Since this is my first year at a legit college away from home, I need to make sure I can handle everything I already have on my plate before I can consider adding more. I'll still continue walking and doing those physical therapy exercises everyday though. If that nerve in my left arm doesn't get its shit together in the next few days, I'll definitely have to talk to someone about that.
  4. Although I've been pretty preoccupied with classes and homework and whatnot, I've still been walking and doing those exercises from physical therapy. I haven't found anything about physical therapy here yet. Granted, I haven't really been looking. I might need to get on that, because I seem to have pinched a nerve in my left arm. You know that feeling when you smack your elbow on something and it sends a tingling sensation shooting all the way to your fingertips? That's been happening to me just from bending my arm too far (there seem to be other things that can set it off, but bending my arm has been the most consistent).
  5. Well it turns out that going easy on the walking isn't really an option due to the campus layout. I'll keep an eye out for any information on physical therapy.
  6. I spoke to a physical therapist yesterday. She said that my back problems weren't typical ones, so she couldn't be entirely sure what was going on from just one appointment (which is unfortunate, because I go off to college tomorrow). However, some strength evaluations revealed that almost all of my posture-relevant back muscles are horrendously weak, which is causing issues in my shoulder blades and possibly my ribs. So she gave me this stretchy thing and 3 exercises to do with it (plus one that uses no equipment at all) which should help strengthen these muscles. She also gave me some tips for minimizing back pain while correcting my posture. I'm probably going to go easy on the walking for a while. I think that the way I figured out how to walk without back pain only works because it supports more of my weight with the few back muscles that didn't fail during the strength evaluation. I'm also going to stop trying to do push ups or anything like that. If I'm struggling just to lift up my own arms, lifting anything more than that can't be helping me.
  7. Honestly I have no idea what my body is capable of, much less what I should be doing with it. Just today I found out that if I really haul ass on my standard walk, I can get the same warm up effect in just half an hour, instead of 2+ hours on a long walk. Reading this has helped a lot, since the whole idea of "sets and reps" is completely new to me. I actually did 3*10 push ups after my walk today. I think I can probably add in some more exercises, but I haven't figured out what I should try yet. Also, I finally talked to my doctor. He told me I should talk to a physical therapist. I have an appointment set up for next week.
  8. Eh, I'll worry about stats later. I still barely know what I'm doing when it comes to exercise anyway. Although I think I figured out something important. I think the reason that I normally can barely do even 1 push up, but then after walking for a few hours I can do 10 is because walking that far is enough to qualify as a "warm up". That could possibly mean that I might be able to do a legitimate workout after a long walk. Not entirely sure what else I would do though.
  9. Johto FTW! Crystal version was the first game I ever beat by myself. I was just talking with someone about potentially doing challenges based on pokemon regions, but I couldn't really come up with anything. I really like your approach, it's very creative. Good luck with your challenge!
  10. I'm kind of thinking that at this point it would make sense to put more points in the attributes that I don't feel compelled to improve. My overall goal is to find an activity that will improve my strength and dexterity, and that I enjoy enough (or at least don't hate) that I would actually continue doing it. In order to do that, I probably need to increase wisdom. I'm pretty satisfied with where my stamina is at, so I don't care so much about improving it. For charisma, I think I could probably do something along the lines of the comfort zone thing. I don't think I really need to improve my diet, so I'm still not sure what to do with constitution. So my stats would probably look something like this: STR-low DEX-low STA-high WIS-low CHA-medium CON-??? Also, someone suggested that I should use Pokemon stats in place of the regular ones. It actually works out pretty well: STA=HP, STR=Attack(Atk), CON=Defense(Def), CHA=Special Attack(SpA), WIS=Special Defense(SpD), DEX=Speed(Spe). If I ever get around to making a signature, I'd just use the regular stats so that people wouldn't get confused, but I think using Pokemon stats in my challenges would make it more amusing to me.
  11. Okay so here's what I think I'm going to do. 3 days a week (I might make it 2 if I find out 3 is too demanding) I have to keep walking until I think it would probably be a good idea to stop. That usually works out to 2+ hours and something like 8-10 miles. I also have to do at least 10 push ups afterward, because for whatever reason that's the only time I can actually manage it. The rest of the week I'm going to continue with my standard route (at least 4,000 steps and just over 2 miles), but I have to gradually try to do it in less time. I haven't timed myself yet, but I think it takes me roughly half an hour. The first time I got 41 minutes, the second time I got 36 minutes. To avoid pushing myself too hard, I will only aim to beat the average of my best and my second best time, rather than constantly trying to beat my best time. As for how I'm going to distribute stats, I'm thinking strength, dexterity, and wisdom would be 1 and stamina would be 3, but I'm not entirely sure what to do with charisma and constitution. I'm not terribly concerned with improving my physical appearance or diet, so I don't know how to judge what amounts would be appropriate for those stats.
  12. I guess what I'm trying to say is that since I figured out that simply leaning to the right reduces my back pain, which means strengthening the muscles on my left side won't actually do my back any good until I get this alignment problem taken care of (my next doctors appointment is still a couple of weeks away), there is no good reason for me to continue my original Main Quest. I figure my new Main Quest will be to try and find a sport or activity that I actually enjoy which will also force my upper body to do something for a change. But since it will be anywhere between a few weeks and a few months before I can really pursue that quest, I need help figuring out some kind of side quest to keep me occupied until then. I think it would probably be best to do something with walking, since I've already figured out how to do that without back pain. But I don't really know what kind of specific goals I should set. Does anybody have any suggestions for how to figure that out?
  13. I've been going for walks every day for the past few months. I have a pedometer (sort of), so I know how many steps I end up taking, but I have no idea how much distance I actually cover. I don't need to know the exact distance, but it would be nice to have a general idea.
  14. I looked back at my original post and realized that it's no longer entirely valid. I found a scale and it said I'm 154 lbs. I managed to do 10 push ups, although I have no idea if my form was any good. I suspect that my muscular asymmetries are mostly the result of skeletal asymmetries. I'm pretty sure that my left leg is longer than the right one. I might have some kind of scoliosis as well, because I've found that my back hurts a lot less when I let myself bend to the right than when I try to stand with good posture, at least when I'm walking anyway. Until I talk with my doctor, I don't think there's an exercise in the world that can help me with this. So with that in mind, what should I do now? Besides talk to my doctor of course. I mean, I found out that the college I'm going to has an archery club, a swimming club, an ultimate frisbee club, and a cross-country skiing club, but it's going to be at least a few weeks before I can check those out, if not a few months. What should I do in the meantime?
  15. Today I walked about 17,300 steps, which is roughly 4x farther than I usually do. At some point I decided to quit trying to stand up straight and just let my body bend to the right. Lo and behold, all the little aches and pains in my back vanished! You wouldn't think trying to have good posture would cause back pain, but that seems to be what happened. Unfortunately, this wasn't a perfect solution; I started to feel a lot of strain on my left hip joint. I stretched out when I got home. I have no idea what possessed me to do this, but I also did 10 push ups. And for some reason, I didn't hate doing them.
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