Friday, September 16, 2011

Exercise in futility and opening Pandora's box

It hurts...a lot!
So, since I've found myself with extra time on my hands, I have decided to start exercising more (as opposed to never exercising).  I had originally begun a simple "100 push up" routine using my handy-dandy android tablet - I might do an actual review of the device for a future post - but after about 3 weeks, I think I might have pulled a shoulder muscle, because it became excruciatingly painful to do the push ups.  I switched to doing them inclined by simply doing the push ups while leaning on a piece of furniture, but after about 3 days of that, the pain was again getting worse.

Therefore, I switched to doing a bit of treadmill running and some light weight exercises.  I didn't have to join a gym because the complex where I live has a little gym facility which is included in the rent, and it has a treadmill, elliptical running machine, and a multi-exercise device.  Started doing the treadmill for a couple of days, doing about 25 min of jogging followed by a few reps on the weight machine.  Of course, now my knee is starting to hurt a bit, so I think I will do the elliptical next week.

I haven't really been pushing myself, mind you.  Push ups were every other day on a slowly increasing repetition count, and even the running I was doing every other day.  I had tried to run outdoors, but frankly, the humidity and the heat during August/September in Central Florida is crushing punishment on the neophyte exercise-person (can't think of a better word...athlete is not a word I would use to describe myself).

One thing that has helped are the new Workout channels from Pandora, the streaming music service.  I know that Spotify is the new kid on the block, and the Norwegian Swedish (Google informs me that Spotify is from Sweden) company is going to gobble up the streaming music market, but I haven't spent money to listen to it on my phone yet, so Pandora is it for me.  Pandora, for those that don't know (and there shouldn't be many of you out there), is an online "radio station" that can be customized to your tastes.  You pick an artist or a song, and the service auto-magically generates a random playlist based on that one pick.  As you listen to music in that particular playlist, you can do a simple "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" if you like the songs that it has chosen for you, as this will further refine the channel, and hopefully, become more to your preference.

Well, aside from these channels that you can create, Pandora comes with a bunch of pre-assembled playlists, and their newest creation are the Workout playlists, which are further sub-divided into 80s, Electronica, etc.  So, for me it is a simple matter of clicking on the 80s list, and off I go on the treadmill, jogging to Rick Springfield, Wang Chun, Bryan Adams, and others.  It has commercials, but you are not paying for anything, so a little clip every 4 or 5 songs is something I can absolutely tolerate.  One thing that would make it better is if there was a "mix" feature, whereby songs would fade out/in to the next one, specially in these workout channels, since it would keep the rhythm going.

Hoping that I can stick to some reasonable exercise regimen to complement the studying...imagine, being in better shape and pass the bar at the same time.  Wow.

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